How to select the right IT partner

Selecting the best IT partner for your organisation can be a nightmare as there are so many to choose from, and many appear to be offering similar services. Here are some tips of how to select the right IT partner for your organisation.

IT systems are crucial to every organisation and the necessity of efficient systems is set to increase within the coming years as technology becomes further advanced. The rewards of having a highly efficient system can be substantial, delivering numerous benefits across the entire organisation as well as helping the organisation to gain a competitive edge. This means that one of the most important steps with regards to IT solutions and IT support services is selecting the right IT partner to work with.

Where to start?

There are numerous ways of finding potential IT partners – internet searches being a popular option along with exhibitions, networking events, directories and referrals from trusted contacts.

Once you have shortlisted a selection, the next step is to look a little further into the potential IT partners considering the technical accreditations that they have, the amount of years in business, the general ethos of the organisation and visibility of recommendations.

After this, there are a few more factors to consider before narrowing the shortlist and determining the ideal IT business partner.

Will they take the time to fully understand your organisation?

The fundamental requirement of an IT system is to streamline processes and make the overall organisation more efficient. In order to provide the best solution, an IT partner must take the time to understand your organisation, how it works and what you aim to achieve from your IT solution. A good IT partner will ask insightful questions about the organisation and its aims and objectives.

Do they communicate effectively?

Good communication between organisations creates a better relationship and understanding of the plans, procedures and changes that are due to take place. Both written and verbal communication should be frequent and effectively communicate ideas, concepts, progress and the reasoning behind the actions.

Do they have experience of your industry?

An IT partner that has experience of working with a company within your industry is beneficial as it may increase the effectiveness of the final solution to meet your exact business requirements. It is worthwhile looking for client case studies and testimonials.

Do they have adequate resources?

Your IT partner must have the resources to not only implement and support the current project, but to be able to adapt the system to incorporate any changes in the future. You need to ensure that the implemented solution will be able to evolve as the business does, which is often fairly frequent in modern business environments.

What support services do they offer?

In order to ensure that you receive the best possible service from an IT partner, it is necessary to look at the various support options that the IT partner has to offer. For example, do they only offer a single service level of support? Does the support cost suit your budget, or is it worth spending a little extra to ensure the best cover for your systems? All of these are important decisions which should be considered before determining your IT partner.

You also need to ensure that the methods of support available such as telephone support, visits onsite and self-service availability are suitable for your organisation.

Are there plenty of client examples available?

If an IT partner is able to showcase a number of clients with high standard testimonials and recommendations from Managing Directors and other key decision makers, then the chances are that the company is reliable, trustworthy and produce effective results.

How is the company perceived within the community?

You can gain a much greater understanding of a company if you look at how it is perceived within the community. Through doing a little research about a potential business partner, you are able to discover more about the ethos, values and objectives of the company and its staff. This can be a good indicator as to whether they are suitable for your organisation to partner with.

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