As an IT leader or executive, you know that finding the right service providers can be a daunting task. In the past, you may have experienced being oversold and underwhelmed by IT providers and their solutions. By taking a strategic approach to IT and Managed Services, you can establish a great partnership with a provider that meets your needs.
1. Define your business goals and objectives
Understanding your goals and objectives before approaching an IT provider opens a clear path towards real solutions.
Define what success looks like for your organization and identify how technology can help you achieve those goals.
2. Assess your technology needs
Identifying your technology needs and gaps in your business will help you understand the specific services and solutions you need from an IT provider.
List out the IT services you require, such as network security, cloud computing, or software development, and prioritize them based on your business needs.
3. Research potential IT providers
Before engaging with any IT services, do your own research on potential providers.
Look for providers with experience in your industry and success in delivering innovative solutions. Check out their customer reviews and ask for references from current clients.
4. Focus on partnership, not just price
IT isn’t just a service; it’s a partnership.
When engaging with an IT provider, focus on building that partnership. Look for providers who are willing to work collaboratively with you and who are committed to helping you achieve your business goals. A good IT provider can work as a strategic coach, offering advice and innovative solutions that can help you stay ahead of your competition.
5. Ask the right questions
Using the knowledge of your business goals and the research you did before engaging with an IT provider, ask questions about meeting your specific needs.
For example, ask about their experience with similar clients, their approach to problem-solving, and how they measure success. Ask for a detailed breakdown of their pricing and service level agreements.
6. Set clear expectations
Discuss with your IT provider what success looks like and establish metrics for measuring performance.
Establish a clear communication plan and make sure that everyone is on the same page.
7. Evaluate their technical expertise
Look for providers who have experience working with the specific technologies and platforms that you use in your business.
Ask about their experience with technical areas that are important to your business, like cloud computing, cybersecurity, software development, etc.
8. Look for a provider with a proven track record
Statistics show that IT downtime can be costly for businesses.
According to a study by Gartner, the average cost of IT downtime is $5,600 per minute. That means that if your business experiences an hour of downtime, it could cost you over $300,000. Look for an IT provider with a proven track record of keeping their clients' systems up and running, with minimal downtime.
9. Ensure they offer a comprehensive security plan
Cybersecurity is a critical concern for businesses of all sizes.
According to a report by Cybersecurity Ventures, cybercrime is projected to cause $6 trillion in damages by 2025. When evaluating IT providers, make sure they have a comprehensive security plan in place to protect your business from cyber threats.
10. Assess their approach to innovation
Innovation is key to staying ahead of the competition in today's fast-paced business environment.
Look for an IT provider that takes a proactive approach to innovation and is committed to helping your business leverage new technologies to achieve your goals.
Checklist for IT Discovery Meetings
When searching for IT/Managed Services providers, it's important to have a checklist of things to look for during discovery meetings. Here are some items that should be on your checklist:
Experience: Does the IT provider have experience working with clients in your industry?
Technical expertise: Does the IT provider have expertise in the specific technologies and platforms that you use in your business?
Services offered: Does the IT provider offer the services you need, such as cloud computing, cybersecurity, software development, and network security?
Innovative solutions: Is the IT provider committed to delivering innovative solutions that can help you stay ahead of the competition?
Communication: Does the IT provider have a clear communication plan and are they easy to work with?
Pricing: Does the IT provider offer transparent pricing and service level agreements that meet your budget requirements?
References: Can the IT provider provide references from current clients that can vouch for their services and expertise?
Security: Does the IT provider have a comprehensive security plan in place to protect your business from cyber threats?
Track record: Does the IT provider have a proven track record of keeping their clients' systems up and running, with minimal downtime?
Partnership: Is the IT provider committed to building a partnership with your business, rather than just selling services?
Having the right IT/Managed Services provider is crucial for the success of your business. By taking a strategic approach and focusing on factors such as technical expertise, a proven track record, and commitment to your business, you can establish a great partnership with a provider that meets your needs.