Tech is arguably the most important ingredient to a successful business today; this means that the consequences of implementing anything but the right tools and – most significantly – the right level of support around the use of those tools couldn’t be any more essential.
With the rapid influx in business tech, IT support companies are appearing everywhere, and budding business owners have seen an opportunity – most of which make some wild claims such as ‘we give the best support’, ‘we approach your IT landscape proactively’, or ‘we cater our service to you.’ What even is ‘the best’ IT support? How do you measure it? Surely the answer depends on what you hope to achieve with IT.
IT support comes with one common misconception – that it is merely support. Well, contrary to the name, it now isn’t just support at all. Yes, there was a time when it did mean that, but that was only because technology wasn’t evolved enough and wasn’t able to be catered to an individual’s needs. There was no possibility of planning for the future. The IT worked, and that was about as good as it got – you had to make your organization fit within its parameters, not the other way round. Luckily, we can now cater our IT support packages around the individual and haven’t got to change to fit IT’s requirements.
Modern IT support should be more – it should be personalized to your organization and should adapt and evolve to your needs. The IT specialists that manage your account should care; they should do everything in their power to become an active member of your team, working hard to help you meet your business goals with the help of effective technology.
What will a good IT support specialist do for you?
Show interest with proactivity
An IT company must be proactive in their approach. They should want to learn about the history of your organization and have a genuine interest in its future. Most IT providers behave more like an insurance provider than a colleague, when they only seem to show interest or provide any support when a problem arises. In showing interest they will be able to prepare for the worst-case scenario in a way that best suits your particular management style and in turn your entire organization – how will they do that if they don’t know anything about the everyday running of your business? Every organization in the world is different, so why are we all getting treated the same?
A proactive approach allows you to anticipate far more effectively; in the eventuality of a business-defining problem, you and your team will be prepared – or at least have worked out a strategy to keep your team working. Having the ability to anticipate stops small problems from becoming big ones – strategically aligned IT, along with IT support that mirrors it, is so important for that reason.
Allow for unlimited calls
Immediately disregard any IT provider that limits how many calls you are allowed to make to them. The concept alone is ludicrous – how could you possibly know how often you are going to need assistance, or when that assistance may be needed? If you could tell that then you would never need the assistance in the first place.
Tech minded individuals aren’t usually the best communicators – this doesn’t take away from their technical ability but does affect the quality of service they can achieve. With less than adequate levels or quality of communication, your IT landscape – and the relationship with your provider – could suffer as a consequence. They must be in constant communication with you, they need to have an interest in your future plans and discuss with you any worries they have about the overall technological landscape of your business – if they don’t do this you stand no chance of being prepared for any potential issues. If poor levels of communication exist from day one you won’t even get this far, because how will they even know what your goals and concerns are, let alone help you fix them?
The right providers will be in contact with you frequently. Of course, don’t expect a call every single day – a monthly call will suffice. They need to make a clear effort to get to know you, your team, and the general workings, background, and ambitions for your business.
The best support providers won’t just get to know your business technically, but will also want to learn what makes your business the success it is, what may be jeopardising it operationally, the challenges you face daily, and what they can do to help.
Service Level Agreement (SLA)
An SLA is important as it defines the parameters you agree on with them, detailing what they guarantee to provide you from the service. All providers have a relatively unique offering; take your time to talk these through with potential providers – don’t just sign the first contract you are offered.
The following article will be a checklist of what to look out for in an IT provider, detailing what to look out for on potential providers’ websites and – if the article has the desired affect – equip you with the knowledge to make a revised decision on what is best for you, your team, and the future success of your business.
The Right IT Support
With over 25 years of experience, Office Automation Technologies Inc is a leading provider of state-of-the-art IT support and services. We work hard to manage and support our clients’ IT infrastructures and related requirements so they can focus on their businesses, get ahead of the competition and drive revenues. Contact us now and talk to one of our experts.