IT service providers are known for trying to up sell, oversell, over-commit and under deliver. Decisions are made out of reactive necessity rather than proactive thought leadership.
You wish you could rely on internal staff but your business is growing and your IT department is overwhelmed. So how do you find a technology provider who you can trust to help you reach your goals? You search for an IT partner.
A technology partner will align their goals and objectives with that of their customers’. They collaborate to understand, set expectations, develop and execute on strategies that seek to enhance the operation of the customer’s business. To find a technology partner that has your back, we’ve come up with a few things to look for when evaluating providers:
They Have A Proven Track Record
No one wants to feel cheated or left stranded. Make sure you are choosing a provider with a history of success. Do your research to find a technology provider with honors and recognition for their services. Dive deep into company websites and review what their customers are saying and who they are, whether they have expertise in your industry or meet industry specific qualifications, past project successes and case studies. Do your homework so you don’t end up with the wrong partner.
They Are Invested In Your Success
Time is money for you. Invest in a company that cares about you making money just as much as you do. They have to be more invested in your success than they are in meeting their own goals.
Notice I said goals and not sales quotas. If a provider offers a lower price than other options and you are stuck in a contract, best believe they are doing everything they can to make the extra money they lose each month by offering you a lower price. It’s hard to care about your well-being when they’re so focused on meeting sales quotas. Think about it.
They Own It
A good partner takes responsibility for their actions, or in-actions, will accept accountability for their results and take ownership of their own mistakes – no exceptions or excuses. Everyone makes mistakes; however, owning them separates the partners from the providers. Find a technology partner that can admit when they’ve made a mistake, and then hauling ass to fix it (right, of course).
They Have Awesome Project Managers
The key to being effective with IT is executing well. An IT service provider is only as good as its PMs. They have the hardest job in the whole life cycle of a project and carry a tremendous amount of responsibility – a manager of managers. If PMs are not awesome at what they do, expectations and understandings are easily lost in translation. They must be able to handle the pressure and still go above and beyond to make it happen.
They Have A Warehouse Of Best Practices
You know what they say – practice makes perfect. The longer you work on something, the better you get at doing it. The same is true when it comes to implementing technology solutions. Look for a provider who has refined their technology alignment strategy – making sure technology solutions align with industry requirements and needs of the business – over time through past successes. An ideal technology partner has a defined methodology and extensive business knowledge, willing to customize solutions based on specific needs of your organization.
They Are Reliable And Supportive
It’s nice to rest easy knowing you will get support when you need it. You should expect any partner to have experts on stand-by, willing and ready to support their solutions. You should feel confident that your partner is in it for the long haul and will be there as your needs change over time.
They ALWAYS Find A Way
Your technology partner must achieve results despite the inevitable barriers and roadblocks. Nothing should stand in their way for long.