In a highly competitive market, choosing the finest IT supplier may seem like an insurmountable challenge. Because so many companies assert that they provide superior service and customer care to their competitors, it can be difficult to distinguish between service providers that merely focus on self-promotion and those who genuinely provide first-rate service.
Even though post-incident helpdesk support is still an essential component of outsourced IT, it only includes a small subset of the services your supplier should be offering. The best suppliers offer a wide range of products and services, from proactive security and remote maintenance to office productivity tools and premium corporate connections, that may be tailored to match the operational demands of their clients.
In our previous article, we intended to help you assess the calibre of the IT support you are now receiving. Now, let’s have a look at 5 characteristics you should look for in an IT provider so you can choose the ideal partner for your business with assurance.
The IT Services Provider Offers Custom solutions and services
IT company websites frequently have a formulaic feel to them. They’ll typically emphasise their adherence to best practises in cyber security and provide you with a list of managed services, along with possibly a telephony component.
How then can you tell the best from the rest?
The best IT service providers have a flexible approach to service delivery and tailor their products to specific client needs. If you’re only looking for an add-on solution to supplement an internal IT staff, terms like “co-managed IT” are a great indicator of a supplier eager to offer such services. On the other hand, if you’re searching for a provider who will fully own your digital estate, keep an eye out for phrases like “full service managed IT” and “virtual CIO,” as these suggest vendors with an all-inclusive service offering.
Also, look for vendors who make an effort to strategically deploy solutions to address the urgent business challenges and pressures their clients are facing. These providers will use terms like “IT roadmap” and “long term strategy” to indicate their readiness to create unique solutions to certain operational challenges and pressures.
They have experience working with your industry
It pays to hire an IT partner with historical expertise in your industry if your organisation functions under a severe, industry-specific compliance burden or in a sector where Technology plays a particularly business-critical role. Whether you provide care and are governed by the CQC or offer financial goods and are subject to FCA regulation, a supplier with experience in your industry will be able to use technology to hardwire compliance into your organisation. Also, you want a provider who has experience managing and supporting the sector-specific software tools you employ, such as old databases. Simply put, an IT service provider who is familiar with your sector will be better able to help you navigate the regulatory environment and support the infrastructure that you depend on.
Service providers who focus on a certain industry are frequently willing to post this information on their website. It’s a good idea to check out the website of the American Psychological Association for further information.
Find an IT Support provider that makes cyber security a top priority
A cyberattack affected over 40% of UK organisations in the year prior, according to the 2022 Cyber Security Breaches Study. The survey also showed that small- to medium-sized enterprises could go out of business due to the average attack’s £4200 cost in financial harm.
Finding an IT company with a strong commitment to cyber security best practises is essential. Remote monitoring and management, which ensures the health of your network and all of its component devices, operating systems, and software programmes, as well as the disciplined, timely delivery of security updates, is a key line of defence. Without this essential capability, a provider will struggle to safeguard the integrity of your environment, leaving it vulnerable to cyber threats and uncomfortable disruptions.
A wide range of technical protections for each hub and spoke of your IT system should also be available from them. Be sure a provider offers a variety of technologies, such as email filtering, endpoint antivirus, firewall protection, and cloud backups, to assist protect your environment and your data.
Their IT support is backed by a comprehensive service level agreement (SLA)
The parameters of a service level agreement are only one component of quality IT support, as we discussed in our previous post. Even though we are convinced of this, a detailed SLA is necessary to ensure that the service you receive is planned and delivered in accordance with your expectations. The SLA should outline the services that will be offered and any performance objectives with pertinent performance indicators. A successful IT provider will be prepared to guarantee some aspects of service delivery and may even offer a legal right of appeal in the event that significant objectives are not met.
While looking for assistance providers, look for businesses that can offer a help desk that is staffed twenty-four hours a day. This might seem unnecessary now, but it will suddenly make sense if you ever decide to stay late at work or travel abroad for business. Consider measurements for response and resolution times after that. A good service provider would aim to react to support requests in less than 30 minutes and work to resolve problems completely on the first occasion.
They show a commitment to great customer service
The top IT service companies stand out from the competition due to this. Your team and you will feel comfortable approaching your provider for advice or help if your organisation has a culture that values good customer service. Before they start working with you, the best service providers will go through a rigorous onboarding process to learn about your company, industry requirements, financial constraints, and the current state of your IT system.
If you’re seeking for an IT supplier to take on a comprehensive technology management role, you truly need a professional account manager to oversee every aspect of service delivery. This person will become knowledgeable with the particulars of your IT system and your company’s operations, enabling them to work as an extension of your team. Ask for assurances that a certain point of contact will be chosen.
When applied wisely and sensibly, technology can completely change a business. Without the right IT partner, it could be harder to realise these potential benefits. You should now be able to evaluate the degree of support you are currently receiving thanks to this little blog series. If your supplier is performing their essential duties ineptly and lacks the desire to help you get the most of your IT, it may be time to search elsewhere for your IT support.
Armco IT: IT Support and Managed Services for Businesses Across York, North and East Yorkshire
There’s nothing we love more than seeing Yorkshire businesses flourish by harnessing the power of IT. Our team of dedicated engineers stands ready to help you overcome any technical challenge and deliver tailored solutions that help your business meet its goals and growth ambitions. From our base in Malton, we deliver proactive IT support and services across York, North and East Yorkshire. We have a strong track record in delivering impactful IT to clients across a wide range of sectors, including manufacturing, design and insurance, among many others. We focus on maintaining, optimising and securing your digital estate, so you can focus on the growth and success of your business. Contact our team and let us start our journey together today.