What Should Toronto Electrical Contractors Know About Hiring IT Support?
If you’ve been in the contracting business for a while, you know that you’re using more technology now than you ever thought that you would.
- Because the world is changing
- Because new tools are coming out that are making your job easier
- Because clients expect a heightened level of tech competence and communications
- Because new technologies generally result in greater efficiency in the office and on the job site
So, now that we established that electrical contracting firms use technology and have a good reason for using it…
What Do You Need In An Outsourced IT Support Team?
So, what you’ve got to ask yourself when meeting with reps from IT support companies is:
- Can I trust these people?
IT support personnel have access to the very core of your business. Financial files, client data, project files, and personnel records are all only a few clicks away for an IT support specialist, so you’ve got to be comfortable with them.
- Are they big enough to take care of me now and scale with my growth?
Hiring your buddy’s Uncle Pete to take care of your computers might have done the job when your company was smaller. Now, however, you’re looking for a professional company with a team of techs that can support your current needs and be there with high-level consulting and services for you as your company expands.
- Are their interests aligned with mine?
This question comes down to money. How does your IT support team make their money? Are they most profitable when your systems are broken down, and they can come to fix them and send you a big bill? Or, is the IT services provider most profitable when they keep your systems running flawlessly? There are two different IT support models (break/fix and managed IT services). Break/fix makes money when you are suffering. Managed IT services makes money when you are productive and happy.
- Can they do what they – and their website – say they can?
We live in a day of over-hyped advertisement. The saying is, “sell the product first, then figure out how you’re going to make it and deliver it.” Unfortunately, you don’t have the time, money, or patience to have an IT tech learning “on the job.” You pay professional prices because you want someone who already knows what they are doing. How do you find out if they know what they are doing? Hire them for an IT project – a test run – first. If they do well with that and impress you, they might be worth looking at for the long term.
What Services Should You Be Looking For? — In A Toronto IT Support Team That Specializes In Serving Electrical Contractors?
- Network Management – Keeping your wired and wireless networks functioning properly.
- Cybersecurity Management – Providing security for you, your staff, your customers, and your business processes.
- Cabling Expertise – Serving electrical contractors with expert advice in low-voltage cabling and providing the option of taking on or supervising low-voltage cabling projects on behalf of the electrical contractor.
- Data Backup and Business Continuity – Ensuring that your business has the right backup protocols that will enable you to continue to function and serve your clients if you are impacted by a localized disaster or criminal act that renders your on-site files and computers useless.
What’s The Process Like Before and After We Hire An IT Support Company?
After your first call to the IT support company, an appointment will likely be made for you to meet with one of their IT technicians and usually a sales specialist. They should talk to you about your current pain points, your near-term growth goals, any expansions planned, your technology budget, and the IT assets you currently have in place (on-premise, remote, and in the cloud). After that information is gathered, it is common for them to do an assessment of your IT systems. This is conducted at a reasonable fee or for free depending on the situation and size of the network involved. Once the network assessment has been completed, a report is generally made available to the potential client. This report will include:
- Current use and capacity of the computers, servers, applications, and cloud assets.
- Recommendations regarding the efficiency and life cycle of the hardware involved.
- Indications as to whether or not there are security vulnerabilities that should be addressed.
- Proposal to remediate any security vulnerabilities and care for ongoing IT support needs.
After you hire an IT support company – assuming you have gone the route of hiring a company in the managed IT services model – the following steps will take place.
- Migration – Moving databases and applications to where they will operate most efficiently.
- Integration – Helping software and applications to “talk” to each other for greater productivity.
- Automation – Eliminating wasted and repetitious manual input tasks – freeing your staff to do more important tasks.
- Optimization – Reviewing the entire workflow to find ways to tailor how the technology works to your present workflow.
- Manage – Continually maintaining and monitoring internal IT systems and cloud assets to ensure optimal performance.
- Protect – Setting up cybersecurity protocols that guard the endpoints of your network while surveying the network 24/7 to screen for anomalies that may be indicators of a security issue. Once the anomaly is spotted, the issue is resolved either automatically or is escalated to a security specialist to review and remedy.
- Report – Providing a regular “health check” of your IT systems to your company leadership, so they have the information they need to make high-level decisions.
Looking for more articles that will help you make better-informed decisions? We’ve got some outstanding ones for you HERE.