So, you’ve realized you need to outsource your IT needs so that your team can focus on fulfilling more strategic tasks. But you’re not quite sure how to pick the best IT solutions company to partner with.
It can be pretty challenging, especially if there’s a handful of highly competitive companies vying for your vote. Let’s drill down into ten important things to look for when choosing an IT company.
10 Factors to Consider When Choosing an IT Solutions Company
Finding a reliable IT solutions and services provider can be a daunting task, but not with a helpful guideline. Here’s a checklist for finding the right IT partner for your business.
1. Expertise and Experience
Remember that you are searching for an IT provider, not just a repair service. Look for an expert that understands the ins and outs of your industry’s tech requirements.
You’d want an IT service and support provider to have a consultative approach for your requirements. Find one that’s willing to craft a tailored solution to meet your unique needs.
Your IT partner should also ensure it has specialists following IT best practices. A helpful way to do this is to conduct research. Learn about a provider’s expertise, experience, and reputation when trimming down your list of potential IT companies.
Discover how FBDC chose their IT solutions provider for the BGC app and why they deem expertise and experience important.
2. Geographical Location
You’d want your outsourced provider to be geographically near you, especially if you need onsite support. So, it makes sense to find a local IT company.
If your IT provider isn’t nearby, chances are you’ll have to find another third-party vendor to help. This is an additional cost, and support would depend on their availability, which could take days.
Partnering with a local IT company means you’ll get quicker support if an onsite issue arises. When your provider has resources nearby, finding experts to resolve your tech woes becomes much easier.
Here’s a tip: Ask providers how they handle onsite requirements and if this is included in the same support contract.
3. Response Times
Companies support their clients differently, which means response times vary considerably. Before picking an IT solutions company, ask the provider for their Service Level Agreement.
While you’re at it, find out answers to these questions:
– How fast can they respond to an issue?
– How long does it take to resolve an issue?
– If you need onsite support, how long should you wait?
Pay close attention to the numbers. Any company can say they’re quick to respond, which can be tricky, so look for proof.
You’d want to partner with an IT provider that can back up their claims with factual and real-time numbers.
4. Proactive Management
Some IT companies help you with troubleshooting email issues or broken printers, and there’s nothing wrong with these tickets. But the right IT provider can prevent you from reaching this point by proactively managing your network.
At a minimum, this involves network monitoring for outages. In some instances, a provider may know you’re experiencing an outage before you even notice it.
However, you should note that proactive management goes beyond monitoring. Your IT solutions company should help your team remain productive and reduce downtime by helping you choose the right tools.
The best IT firms also set regular meetings to discuss your business goals and help you develop a tech plan to achieve those objectives.
5. Certifications, Partnerships, On-going Training
Whether you’re the owner, digitization head, or partnerships manager, it becomes your responsibility to ensure your provider is reputable. The best IT companies are certified by industry standards, and their resources hold certifications of their own.
For instance, 天博, a leading IT solutions company in the Philippines, is certified by local and international organizations and tech vendors. Not only that but its pool of experts are also certified in their respective careers.
Ask the IT companies on your list about their employees’ certifications and how often they are renewed. Tech professionals should also be trained regularly to stay up to date, so they can recommend and provide the best solutions for your business.
6. Secure IT Environments
Data security is a critical concern for businesses as cybersecurity threats continue to evolve. For this reason, your tech partner should also ensure a secure IT environment for your business.
Look for an IT partner that can help you develop and implement a robust security plan. This way, you wouldn’t have to stress over malware, viruses, and hackers compromising your confidential data.
If your industry is regulated, your IT solutions provider should also understand how you can remain compliant. They should keep up to speed to ensure your business assets and data are protected.
7. Clear and Transparent Contract
As in any dealings, it’s essential to understand all the crucial details in a contract. It is considered legally binding if it contains these four basic elements:
– an offer
– an acceptance
– an intention to create a legal relationship
– a consideration
If you’re partnering with an outsourced IT solutions company, make sure your expectations are aligned with their offer. Also, it’s essential to know that there are several types of contracts.
