Let's say you are running a business—owner, executive, someone in a significant decision-making position. You know your industry forward and backward, top to bottom, and even though you're not an IT wizard, you know the company needs an upgrade in their IT services.
When you go shopping for an IT company, what do you want to see in them? Your priorities are your own, but generally speaking, here are ten that make an IT company great.
1. Put their clients first. It is the first rule of business—your customers are your lifeblood. This is an apparent state of affairs for most companies. Still, sometimes IT professionals get so caught up in their technological interests that they forget to look at your business first. Also, great IT companies are not only focused on the tech you need but also have people capable of explaining their services to relative novices.
2. Continuously study emerging tech, especially in data security. A good IT company can introduce you to new server systems, workstations, helpful software for your business, and so on. A great IT company can do all that and also stay on top of data security issues. Data security is not just another part of the job; it is the most significant vulnerability most companies have today and evolves the fastest.
3. Email scams, also known as phishing attacks, represent 91 percent of cyberattacks and are by far the most likely route hackers have to your data. IT companies should give you the tools to teach your employees how to protect your company data better or possibly run training for the employees directly.
4. Great IT firms know when to move your data to the Cloud—or if you should not. The Cloud has significant data backup benefits, along with being less expensive than some alternatives. The vast majority of data can be safely stored there, and IT pros can help you decide how to protect anything so valuable it must be stored elsewhere.
5. Answer questions. IT has always been about technology, but it becomes more and more about communication as time passes. If you need to consult on an IT issue, outstanding companies can give you the answers you seek understandably at a minimal cost.
6. Help you be greener. Environmental sustainability is all the rage, but moving to a primarily digital landscape still leaves most businesses printing reams of pages every day. Great IT firms can move you into a paperless world and save significant money in the long term.
7. Keeping with the environmental theme, IT companies should also help you recycle old computers. Beyond the moral good, you can make a potentially substantial, tax-deductible donation without turning your worker-hours to the task.
8. If you have an in-house IT staff and need help, they can do that for you. Some IT companies are good when building the system from the bottom up and know everything about how it works but struggle with the unfamiliar. The best companies can build everything or work within the system you already have set up, supplementing your current staff or providing replacements for your regular staff's vacations or sick days.
9. Take care of all your mobile needs. Old-school IT pros are fantastic at ensuring maximum uptime for hardline connections, building suitable workstations, and ensuring your servers are running optimally. Today's excellent IT professionals can do all that and feel comfortable working within mobile technology's complex marketplace. They can advise you on the best mobile solutions for your business or take what you have and make anything capable of working work.
10. They are ready to help any time you need it. Hardware failures can happen at any time, day or night. There are good, small companies that can do what you need most of the time; a great company has enough pros to assist you during an emergency. They give you peace of mind, and at the end of the day, that's what we need from IT more than anything else.
This might at first blush seem like a lot of work and a lot of questions—but it is critically important to do your homework. It matters that you get the best possible advice, guidance, and tools to most effectively serve both your business and your customers. To learn how TCS can help, contact us at 336.804.8449 or visit www.tcsusa.com.