IT services are among the most invested in services on the planet when it comes to business line items. The simple reason for that is that technology is seen as the primary catalyst in modern businesses when it comes to both cost savings and a heightened ability to service customers.
So then, how are your IT services looking? Are you satisfied with your laptops, VPN, network speed, shared printers, and everything in-between?
If you feel tech is inhibiting your operation more than it should be, finding new IT service management solutions should be on your 2021 to-do list.
But how can you find great IT managed services companies? Below, our team takes you through simple steps that’ll aid you in identifying potential partners and picking the right one.
1. Understand Your Goals
A successful partnership with an IT services provider comes down to them understanding what it is you’re trying to achieve. That’s going to be hard if you don’t understand what it is you’re trying to achieve.
Therefore, the first step you’ll want to take as you set out to look for IT service management solutions is what you hope to get from a partner. What could a partner do for you that would make an investment in them worth it?
If you can answer that question, you can have a productive conversation with IT prospects. If you can’t, this ITSM systems article may be able to help.
2. Know Your Budget
Not all IT services are created equal. Some are budget focused and manage hundreds of different clients. Others are expensive, “blue chip” services that just manage one or two clients.
As you go through your options, use your budget to filter prospects so you don’t waste too much time getting excited about partners you can’t afford.
We’re big proponents of going the extra mile when it comes to IT spending because, oftentimes, stretching your budget just a hair can net you a partner that’s worlds better than you otherwise would have gotten. If you have a hard limit on what you can spend though, there’s no use spectating outside the realm of possibility.
3. Start Asking Around
With your goals and budget in mind, it’s time to start figuring out the names of IT service management providers in your area. A great place to start as you do this is by talking to other businesses that operate in and around your niche.
Word of mouth recommendations that come from other companies are powerful because those companies that are willing to recommend their IT providers know exactly how well they operate. Put another way, working with a service provider that has already been vetted by eyes you trust means a lower chance that you’ll end up doing business with a bad partner.
4. Hit the Web
Not every business owner is lucky enough to have relationships with other businesses that can offer IT recommendations. If that’s the case for you, don’t worry!
Another great way to find prospects is by hitting online review boards.
Both Google and Yelp should offer a breadth of options when it comes to IT picks. Any company you see that has four-star averages or better and ten or more reviews are well worth engaging!
5. Ask About On-Site Support
Many IT service management providers, particularly ones that are economical, operate solely remotely. This allows them to keep their costs down while servicing multiple businesses.
While remote support works 9 out of 10 times, in some cases, on-site support will be needed. That could be true in cases of emergency mitigation or meetings that lay out long-term visions for your company. In those instances, will your services provider be willing to meet on-site? If so, how much will they charge?
Getting a sense of the in-person support you’ll get from a provider is important to assess straight away so you can make sure your expectations align with your partners’.
6. Schedule Interviews
Once you’ve gotten to this step, you have enough context on providers to start scheduling interviews. Rather than getting caught up in “analysis paralysis” we recommend getting those interviews going.
As you move through interviews, notice first how easy it is to get on a service provider’s calendar. Those that are extremely busy may be just as busy when they’re working with you which could lead to poor service.
On the phone with providers, take note of how you feel when talking to them. Do you vibe well? Are they big picture thinkers that can help you plan your company’s IT future or are they just troubleshooters?
All of that should weigh into who you ultimately pick.
7. Go With a Collaborator
We just touched on the “planner versus troubleshooter” idea but it warrants one more mention. Many IT providers are focused on solving problems you bring to them. Few are equally as focused on collaborating with you to help you plan your IT infrastructure’s future.
You always want to go with a collaborator over a troubleshooter as they take initiative and will help you future-proof your business.
IT Service Management Is Well Worth an Investment This Year
2021 will continue to be a year that favors technologically prepared companies. The best way for you to get prepared is to start making key investments in IT service management.
By doing so, you’ll set your company up to run more efficiently, save more money, and above all else, service your customers better than your competitors can.
Looking for more context on IT? Curious to learn more about IT managed services companies?
If you answered yes to either of those questions, we welcome you to explore more of the content we have available on our blog!