Look for an IT partner that provides a clear and transparent contract with full coverage for proactive and reactive services. IT companies will prevent problems with this kind of agreement, which is a win-win for you both.
If there are unclear points in the contract, ask questions. A good IT solutions provider will be happy to help you understand everything you need to know.
8. Reasonable Pricing
Budget is a significant consideration for many businesses, especially for startups. It will be best to assess how much you’re willing to invest in a solution or service before looking for an IT company.
Most often than not, pricing becomes a significant factor when deciding whether to consider a provider. When you know how much you’re willing to invest, it will be simpler to trim down your list.
While a competent IT service provider will offer recommendations fit for your requirements and budget, you should also manage your expectations. IT firms also consider several factors when putting a price on their solutions and services.
Find a provider that can offer a customized package of solutions at a reasonable price. While tech solutions and services don’t come cheap, they are worth investing in if they can help drive results for your business.
9. Business Continuity Solutions
Today, more than ever, it’s critical to keep your business operational. When the pandemic broke out and affected brick and mortar stores, companies had to develop creative solutions to stay afloat.
Many enterprises accelerated their digital adoption to survive in the “new normal,” which is where your provider plays a crucial role. Look for an IT partner that has business continuity plans and solutions for your enterprise.
This is especially important during weather disturbances, disasters, and other unforeseen events. Your provider should also conduct regular testing and backups to ensure you can recover your data quickly.
10. Success Rate
Your IT solutions provider should be eager to know your business and its objectives. After all, how can they help you if they have no idea what your goals are?
Ask them how they helped other businesses with their products or services. Any provider contributing to a company’s success will be happy to share their stories and show references.
Selecting the best IT solutions company for your business doesn’t happen overnight. But armed with these tips, you could make an informed decision in finding an IT solutions company fit for your business.
天博 just might be the IT company you’re looking for! Share with us how you want your business to scale in today’s digital economy. We’re here to listen.
Let’s dig deeper into the uses of blockchain technology for business improvement across various industries in this blog.
How to Use Blockchain Technology for Business Improvement
If you’re wondering what blockchain technology for business means, you’ve come to the right place. Read on as we dig deeper into this innovative solution and uncover how it can improve your business.
What is Blockchain Technology and How Does It Work?
Blockchain technology is a public digital ledger that records transactions (block) across several computers (chain) within a network.
Every transaction in the digital ledger requires its owner’s digital signature to authenticate and protect the transaction from tampering.
In simple terms, the ledger is like a Google spreadsheet that keeps actual purchases’ transactional records. While anybody can access the data, no one can change or alter them, keeping the data safe.
Incredible Uses of Blockchain Technology for Business Improvement
Blockchain applications help improve businesses in many incredible ways. Let’s drill down into the uses of blockchain technology for business enhancement in various industries.
Blockchain benefits the finance sector through distribution and immutability
Since a single entity does not control the ledger, everyone within the network receives the same information. Given that each person has a copy, erasing, altering, or adding transactions that are not verified is nearly impossible.
Let’s take a closer look at how blockchain can be used for financial transactions:
International money transfers are usually laborious, error-prone, and costly. This is where blockchain-powered mobile wallets play a pivotal role.
Blockchain can facilitate international payments since it is based on distributed ledger technology (DLT). With this, blockchain-powered mobile wallets can complete international money transfers electronically.
As a result, consumers can save money since they no longer have to pay onerous transaction fees. Additionally, they can avoid the hassle of standing in line in money transfer facilities, saving them time and effort.
Usually, funds that move through financial institutions like credit card companies and banks come with additional complexities and costly fees. Blockchain technology can help merchants reduce costs and remove insufficient funds.
Blockchain-based transfers streamline the process, allowing merchants to reduce or remove fees. Meantime, blockchain-based payments help merchants understand whether a transaction is good in a matter of seconds or minutes.
Similarly, individuals can benefit from blockchain technology by preventing online scams and saving time and money.
