Having trouble finding the right IT company to service your needs? When it comes to something as crucial as tech security, can you be certain your information is safe? In a crash or crisis, are you assured immediate service? Minneapolis IT service provider Tech Guru talks to clients about issues like these every day. “So many tech people make a bad name for the rest of us,” says Tech Guru founder and CEO Dan Moshe. “If I can save somebody from hiring the wrong IT company, I’ll call this article is a success.” Below, review the most important issues to review with any tech service provider your organization may be considering.
1. Feel Secure with Your Tech
“It’s as important as hiring an employee. Hiring your technology team should be taken just as seriously,” says Dan. Management should do their due diligence by check references and backgrounds on the people who will have access to nearly all of a company’s information and trade secrets.
Security is important. In one of the most extreme cases of a breach in company trust, Edward Snowden revealed the inner workings of an entire organization as its IT administrator. Your IT people have access to everything behind your login and password. You want to make sure the person you’re working with aligns with your core values and has your best interest in mind.
2. Like-Mindedness Matters
Contrary to stereotypes you may have about tech people, they aren’t geniuses who should talk over your head. Tech Guru employees encourage questions and remind clients that there are no dumb questions in IT.
“It’s important to put things in plain English so you can understand it,” says Dan. Is your tech provider interested and willing to understand your business? Like a doctor with a good bedside manner, the provider should make you feel confortable and confident about your technology. Still unsure about feeling a “click” with some of the most important people interacting with your company? If you’re serious about working with them, check out their offices and see what the company culture is like.
3. They Work for You
The IT company should earn your trust and your business. Before giving someone the keys to your technology, have as much information as possible ready for them to avoid having them log into your computers or install software.
Dan calls this preliminary information a “Discovery,” and clients rarely have this info available for him. You should be able to provide:
- Inventory of software/hardware
- How email is hosted
- Details on your internet connection
Make sure the provider has the competencies to support your environment. Do their business hours align with yours? Do they have an emergency number for after-hours? Have they worked with a firm similar to yours, and understand how to best service your niche?
4. Sign a Contract that Works
“A common mistake people make is to hire an IT compnany emotionally, or by looking strictly at the hard costs,” says Dan. Dan has gotten calls from prospects a year later who have said, “We thought we were hiring a a less expensive provider, but they caused so many problems and rework.” Of course, the provider then billed for the rework, and now the prospect has paid more than what Tech Guru had initially quoted.
Make sure it’s crystal-clear what is considered in-scope and not in-scope for the provider’s program so there are no surprises. If possible, negotiate so there’s no lengthy contract, or that cancellation is allowed with 30 days notice. “There’s no reason for a lengthy contract, and yet I see that a lot,” says Dan.
Remember, everything is negotiable, down to the payment terms.
5. Make IT Part of Your Business Vision
Have a vision in mind for what you want technology to do for your organization. Dan likes to ask prospective clients, “In a perfect world, how does technology work for you?” If you can say, for example, “My company’s vision is 20 people and three offices in three different cities,” you can define how to accomplish that from a technological standpoint.
Naturally, every tech person will have a biases for or against your existing technology. Find out what their biases are (are they for the cloud or against the cloud?). Make sure their biases work for you.
You’re the Boss of Your Technology
You’re no stranger to management. If the consensus is to hire small and hire fast for employees, the same goes for IT service providers. If you don’t find they’re taking care of you, fire them fast and move on.
Ready to put Tech Guru to the test of servicing your company’s IT?
Dan Moshe helps business owners in the Minneapolis area with all things tech, and is the CEO of the Caring IT company Tech Guru. He cares about your business as much as you do!