Ever hear the phrase, “Teamwork makes the dream work”? It might be a bit of a cliché, but the truth is, clichés are overused for a reason: they’re true. When working with an outsourced IT company, teamwork can define your technology’s success, and your technology’s success can define your business’s success.
A friendly and professional relationship will ensure that your expectations are not just met but exceeded. It comes with the benefits of lowering overall expenses, improving efficiency, and being more flexible to fit your business needs. But how exactly do you improve relationships with an outsourced IT company?
Make your needs clear so the IT company can meet them
The first thing you should do is ensure that your needs are communicated properly. Establish some clear goals of what you want to achieve with their help and make it very clear what you expect from them. Too often clients will assume that the IT company already knows what they need based on a brief introductory meeting. Unfortunately, the scope and scale of what an outsourced IT company can do are entirely dependent on what their client tells them.
Outsourced IT companies are capable of filling many different roles, but they won’t know their role in your business until you establish clear expectations. Once you start to communicate properly with your IT company and set clear goals that you want to meet, you’ll find it much easier to collaborate with them.
Understand what role the IT company is filling and what their priorities are
An IT company is more than capable of managing every aspect of your IT, but we’d recommend discussing with your IT company about the role that they’ll be filling in your business. This not only helps to reduce costs, but it can also be more effective because the IT company will assign specialists to fill your company’s needs.
A great example of a specialized role would be cybersecurity. Data breaches and malicious hacking are incredibly worrying concerns for most business owners these days. In 2019 alone, it cost businesses around the world close to $3.18 trillion USD. As such, protecting your business should be a huge priority for any business regardless of its size.
A role like this must be given to a confident specialist with experience and expertise. If you identify this need and explain it clearly to your outsourced IT company, they’ll assign the right staff to help you manage your cybersecurity defenses which leads to a more productive and protected business.
Discuss different levels of service offered by the outsourced IT company
Every IT service provider offers varying levels of service depending on your needs and their staff and availability. Some roles, such as cybersecurity, may need a dedicated employee since it involves monitoring your networks and actively protecting you against threats. This typically means that cybersecurity requires fully-managed IT services.
However, there are certain tasks that won’t require the IT company’s full attention at all times. A great example of this is managed cloud services. An IT company will typically set up the services for you and help fix any errors. But for the most part, your team will be the one using it and performing light repairs and maintenance based on the circumstances.
Make sure you understand the levels of service that your IT company offers and how they can fine-tune their services to meet your budget and needs. Many IT companies list their services on their website, but we suggest calling their office to learn more about their specialties and specific limitations.
Provide feedback on their services
IT companies should be given feedback much like any other employee. It’s important to let them know how they’re performing and what you want to change should there be difficulties or complications. While most outsourced IT companies will take the initiative to suggest changes or improvements to your workflow, it’s ultimately down to you to comment on their work and how effective (or ineffective) their services are.
A positive feedback loop can help your outsourced IT company better understand their role in your business and how they can tweak their services or approach to suit your needs. Remember–these are highly skilled professionals that you’re working with, but they do need to be given some feedback and direction in order to fine-tune their services to your needs.
Give the IT company time to adjust to your workflow
It can be difficult for IT companies to fit into your workflow immediately. It’s important to give them a bit of time to adjust to the way your company operates. You can expect most outsourced IT companies to adjust within a few days before they start making tangible improvements and meeting your needs.
The more you communicate with the outsourced IT company, the easier it’ll be for them to adapt to the way your business operates.