How to choose the right IT provider for your firm

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Not so long ago, companies looking to integrate IT into their operations had to set up their own servers and networks in-house. However, with improved technologies and, in particular, vastly quicker connection speeds, the concept of remote IT service provision has become a reality.

Nowadays, more and more firms are looking to third-party professional IT providers for their networking, storage, online security and processing requirements. However, with so many IT firms now out there, just how do you select the right provider for your company? Read on for some top tips to help you find your perfect networking match.

Is the company interested in how you currently operate?

An expert IT company should always first look at your current operations, then build a bespoke solution around your particular needs. Beware of providers that essentially try to shoehorn your company into their systems – it can often be a sign that they’re not particularly interested in dealing with you on a personal, one-to-one basis.

Do they offer scalability services?

No company stands still and it’s highly likely in the course of your contract, your IT requirements will change (increasing or decreasing). Ask the firm how they deal with scalability changes – and also be sure to ask how they charge for these modifications.

Look for a provider that offers centralized services – all in one place

Ideally, you should find a provider that can supply a one-stop-shop solution to your IT requirements, all in one place. The Software as a Service (SaaS) model is common these days with more professional IT companies offering their platform through a single, common interface allowing control over everything. It’s vitally important that you and your team can access and control these services easily, at any time, from any location.

Think about remote-working and mobile access

On the subject of location, you and your staff should be able to access key services on the move or from remote locations. The recent COVID-19 outbreak and isolation served to highlight just how important remote access and most industry experts believe that we will likely never return to the old, office-based style of working – even once the virus has passed.

With most employees reporting enjoying the better work/life balance afforded by home-working (and most companies also benefiting from the reduced overhead of staff working remotely), the way we work in the future may be vastly different from how we used to. Mobile and remote access will be significantly important for future-proofing your firm.

Check the company’s security provision and policies

Entrusting your firm’s valuable data to a third-party can be a daunting prospect but most professional IT companies will have immeasurably better protection mechanisms in place compared to you trying to run your network yourself.

Nonetheless, just like all other areas of life, there are good providers and not-so-good providers. While most will care for your data as if it was their own, it’s still a good idea to double-check their security provision – and also check what support you can expect in a worst-case scenario.