Any business relationship is built on a combination of trust, communication and the ability to manage each other’s expectations. Working with business IT support services is no different. The main benefits of outsourcing services such as IT include the expertise, technical know-how, insights and load sharing that an external provider can bring.
Feel the business IT support services love…
Finding a specialist with whom you can build a long-term, mutually beneficial working relationship is invaluable. So, read on for some ideas on how to get the most out of your business IT support services.
Manage expectations from the word ‘go’
It is so often the case that, when business relationships break down, it is due to mismatched expectations. These could be around job roles, project briefings, levels of input and even operational logistics, such as when and where someone is expecting to work on something. Start the right way by discussing what you expect of your business IT support services provider from the very beginning. Schedule regular review meetings to check on progress and discuss any changes that may need to be made.
It’s an old acronym, but still, a good one – setting Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely goals will help both sides know exactly what needs to be done, and how and when by. In a similar way to setting expectations, creating proper goals or targets helps everyone know where they stand and what needs to be done. Some goals will be time-led, such as office relocation, IT system upgrade or switching a telephone network over to VoIP connectivity. Others are more fluid, for example, IT help desk support services or mobile troubleshooting.
Know Your People
Make sure that you know who you are dealing with – take the time to get to know the key contacts within your business IT support services supplier. Face-to-face meetings are back with a vengeance now, as are opportunities to meet for a coffee or lunch to discuss business and catch up. Alternatively, having a regular Zoom call or similar will help keep people in touch with each other. Don’t forget to let your IT services supplier know if key employees change roles or leave the company, and introduce new arrivals as quickly as is appropriate, so they can start building up good working relationships as well.
As well as key people, your business IT support services company will benefit hugely from knowing about things as soon as possible. Forthcoming changes, such as new project briefs, changing business priorities, potential issues or delays and more will
help them to plan and react to what’s happening in your company more quickly and effectively. The more you trust your supplier and share key knowledge with them, the better they can support you in your time of need. Contact them in good time if you know you are going to need extra support.
An organisation’s IT is often one of its most valuable assets, after its people. Data storage, internet and phone connectivity, sales and marketing – all of these functions and more rely on IT systems working properly with no data leaks or outages. Invest properly, not only in IT software and infrastructure but also in cyber security measures, back-ups and IT business support services. This will ensure that your systems are kept safer and more robust for uninterrupted business operations.
Finally, don’t leave everything to your IT business support services team. If you have ideas about how you want your IT to work, speak up. Be proactive and start a conversation with your specialists to see what they think about your ideas. The best innovations stem from a single, initial conversation, or a salient question asked at just the right time. Be proactive with software updates, server maintenance and telephone network revisions too. Get involved with decisions around cybersecurity. Technology is evolving at a rapid rate and your business could really benefit from upgrades and new ideas. Don’t always wait for your IT services supplier to come to you with ideas – see what you can come up with as well! The best working relationships are, after all, about working together as a team to find solutions.