Things to look for in an IT Company
Technology is increasingly important for businesses of all types and sizes. In recent years, we have seen more and more companies adopting exciting new technologies that have revolutionised the way they do business. However, with this added reliance, also comes risks.
Not only do businesses need to be able to troubleshoot and fill knowledge gaps, but they also need to have robust defences against cyber attacks and the more dangerous elements of the internet. Hiring an IT support company is a sure-fire way to increase your peace of mind, and have someone to turn to in your moments of need, but how to choose? Here are things to look for in an IT company.
1 – Flexible contracts
It’s important to be able to test the waters with your provider. Some IT companies will be somewhat heavy-handed with their contract terms and want to lock you into a set number of years. While this provides peace of mind for the provider, it often doesn’t suit their clients. Businesses need flexibility, and they need to have the freedom to choose.
The last thing you want is to sign up for a great price, but realise six months down the line that the reason that price was so low was because of the quality of service they provide. You’d then be stuck with a provider that is potentially hard to contact, slow to react, and inefficient in their service.
A good IT provider shouldn’t be afraid of shorter-term contracts and should offer you at least some of the flexibility you require. If their service is as good as they say it is, then you shouldn’t want to move on.
2 – Customer feedback
We are social beings, and because of this, we look for recommendations from our peers. Where once this type of advice was mostly given face to face, or after lots of phone calls and research, it’s now easy to gather your intelligence online. Companies that serve their customers well should have testimonials available to view, and you should be able to find reviews of their service with a simple Google search. It’s important to remember that online reviews aren’t always accurate, and newer companies might not have many reviews at all – however, it’s usually a good litmus test.
3 – Company culture
When choosing a company to work with, it’s important to understand their business and the type of culture they create. An IT company that treats its employees with respect, and invests in their development is more likely to provide a good service to you as a customer, than one that has low morale. Ask questions to try and decipher whether they are the type of company you want to do business with.
4 – Training and certifications
Technology is advancing every day, and there are new services and tools out there to take advantage of. A company that embraces change will be able to pass on these advancements to its customers. Whereas one that is stuck in their ways, and refuses to adapt will hinder their customers. This is even more important when considered in the context of cyber security. Look out for an IT support company that displays relevant qualifications and certifications and seeks to grow their knowledge.
5 – Response times
Service Level Agreements (SLA’s) should be incorporated into your contract with your IT company. They outline a guaranteed response time that a problem will begin to be addressed and what consequences there will be if this doesn’t happen. SLA’s provide peace of mind to the customer that they will be communicated in a good fashion, not that the issue will be fixed by that time. Some IT problems can be more complex than others, and if an IT company claims to be able to fix any issue in a specific set time then they are likely to be cutting corners. A good IT company should communicate with you with transparency, and – where possible – provide you with workarounds to help you through any sticky periods.
6 – Data Security
As a business owner, you should be well aware of the importance of strong data security protocols. Data protection failures can result in huge damage to your reputation, fines, and even prison time. So data security must be ‘baked in’ to every part of your company. An IT company with expertise in this field can help you to stay compliant and avoid breaches that could compromise your business.
Here at ECL, we help businesses in Essex and the South East make sense of IT. With over a quarter of a century of experience, we offer a consistently high level of service, encompassing a wide and constantly evolving range of commercial IT systems. We offer free IT consultancy and planning services to small to medium-sized organisations, tailored IT solutions, network design, installation, and management, cloud hosting services, and much more. Call us today on 01268 575300 or email us at email@example.com to discuss your needs.
ECL recognises that every client is different, and every client has a different IT support requirement. Whatever the size of your business, we can offer a support scenario to suit your needs.
Whether your business already uses Cloud services or you’re considering the Cloud as a possible way forward, talk to us first. We can provide anything from fully hosted IT infrastructures on our own ECL Private Cloud, to simple on-line backups. We can also give expert advice on Office 365 and other Cloud platforms.
How would losing access to your IT systems and data for days, or even weeks, affect your business? For many if not most companies this would be a nightmare scenario, with potentially very serious consequences.