Every organisation relies on IT systems, from emails to websites and numerous software products, that all need to be ‘up’ 24/7. IT impacts almost every business function and operational service.
Most people only notice, or need to contact IT support when something goes wrong. From a security breach - with the NHS along with many other organisations the latest victims of this worrying trend - to an email failure; IT support is mission critical and needs to step up when problems arise.
Unfortunately, not every company gets the right level of support and customer / user service. Some IT outsourcing companies don't take their responsibilities as serious as others.
Now more than ever organisations that handle customer and client data need to think carefully about those that supply IT and software services. New European legislation, known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into effect on 25 May 2018 - with more severe fines for any organisation that suffers a preventable data breach.
Data protection and cyber security is high on the agenda of any organisation that is worried about GDPR compliance. But IT support covers a broad range of services. Are you confidence your current provider is providing the right level of support? Here are a few things to consider.
Is Your IT Support Provider Up To Scratch?
#1: Do you understand them: Do they understand your organisation?
Do they speak too much jargon? Struggle to make or understand the business case for a course of action? This isn’t the 1980s. IT is no longer hidden in a back room somewhere.
IT affects every aspect of your organisation; therefore, you should work with an IT outsourcing provider that speaks your language and can make a sensible, cost-effective argument for every short and long-term IT decision and strategy, all whilst adding value to your business.
If you want to learn more in depth about the risks of IT outsourcing, make sure you download a copy of our guide on the 6 risks to address when outsouricng IT.
#2: Are they accountable, do they regularly achieve performance targets?
Whether you outsource or work with an in-house team, your IT staff should work to agreed targets. At the very least, an IT provider should set response times within a Service Level Agreement. You should know when an issue is going to get resolved since every minute systems are down is costing you money. Staff can’t work. Customers can’t get in contact.
Accountability works on numerous levels. There should be clear processes and targets for fixing problems. However, beyond responsive issues, a forward-thinking IT partner should focus on long-term goals and work towards actively improving your team's productivity and other issues that would generate healthy returns.
Does your IT provider focus on long and short-term issues?
Maybe now is the time to rethink what you want out of your IT relationships.
#3: Vendor impartiality and costs you can anticipate
No one wants a line-item cost going up and down every month unless there is an agreed upper limit. Another thing to avoid is a service provider who is getting commission payments for suggesting a certain technology brand. And yet, these are problems we see all too often with other IT companies.
Clients should expect impartiality. An IT provider should provide an impartial assessment of IT provisions and technology, suitable for your business needs, not their sales targets. Not only that, but service provision should be agreed in advance, not a shock every time an invoice arrives. Flexible support and costs are great, providing there is a limit the client is aware of and an alert process if support is going to exceed those costs one month.
Working with the wrong IT service provider can cost you a small fortune, and set your organisation back with the wrong software, systems and IT processes. Picking the right partner can save you time and money, make it easier to stay connected, improve productivity and ensure you can innovate faster than your competitors.
How does your current IT support score when you consider the questions above?
If you'd like to learn more about outsourcing IT read our guide below.