In the first blog of the series we explored the problems with existing methods of IT support and how it rarely brings the positive changes that it should do. We also briefly explored what good strategically aligned, modern IT support is capable of.
Traditional IT support usually consists of a small team of tech savvy individuals with very little people skills that wait on hand for you to have a problem or outage. Their approach is predominantly static and not even close to dynamic enough for the modern-day workplace. Yes, they fix the problems as they arise (which is a job in its own right), but this simply isn’t enough because they also need to align with your organisation’s future plans of growth and allow you to reap the benefits of the modern strategically aligned technological workplace that we are lucky enough to be operating in.
When you understand how your arrangement should work with your IT provider it is then easier to highlight what an IT provider should do for you and how a good relationship between business and technology would be beneficial to your company.
A business-minded approach to tech
Money - it’s the reason you started a business in the first place so the thought of spending it unnecessarily isn’t a pleasant thought. We know that spare money isn’t easy to come by so, with this in mind, a good provider will find the most cost-effective method to approach your pre-agreed goals for both now and the future. They should also understand that, alongside not wanting to spend unnecessarily, Covid-19 has changed the landscape of work to unrecognisable levels.
A good IT provider will have experience in working with companies within your sector, and their knowledge should be greater than what you have inhouse – or else what’s the point in having them? Your provider should take time to hand down that knowledge to their points of contact in your organisation whenever the opportunity arises. The education of your employees is of the utmost importance to guarantee that, with or without your IT provider, you are getting the most possible from the tools your team are using.
An IT provider with experience working with businesses in your sector will look forward to identifying potential problems before they appear. Don’t expect there to never be problems though, as it is impossible to predict every single issue that could arise – some things that happen within an organisation appear differently to different individuals, and something you see as an issue may not seem as important to another team member so they may see no point in reporting it. A provider that approaches your IT correctly will communicate with team members from across your organisation in order to identify any issues that are causing them problems or concern with a particular work process. They are the best people to ask as they are the ones using the tools and services every day, so they know where the problems are – if any. Also the team now feel good that their concerns are being heard and remedied, in turn making team morale stronger, and their workday easier, alongside an increase in productivity.
Handle the heat
Successfully running a business that is – depending on its size – the livelihood of hundreds of people can cause stress and pressure levels to be through the roof, especially since the outbreak of Covid-19. A good IT provider will look to take as much of this pressure off your shoulders as possible. They will handle the technical stuff for you – with your voice as the overall yes or no – and decide on the best method of implementation. This will allow you to not feel as much pressure, stay calm, and perhaps – due to your more relaxed outlook – achieve a more productive workday.
There was nothing wrong with the traditional method of IT support that meant ‘keeping the wheels turning’ by any means necessary. Unfortunately, with the technological advancements we have experienced in modern times, this simply won’t suffice for the future. Don’t get us wrong, managing to ensure technology does not fail and/or effect productivity of a business is still a major concern of every IT professional but – as we just stated – with technological advances being as good as they have been, these parts of the system practically manage themselves. Modern IT support is centred around the employees – arguably the most important cog in the machine that is your organisation. If your employees are equipped with the right tools, they know how to use them effectively, and are involved in conversations around potential changes to the tools they are using, the other aspects of your business (customers, money, etc) all take care of themselves.
The future of IT support – delivered now
The need for a clear and concise form of communication with a constant individual is essential. This can be difficult to come by when it comes to IT providers – with them typically not being the best communicators – but without it your business won’t achieve the most from its IT.
Do not settle! Some providers will try and fob you off with a short, dry conversation about how things are going, but they have no excuse for doing this! The modern technological landscape offers a multitude of methods to communicate effectively from anywhere, so they have no reason not to be in contact often, and offering support, guidance, and education wherever possible. To guarantee they stay up to date with your ever changing and evolving organisation, and to ensure that a good relationship is maintained, your provider should be making continuing efforts to stay in touch.
A strategically aligned approach
We have all seen the false advertising; ‘unrivalled by the competition’, ‘the best on the market’, ‘a proactive, catered approach’, and you believe them as you have no reason not to. Most of these claims are false and you are being lied to, as most IT providers sit back and relax – receiving your hard-earned money and just waiting with their fingers crossed that the phone won’t ring.
Technology has made anything possible in the modern workplace – it has made it possible to achieve a great deal with not very much. You and your IT provider should be working in unison to guarantee that you implement technology that is right for your business, alongside the best strategy which has been developed specifically for your business. You will be left behind by your opposition if they are utilising IT to its full potential and it is catered around the way that business chooses to work. You don’t stand a chance without IT as your ally!
Road-mapping your technological strategy
A Roadmap – for those that don’t know – is a plan for the future of your business, in particular the IT.
It has become the norm to only speak to your IT provider in the event of a problem, meaning that most don’t even know what a Roadmap is let alone realise that it is an option. Having a Roadmap in the modern world is essential - creating a plan of action for all onboards that are due to take place now and into the future will allow you to align different parts of your organisation, and ensure that all the cogs in the machine that is your workplace are achieving the absolute maximum possible, with their workdays co-existing side by side with those from other departments. A Roadmap is essentially a plan that outlines the tools and strategies that are going to be adopted to make it easier for your team to work towards the same common goal.
Every organisation is required to adhere to some sort of regulation or compliance rules. Traditional reactive IT is a high-risk strategy in regard to compliance, as the potential risk legally could be disastrous or perhaps even business-defining if severe enough.
The knowledge which your modern IT support specialist will possess about businesses in your sector, alongside the time they have taken to get to know your organisation, will mean they are already in tune with the regulatory obligations that your business operates under. A good IT provider will be up to date with any changes to your regulatory obligations and will offer recommendations to your tech in order to remain compliant.
Your employees’ relationship with IT
Employees traditionally were not even a factor to IT providers when making decisions regarding your IT. This is ridiculous - why would you not include the team that are going to be using the tools in the decision-making process ? The majority of the time, the user knows exactly what they need to complete their job quickly, and to the best standard possible, so who is better to ask? They do the job every day – sometimes for decades at a time – and know exactly what is needed to make them, and the team, more effective.
As you can see, the importance of having a beneficial relationship with a good IT provider is essential to stand a chance of thriving in the chaotic modern world of technology.
A modern, proactive, flexible approach to IT
Are you tired of dealing with IT providers that aren't proactive or responsive? You are not alone; more and more business owners aren’t getting what they need or pay for when it comes to IT support. Our team offers a wide range of managed IT service plans which are individually catered to fit your organisation’s needs whatever your budget. We utilise cutting edge technology to improve the efficiency of your business, whilst ensuring we adhere to your company ethos and the way that you like to do things. Contact us now to see how we can help you take your business into the future with technology - and your IT provider, as trusted allies who have the same goal in mind - success for you and your business.