Let's say you're running a business—owner, executive, someone in a major 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 obvious state of affairs for most companies, but 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 have people capable of explaining their services to relative novices as well.
2. Continuously study emerging tech, especially in data security. A good IT company can introduce you to new server systems, workstations, useful 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 biggest vulnerability most companies have today and the one that 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 be able to 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 as time passes, it becomes more and more about communication. If you need to consult on an IT issue, great companies can give you the answers you seek understandably at minimal cost.
6. Help you be greener. Environmental sustainability is all the rage, but the move to a largely 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 be able to help you recycle old computers. Beyond the moral good, you are able to 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 they build the system from the bottom up and know everything about how it works, but struggle with the unfamiliar. Great 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 good workstations, and making sure your servers are running optimally. Great IT pros today can do all that and also feel comfortable working within the complex marketplace that is mobile technology. They can advise you on the best mobile solutions for your business or take what you have, and make anything that's 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.