Information technology (IT) is essential to the success of any company. But what many business owners don't realize is just how important it is to have the right IT partner in order to achieve organizational goals. A good IT partner can help your business grow and succeed, while a subpar one can hinder growth, cause a lot of headaches, and waste your time and money.
So, what should you look for when choosing a tech partner? Here are seven essential qualities that your IT partner should possess.
1. Industry-specific expertise
Your IT partner must have a deep understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities that come with your business and industry. Otherwise, they won't be able to provide the best possible service. For example, if you're in the healthcare industry, you'll want an IT partner that understands things such as Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance and how to keep protected health information secure. This is to ensure you avoid the risk of noncompliance and other industry-specific security threats.
2. Focus on security by design
Your IT partner should be thoroughly knowledgeable about security and compliance requirements and be able to design a customized IT solution that meets all of these. So when vetting an IT partner, ask about specific solutions like firewalls, intrusion detection/prevention systems, and encryption that can ensure your data's security.
3. A commitment to customer service
Another essential quality to look for in an IT partner is their commitment to customer service. When something goes wrong with your system, your IT partner should be there to help you fix the problem as soon as possible. So choose one that offers 24/7 support and is always responsive to your needs.
You should also ask a potential IT partner about their response times, or how soon they can guarantee to address your concerns. Working with an IT provider that can offer short response times means you won't have to wait around for a long time to get the help you need in case of an IT emergency.
4. A track record of success
Pick an IT partner that has a proven track record of helping businesses like yours grow and succeed. Online Computers, for instance, has a decade of experience in supporting the growth of small- and medium-sized businesses in New Jersey. We also have a team of IT specialists, so you get dedicated support and varied expertise that will meet all of your needs.
It’s a good idea to ask potential IT partners for some case studies or references from satisfied customers. You can also do your own research on the IT company, such as by gathering customer feedback online through relevant forums or different social media platforms.
5. Flexibility and adaptability
Technology is constantly and rapidly changing, so it's essential to find an IT partner that is flexible and adaptable to these changes. Remote and hybrid working have become the new normal for many businesses, so your IT partner should be able to provide a secure and reliable solution that supports these work setups.
6. Great value for money
While you don't want to skimp on quality, it's also important to find an IT partner that offers affordable rates. But don't simply go for the cheapest option; choose one that offers the best bang for your buck. For instance, compare the IT company’s prices against the service availability stipulated in the service level agreement. A 99.99% service availability means that your IT partner's services will be down for less than one hour per year, which means you’ll get adequate support for what you’re paying.
7. Local expertise
Choose an IT partner with local expertise, or the ability to understand your specific needs as a business in your local market. This is important because each market has different regulations, laws, and customs that your IT partner should know.
IT partners that understand the local market can align the right technology with your business goals. Since they intimately know the market you’re in, they have a good grasp of how you can succeed in that market with the right technology solutions. This way, they can help you stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive in your industry.
With the right IT partner, you can have the peace of mind that your business is poised for growth. If you’re looking to partner with a tech company that exhibits all the seven qualities listed above, look no further than Online Computers. We’ll help your business succeed, and we’ll be there for the long haul. Contact us today to learn more.