The technological landscape of the world is constantly changing and evolving, that has been more apparent than ever over the last two decades with tools being released that can truly revolutionize the way you and your team go about their daily activities. Due to these revolutionary advancements businesses across the globe have intertwined technology into the very fabric of their organization. For many years it was mainly large multi-national corporations that utilized the real power of technology, but now – in the modern age – you will find technology at the forefront of operations at your local shop too. Due to this newfound reliance, it is imperative that the IT method and the tools you choose to use are implemented and maintained parallel with the way you and your team work and also that they can improve efficiency, communication, and collaboration wherever possible – otherwise what is the point in having them?
Many IT support specialists are being found for their flaws with business owners realizing they need a personalized service. Support is predominantly based around fixing problems as they arise – which we have no doubt is important – but there is so much more to IT support, we will look deeper into this later in the blog series.
IT Support – What is it?
IT Support is the management and maintenance of IT across an organization. Support spans the various technology services that outsourced IT Support companies (Managed Service Providers) offer to businesses and their users, along with an unlimited support Helpdesk offering what is almost entirely focused on delivering reactive aid to faults as and when they are reported by a user.
Let’s explore the likely faults of your current provider and see what they should be doing to guarantee you a quality of service beneficial to the running and continued success of your organization.
Reactive not Proactive
All IT companies claim to approach your system and future with IT productively – frankly, this is usually a lie, it is simply a word that sounds good in their pitch. In reality most behave like a type of insurance policy, only showing interest when something goes wrong.
Some have a limit on the amount of call outs that you are entitled to – this is obscene! If you knew how often and when problems were going to happen you wouldn’t be calling for help! If your provider has this approach jump ship immediately!
Lack of – or poor quality – communication
Tech minded individuals – I think it’s fair to say – for their wide range of knowledge and skill with the latest technology aren’t predominantly the best at communicating, they often fall short regarding levels of communication not only expected but needed in order to support their clients sufficiently. This can lead to a complete relationship breakdown between you the client and your provider, you will be completely left in the dark about future plans, and your provider will have no knowledge of your vision for the company, your ethos, or requirements you may have.
IT support isn’t simple and choosing your provider shouldn’t be easier either, there are a number of elements to look out for in a good provider. Let’s take a look at what a good quality provider will do for you going forward.
A good IT provider
The most important feature to look out for in an IT provider is their levels of communication. Your provider should make an effort to be in contact with you or a representative your organization frequently – said contact should be scheduled and have a structure to it, by the end of the call you should have achieved something. Don’t push your expectations too far and expect a phone call every morning to see that everything is going okay, but there should definitely be effort made to get to know you, your team, your ethos, and the way in which your team complete their tasks. Your provider should have at the very least a basic understanding of organizations in your sector, the challenges you face daily, and the landscape of your industry. You should also have your own account handler – this handler should not just look for issues they should be forward thinking and through the use of the right technology devise a method that can ensure the continued success and future growth of your business.
An SLA (Service Level Agreement) is a set of minimum service parameters which a provider will ‘guarantee’ to meet in the delivery of your service. Obligations range widely, some include response times, and the speed of response depending on case severity. You MUST check these with the provider! Do not just sign it, if you do you may be committing to a service that simply doesn’t suit your organization – in turn, putting your entire business at risk.
As we stated earlier, proactivity is important! A good provider with a proactive approach to your IT infrastructure and support will initially break down your business into component parts with the intention of learning the way you do the things. They will then – by changing the way you do things – prepare you, your team, and your systems for any anticipated problems by updating or restructuring the way tasks are carried out. They also ensure that the correct infrastructure is in place so that if there is a problem the damage to the system will be minimal.
It is imperative that you get IT support that is aligned with the way you, your team, and your entire organization complete daily activities, by doing this you can be sure that the technological tools, services, and infrastructure you have procured are doing what they should be doing – benefiting your organization going forward. IT – if managed and implemented correctly – can weave its way into your business and gradually become if not the, then one of the most important parts of it.
In the following and last article in the series we are going to delve deeper into what an IT provider should be doing for your organization.
IT Support the Right Way
By trusting us with your IT needs we can guarantee that your organization is ready to succeed in the modern digital workplace. Our experience in working with small businesses in Ontario and the Great Toronto Area allows us to ensure that you can increase revenue, secure your data, and always operate at peak performance in the most secure way possible. All these abilities can be achieved at the very highest standard. Contact us now to find out what else we can do to improve your IT landscape and bring you even more benefits from your IT going forward.