It’s a common saying that every business needs a good accountant, banker, and lawyer to be successful. More recently, IT partners have been added to that list by many business owners because of the growing role that they play in keeping businesses moving forward. As technology takes over an increasing portion of business processes through automation, IT partners have quickly become a cornerstone to company growth.
This puts higher demands on the types of people that you partner with. Not only do they need to be able to fix IT problems, but they also have to be smart business professionals who can think about complicated business processes and create smart solutions to overcome problems.
This is an important point to think about when engaging with a potential IT partner. Both you and your IT partner need to be on the same page about how you think about and tackle IT problems. Mindset will inevitably predict the end results, and this is an area where you will need to know where your IT partner stands.
There are two ways to look at IT. The most prominent way is the reactionary “Don’t fix it if it isn’t broken” method. This has been the leading thought process for many years, but as technology takes over a larger portion of a business, it hurts more when these systems break. The second thought process is the “Proactive over Reactive” method. This is an emerging strategy that many business owners are starting to find important.
Businesses can invest minimally in the technology that they rely on by stretching the life of their equipment, hiring under-qualified and inexpensive people to resolve IT problems, and only paying for support after a problem arises. On the surface, this will seem like the least expensive option. However, when important upgrades have been postponed and corners have been cut, the expenses will start adding up.
A proactive mindset takes a different strategy. To regularly maintain a network, it takes a consistent investment. By doing this, you spread out the cost of hardware and support and pay for it in a way that can fit your budget. Evening out the cost of IT isn’t the only benefit of being proactive. The savings occur in the time you recapture by increased staff efficiency, the satisfaction of your clients when products and services are not delayed, avoiding fines from regulatory bodies when data is lost, and so on. This payback may seem immeasurable, but when you are faced with fines like charge backs for late delivery of products, for example, making sure that your business can operate consistently is a very important investment to make.
The point is that it is hard to grow, let alone operate a business when you are constantly putting out fires. Forward thinking companies are looking to their IT partners for solutions that work rather than services that repair so that they can put the IT fires behind them. Allow your company to focus on what you do best by making sure that both you and your IT partner are seeing the future of technology and how it can work for you.