As a business grows, it’s common to seek the help of outside IT specialists or platform providers for specific solutions that you just can’t find in-house. The challenge is that IT vendors don’t always come insurance and certifications that make it easier to choose qualified contractors in other industries. To make the right choice, you need to take a closer look at the companies themselves – and Alliance Technology Partners has some tips that can help.
1. Before Anything, Make a List of Goals
You cannot pick out a proper IT firm to help your company until you know precisely what you need. Start by making a clear and detailed list of the services that you need. Don’t stay vague – know exactly how many people the service needs to cover, what sort of data it needs to provide, and what tools it needs to include. Only after you have this finalized list in hand can you accurately judge your IT options.
2. Check the Testimonials
First, look for testimonials on the website of the IT firm. Yes, these are hand-picked, but they can also tell you a lot about the company by the qualities and topics the testimonials focus on. Next, head over to their social media pages and check out review ratings and comments. Not all of these will be fair or accurate, but you can tell a lot from the general trend. While the Better Business Bureau isn’t always as useful in the IT industry as other areas, you may also want to look up your top options here when comparing.
3. Look for Case Studies that Meet Your Own Goals
High-quality IT vendors should be able to provide case studies of some of their solutions to common problems. Look for case studies that deal directly with the sort of challenge you are facing. This gives you an idea of how the firm has helped companies like yours in the past. If you can’t locate any case studies, then this is a big issue to ask directly: “How have you helped companies with this challenge in the past?”
4. Try Out Service Search Tools
There are online tools that can help you find vendors for specific solutions. These tools are especially helpful in the first stages of searching when you are compiling a list of firms to consider. Try using search tools like BixXPro to narrow down your options.
5. Pick a Firm with Great Contact Options
One of the most important qualities of an IT service company is their availability. How easy are they to contact? Can you get a real representative to talk to whenever you want? A high-quality firm should provide plenty of contact options across email, chat, phone calls, and in-person visits.
6. Review Security Information and Look for Any Security Warning Signs
When IT is involved, security is paramount. Make sure that your IT vendor has current, top-notch encryption and security options to protect both their data and your own. Look for any security breaches or data issues that the company may have dealt with in the past as well. This is another area where you shouldn’t be afraid to ask tough questions.
7. Talk About Pricing
Pricing is usually available via various packages, but this is another point where talking to IT firms will help you narrow down your options. The best vendors can quickly explain their packaging and offer customized options that fit your own budget, while worse options tend to be opaque or inflexible.