Many companies rely on managed IT services to help them keep their computers secure and in peak performing conditions. It isn’t too difficult to find a provider that can keep your software up to date, make sure the latest security patches are implemented, or execute regular data backups.
The decision to “farm out” the upkeep of a company’s digital infrastructure is a smart one for many businesses. After all,
if technical/computer know-how has nothing to do with your industry, it doesn’t always make sense to devote an entire department to a skill set you know little about operationally.
That said, your organizational digital infrastructure is an important part of running your business. You want to make sure that the vendor you choose to hire has both, sound technical capabilities and trustworthiness. Undoubtedly, these are very important decision points.
However, one thing that some decision-makers may overlook is the location of your IT support providers. In fact, in today’s ultra-connected and shrinking world, it may seem old-fashioned, maybe even uncool, to base a vendor selection criteria around the concept of locality.
With the ever-expanding cloud economy, you may assume that IT is the last industry where physical location matters. After all, a tech can fix a problem on your work computer in seconds via remote access from anywhere in the world.
This is, of course, true. So, why does locality matter?
Face-to-Face Interactions Are Still Important
Knowing your clients is another old-fashioned business value.
Most businesses that rely on vendors for IT security and support believe that the less they hear from the vendor the better. No news is good news. Much like your favorite football team’s offensive line, if you’re talking about it, it’s probably because there’s a problem.
At BITS, we take a different view. Our aim is to develop and maintain close working relationships with all of our clients through regular conversations. We know that an offensive line can only protect your quarterback if it knows the game plan. Moreover, if the defense calls a blitz and you need to change the play at the line of scrimmage, the new play will only work if your linemen know the audible calls.
Football analogies aside, communication is still an important aspect of managing your vendors. And, as old-fashioned as face-to-face meetings and onsite visits may seem, they still offer the best methods of ensuring that the team you hire to protect you has the necessary information and understanding to do the job properly.
We believe you should treat your IT vendor as a full member of your team, and include them in pertinent business discussions. We want to be in the huddle with you.
Close integration with your IT vendor fosters operational familiarity and increases efficiency. But, it can also help your provider anticipate your needs and help you with project planning.
If you’re expanding or moving offices, for example, it makes sense to involve your IT services team in the planning stages. Such a project is a logistical monster. Your vendor can provide valuable advice by recommending the best types of equipment, an efficient computer network setup, and a new emergency response plan.
No matter what kind of project you’re undertaking, the more your managed IT services vendor knows about your operational cycles, technology use patterns and future goals, the more they can do to move your projects forward quickly and efficiently.
Beacon Knows IT
If you want a closer, more responsive relationship with the team responsible for your IT operations and security, give us a call at 336.546.6660. See what you’ve been missing.