10 Critical Traits your I.T. Services Partner Must Possess
Let's face it. EVERY IT Services company E-V-E-R says that THEY are the best, they can do THIS, they can do THAT, blah, blah, blah...
So how do you separate experienced professionals from fly by night operators and the good-intentioned but unskilled?
Check out our list of 10 traits to consider in a technology partner. If you can't say yes to every one of these traits, we suggest you keep looking.
Good communication is the key to any successful relationship and also one of the biggest challenges.
1. Is your IT services partner available when you call? If not, do they return your call quickly?
Do you have direct access to a single point of contact or are you directed to different people each time?
Do they speak to you in plain English? After all, the point of communication is so that all parties understand - not to show what big words they know.
Do they provide ongoing project updates and status reports, or are you left wondering where your project stands?
Stability and Professionalism
Do they take care of the details in their own business? Is their website up-to-date or does it display out-dated information and non-current employees? This can tell you a lot about company culture.
Number of Years in Business? IT services companies come and go so look for those that have been in business for at least 5 years. After all, you don't want them to go out of business in the middle of your project!
Do they have a brick-and-mortar office that you can visit, or do they work out of a mysterious PO Box/mom's basement? After all, you are about to make a significant investment in your company— you want to know that they have invested in theirs!
These are somewhat subjective as some great IT companies may not be able to furnish reviews if they work with partners in security conscious industries or if they are consultants to other IT companies.
Will they provide references from current or previous clients?
Are there testimonials on their website or reviews online?
Leaving the most important for last— Expertize!
Do they have both depth AND breadth of knowledge? You need to know that they can not only fulfill your current needs, but they will have the ability to support you as you grow.
Of course there is ONE MORE THING that you should consider— Do they feel right? Go with your gut. You need to be able to check "yes" to each of the items on the list but even then, if you check yes to all points but do not feel comfortable, keep looking. You are embarking on a long term relationship, so don't proceed unless you are completely comfortable.