How to hire IT partners for non-technical business owners

20 March 2024 by
Matthew Gregory
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It does not take an expert analyst to recognise the role technology plays in business success. This is illustrated most clearly during the recent global pandemic, where many businesses who fail to stay ahead of IT advancements lose market share, while innovators gain an edge. 

In addition, the technological landscape has evolved into a volatile and fast-paced arena, with new breakthroughs occurring regularly (e.g. AI, machine learning) that promises to create more efficiencies in internal processes and reduced overheads. With each leap forward, the need for overall technical IT competence within businesses become increasingly crucial. 

So how can a business owner keep up to speed with all these changes while, at the same time, continue to grow revenue and provide great customer service?  

The obvious solution is to hire someone with expertise, yet this poses its own challenges. Assessing an IT professional's suitability becomes difficult without possessing the requisite technical knowledge. After all, you don’t know what you don’t know. 

However, there are ways to overcome this. Choosing the right IT partner is crucial for a business's smooth operations and growth and here are some tips to help you identify the ideal match. 

 If you are looking to engage an external professional IT support team, look out for: 

1)  Expertise and certification

Find out if the team has the technical skills and experience to address your specific needs. They should also be proficient in the software you are using to run your business. 

2)  24/7 support

Ensure that the team you engage offers round-the-clock support. This 24/7 availability is a must. You will be thankful for this service when things go pear-shaped during out-of-hours or over the weekend. 

3)  Proactive maintenance

Opt for teams who utilise a proactive maintenance approach, employing monitoring tools to keep systems up-to-date and operational. This not only reduces downtime but also ensures that any critical issues are promptly communicated to relevant stakeholders before they have a negative impact on your IT infrastructure.

4)  Clear cost structures and contract agreements

Review their proposal for clarity, making sure all their service tiers, billing methods and any additional charges are indicated. Also check their scope of service, termination clauses and the service level agreements (SLAs) that outline guaranteed response and resolution times.

When hiring an IT professional, look out for: 

1)  Relevant experience

Prioritise someone who has direct experience with the technologies and applications your business uses daily. This ensures they can seamlessly integrate into your operations, avoiding the steep learning curve associated with unfamiliar systems.

2)  Stability and commitment

Evaluate the duration and stability of a candidate's past positions. Frequent job changes might indicate potential red flags, such as difficulties in passing probationary periods or challenges in team collaboration. 

3)  Reference checks

Instead of relying solely on the references provided in an application, take the time to contact the companies directly. By speaking with a candidate's former employers or clients, you can gain a more accurate assessment of their abilities and work ethic. 

Trusting that the hired help will safeguard your technological assets is paramount, as the consequences of hiring the wrong person could be catastrophic. Use these tips to help guide you in your search. If you would like to learn more, feel free reach out to us for a chat.

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