Small businesses need to take a stand. The simple fact is, you’re investing money and time into your small business it support, and you should expect the white glove treatment.
You need to evaluate your current and anticipated technology needs, and you need to make sure they are being met in a manner which exceeds your expectations. The truth of the matter is, many professionals do not even understand what to expect from their IT support staff in the first place.
Pride and Prejudice
So, you’ve got a tech guy in-house. His primary job responsibility is attending to the needs of management and the office staff, while trying not to get in the way, right? Wrong.
Your in-house tech guru’s primary responsibility should be to liaise with management and other staff, while working with IT support professionals to improve the technology within your organization. This does not mean that your non-tech savvy users should report all of their issues to the in-house tech guy. On the contrary, your technology professionals should be able to allocate their time to helping the business achieve its ultimate goal: Growing.
The biggest deterrent in allowing external IT support staff to properly understand and solve your staff’s technology problems is YOU, and by you, we mean the company at large. Employees will often forego contacting support because they are going to your in-house tech guy with all of their problems.
You must learn to better utilize your outsourced information technology support staff. They are not the enemy, and no computer related issue you have is outside of their wheelhouse. The simple fact is, if you need tech assistance, you must swallow your pride and learn to trust IT support; if they cannot attend to your needs when you contact them, they will work to find a solution to your issue.
What Can’t IT Support Do?
You must understand that you are making an investment in your business, whenever you outsource any technology related service. If you find that the service is not suited to your particular needs, you cancel your agreement and move on.
Taking the time to work with your technology partner in understanding the scope of the support staff’s abilities and responsibilities is a smart move. There can be much uncertainty, especially in the beginning of a relationship, and you want to have a clearly defined idea of what to expect from your new business partner.
Taking the time to have a conversation about your technology goals, and the current state of your server and workstations, will help support to better understand what you’re working with, and how they can approach responding to users. Both your company and technology solutions provider should document and carefully review the details regarding your internal information technology infrastructure.
Once everyone is familiarized with the lay of your land, there are few tasks that IT support should not be involved in. From syncing smart phones and email applications to handling annoying error messages on your employee’s workstations, your support staff should be your #1 technology issue response resource.
There will be times when support will need to escalate issues and work closely with your in-house professionals to solve problems. This type of working relationship cannot be avoided, and you should expect that it will strengthen your business’s core abilities moving forward.
With the rapid advancement of technology comes curiosity, and naturally the need for adaptation. Managers should expect that they can work with support to receive direction and feedback when they have a tech related question. Again, IT support will be able to escalate any issue that they cannot assist with, and your needs will be properly met.
Keeping things simple, and finding ways to trust the relationship you and your staff are building with your managed services provider, will improve the overall effectiveness of IT support. Knowing that there will be times of frustration, but everyone is interested in finding solutions, can allow you to balance expectations and keep things moving forward.
Stay In the Know
Once you have your new and improved technology processes documented and in place, make sure that your users have easy access to contacting and reporting issues to support. Your support staff can work with you to suggest ways to make this an easy and painless process.
Internal communication regarding the servicing of your users will also be important in allowing your services provider to better meet and exceed your expectations. Try and create an environment in which your users are not shy about airing grievances with the processes and level of support they receive from your tech partners.
It is vitally important that your tech guys work closely with any third-party technology vendor, and IT support is no different. Involve them in all processes from the start, and make sure they know that you intend to make their jobs easier throughout the transition. Transparency between all involved parties can be a vital step in protecting your investments and realizing their full potential.
We hope that you have some good ideas of what to expect from a quality partner in IT support solutions. Your business will always evolve, and that is a great thing. One of your keys to success will be allowing for experience to create positive outcomes, and hopefully you can enable your support professionals to prove their value to you. We are in an amazing moment, and everyone is learning how to grow and adapt, let’s all stay focused and hopeful!