Outsourcing IT support to an external partner – whether wholly or partially – has emerged as a rapidly growing company procedure in recent years.
And with the transition to online maintaining pace in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the investment into an extended service provider has the potential to completely transform the way you do business – whether you’re a fledgling start-up or an established organisation.
Of course, due diligence and comprehensive research play a pivotal role in any transaction – allowing you to assess the feasibility of sourcing a new service or process and what the accompanying benefits may be. The problem is, however, that the competition has grown so vast that it can be difficult to distinguish one expert from another – and if you’ve read our recent blog, you’ll already know there’s so much more to outsourcing your IT support than jumping at the first search result you’ve stumbled across.
So, without further ado, here are 6 top tips to help you find the perfect match for your business needs…
1) Remember, flexibility is crucial
The ability to act with speed and integrity should be a default for any IT partner – but unfortunately, that isn’t always the case.
As much as you plan and prepare for technical issues and security risks, unforeseen downtime is an inevitable part of business. The important thing is that your IT partner has the flexibility to focus on rapid disaster recovery and help you return to ‘business as usual# as soon as possible – no matter when or where a problem arises.
Ideally, IT partners will follow a ‘problem first, contract later’ mindset – and that’s our approach here at Central. This ensures that any problems don’t continue to escalate. Though, it goes without saying that trust is a mutual exercise – if you want to be confident in your external relation, give them reason to be confident in you.
2) Seek a real, human connection
With a core philosophy of relationship building, we at Central believe that IT partners should offer so much more than simply meeting objectives in the technical sense.
Keeping the service personal and human is part of our DNA, and we strive to go the extra mile for each and every one of our customers by building meaningful connections and maintaining consistent dialogue. Therefore, you can be confident that you’ll never just be ‘a ticket’ to us.
No matter the level of support you’re seeking, you should always feel like a priority with your IT partner.
3) Look further than a ‘sticking plaster’ solution
While it can seem convenient to pursue quick-fixes for your of-the-moment IT needs, it can end up costing your business more in the long run.
To get the best from your IT solutions, your external support provider should take a strategic view of your needs and deliver honest, innovative results that are built to last.
4) Gather references from longstanding clients
At Central, we pride ourselves on nurturing genuine, long-term relationships – some of our customers have been with us for over 20 years!
With this expansive history, we can offer valuable insight into the trust and credibility of our business through testimonials from real people. And we don’t just pick and choose the best bits – we offer connections to existing clients so you can discuss thoughts and experiences directly. And this is something you should look for when choosing your outsourced technology partner.
If a company is reluctant to give you the contact details of their clients, this should start to ring alarm bells as to why…
5) Look for an organisation with ‘soul’
Searching for the right IT partner is about more than just the provision of service of course, that has to be great – it’s about finding someone who operates as a true extension of your team. That’s not to say your values and ethos should be identical – rather that they should be complementary.
At Central, we don’t just serve SMEs, we’ve built a rich reputation within the social housing sector as part of our commitment to people. This has included partnerships with local housing associations to provide free Wi-Fi access and food donations to residents in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
6) Check them out on social media
When investing time and money into an external partner, a comprehensive examination of their social media is a must.
Not only will this allow you to evaluate the size and scope of their existing customer base, but it also provides a great cross-reference for their company values, culture and tone of voice – consistency is key!
There’s no denying that the search for the perfect IT partner is no overnight solution, but the benefits that coincide – from cost efficiencies and increased internal productivity to the introduction of fresh expertise and growth opportunities – make it a worthwhile effort. For more information on the range of support we offer, contact one of our specialists today or visit our services page.
Central Networks are a strategic technology partner. Excellent technology is a given, customer service, trust and long-term relationships are what drive our business. We support CEOs, Heads of IT, IT technicians and transformation directors to ensure technology provides an edge to their organisations.