Working with a new technology partner can be challenging, here are some tips to ensure a long and fruitful relationship.

Working with a quality IT services firm can have a transformative impact on your business. The partnership can make your operations more dependable, help you to provide a better customer experience, improve teamwork and morale while ensuring your staff has access to the best new technologies.

In previous articles, we discussed the importance of finding an IT service provider that’s a good fit for your organization. But even with a reputable firm in your corner, these relationships aren’t always an automatic boon for your business; you need to maintain them to ensure they provide the right benefit.

Choose a Long-Term, Strategic IT Partner

In the past, businesses called IT support teams to come fix their systems when something went wrong. This reactive approach to network support was not effective, for many reasons. Most important is that you’re already losing productivity and your staff is already frustrated. That’s not a good time to start repairing your network.

This approach, known as the “break-fix” model, is now obsolete. Businesses have embraced what’s known as the “managed IT services” model, which provides ongoing, proactive monitoring and network maintenance for a flat monthly fee.

Though the managed IT service model better aligns your interests with your provider (because they work less the better your technology functions), partnership with any company offering managed services is not a guarantee of success; you must work with the right partner.

Here are some questions you can ask to identify a managed IT service partner:

  • Do they have a long track record of helping companies in your field or industry?
  • Are they willing to share their IT help desk metrics? How do those metrics compare to providers?
  • What services are included in the IT support solutions? Is unlimited onsite service included?
  • Are there hidden fees somewhere in the service package? How will they charge for project work?

While it’s important to start with good online research, it’s often helpful to ask other businesses in your local community. A good IT service provider will have deep roots in your area, which will be reflected by testimonials and client recommendations.

Did you know that 75% of small and midsized businesses outsource some or all their IT management tasks to an MSP?


Strengthen Your IT Partnership with Openness and Honesty

Your IT service provider should be going the extra mile to make you feel supported and listened to. That will include regular sit-down meetings between your team and theirs to discuss network performance metrics, IT roadmap and strategy sessions to keep you on the cutting edge, 24/7 help desk support, and much more.

But IT partnership is a two-way street. While you must work with a quality provider, the relationship will fail to achieve your goals if you don’t invest time and energy into the partnership. Here are some things a business can do to strengthen that relationship:

  • Be candid about chronic IT pain points and organizational hurdles
    A good IT service provider will want to understand not just how your technology functions —which they do with a thorough audit at the start of your relationship — but also how your team works. Share that information with them and allow them to customize your network and support to meet the specific needs of your company
  • Update your partner with the latest information
    If you’ve recently hired a team of freelancers who are accessing your network remotely, that’s going to affect how you should manage and secure your data. By letting your IT service partner know about staff changes, new priorities, and technology abnormalities, you can help ensure they’re giving you the right types of attention.

Communication between you and your provider will be especially important in organizations that face high regulatory compliance requirements. Businesses dealing with HIPAA, PCI-DSS, NYS-DFS, or other compliance standards will want a partner that can respond quickly to changes, to help you avoid fines or other penalties.

Stay Open to New (and Improved) Ways of Working

The nature of technology is that it’s always changing. While the focus of any IT support provider should be stabilizing servers, workstations, and PCs, there will likely be areas where your IT partner will want to help improve upon your workflows too.

Sometimes, those improvements may take cultural shifts too.

For example, moving productivity applications and collaboration to cloud platforms like Microsoft 365 can provide a huge boost in efficiency, helping staff develop new ideas and innovate much faster than they could through email. Strategic cloud migration can also help you streamline your IT infrastructure, procurement, and budgeting.

91 of the largest 100 companies in the United States are now using Microsoft Teams to facilitate cloud productivity.

But cloud computing, like mobile devices and new cybersecurity protections, may also interfere with the way your team is used to working. Thankfully, a dependable outsourced IT service provider will have sympathy and understanding for those challenges and be prepared to help you through the transitions:

Here are some strategies you can employ to ensure IT partnership facilitates positive change:

  • Audit existing IT processes and discuss areas for improvement together
  • Set goals and plans to measure the impact and success of new IT initiatives
  • Communicate the importance of passwords, device management, and other new policies throughout your organization.
  • Work with your IT partner to develop a training program to gradually help staff achieve a high standard of IT and cybersecurity awareness

Want to learn more about what makes effective change management? A useful resource is the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Change Management Process, a well-respected resource that’s been widely adopted throughout the IT services industry.

We’re Believers in Long-Term, High-Touch IT Services Partnership

Complete Network is a veteran of the IT services field. For over twenty years, we’ve been providing managed IT service and IT consulting services to organizations in Albany, New York, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Bluffton, South Carolina.

If your business is struggling with its technology, we can help. Contact our friendly, knowledgeable team any time at 1.877.877.1840 or [email protected]. We’d be happy to answer your questions and walk you through our solutions.

How To Supplement Your Internal IT Team.

In an ideal world, technology would be a consistent source of competitive advantage and benefit for small and midsized businesses. The reality is that many fail to realize that confidence.

Without the right resources and support, even a highly skilled technology team can become overwhelmed by the growing list of technology management duties. When important tasks get neglected, it creates ripple effects throughout an organization that damage productivity and efficiency.

The co-managed IT services model solves these problems by providing your existing IT team with all the support and resources they need to successfully plan, manage, and defend your network technology.

This guide covers:

  • • Aligning technology with business goals
  • • Reducing churn while preserving institutional knowledge
  • • Empowering your staff to maximize productivity
  • • Achieving the highest level of cybersecurity defense

Download it for free by filling out the form here.