Blockchain-based payments are less costly than banking services, and they’re also reversible and quick. Additionally, they help prevent issues other payment methods experience, such as time-consuming wire transfers, untraceable cash transactions, and forged cheques.
Blockchain revolutionizes banking not just through money transfers but transaction tracking as well.
This innovative technology makes it easier to track title ownership since a digital ledger is nearly impossible to change. Ownership transfers and liens can also refer to the ledger for data verification.
Blockchain also enables automation.
For instance, smart contracts can track payments and delivery and address any issues during the process. What’s more, automated systems can work 24/7 and lessen human error.
A ledger contains transaction information within each block and a unique hash referring to the previous block. Also, everyone within the network receives transaction copies.
These features make blockchain technology resistant to hackers, distributed denial-of-service attacks, and other fraud types. Without these cyber threats, businesses can reduce unnecessary expenses and avoid unwanted stress.
This innovative technology also enables digital currencies. Blockchain firms are reducing entry barriers and offering seamless exchanges of known cryptocurrencies as an alternative to banking.
Not only did blockchain technology disrupt financial services but the real estate industry as well. Below are six ways blockchain has transformed the real estate landscape.
Real estate technology has been traditionally used to connect buyers and sellers and manage listings. But blockchain has enabled new ways to trade real estate and support transactions more comprehensively
For instance, ATLANT developed a blockchain-powered technology to facilitate rental property and real estate transactions. Sellers can manage assets much like stock sales and transact online by tokenizing real property.
A real estate sale typically takes time to conclude, which is why properties are long considered illiquid assets. With tokens and cryptocurrencies, however, real estate can be traded readily.
In theory, through exchanges, these tokens can be traded for fiat currencies. Sellers can get some property value without having to wait for a buyer who can acquire its entirety.
Blockchain may also soon transform transaction roles and participation, particularly of intermediaries, who have long been part of the ecosystem. This includes banks, brokers, and lawyers.
Eventually, new platforms can assume payments, listings, and legal documentation functions. Sellers and buyers can optimize their expenses by saving on intermediary fees and save time from much quicker processes.
All peers on the network can access information kept in the blockchain, promoting transparency and immutability. Since peers can verify the data, buyers and sellers can be more confident in making transactions
Even better, they can reduce fraud attempts. Put simply, a decentralized exchange establishes trust in the system.
A decentralized network can also help reduce costs related to real estate transactions. Aside from intermediaries’ professional fees, registration fees, inspection costs, and real estate-related taxes can be cut.
Loan fees and inspection costs can also be taken out of the picture. Blockchain-powered platforms can automate these processes and integrate them into the system, resulting in fewer expenses.
Blockchain technology also allows fractional ownership, lowering real estate investment barriers. Investments usually require a significant amount of money upfront to buy a property.
But with blockchain, investors can buy and sell token fractions as they see fit using a trading app. Fractional ownership also takes away the hassle from managing the properties, like leasing and maintenance.
Blockchain technology also plays a crucial role in logistics, particularly in solving some significant inefficiencies plaguing the industry for years. Let’s take a look at how blockchain is revolutionizing the logistics industry.
Secure and authenticated data are essential for transport companies to enhance their operations consistently. However, the current EDI and API-reliant systems for recording and providing this data are prone to manipulation and misinterpretation.
Unfortunately, this can have severe consequences for the global supply chain. With blockchain technology, though, these major concerns can be prevented.
Peers within the same network can authenticate the data and protect it from tampering. The enhanced reliability of tracking info can also help ensure on-time delivery, especially of temperature-controlled goods.
When partnered with other innovations, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain can also be beneficial for capacity monitoring.
The shipping freight cost often depends on the cargo volume. By using IoT sensors in shipping vehicles and trucks, shippers can identify the cost by detecting the amount of used space.
The data, which is transmitted to the blockchain, can then be secured. Having secure and accurate data records is advantageous for shippers, especially that global shipments undergo several checkpoints along the way.
Vehicle performance history
Blockchain can also help large and small companies that want to purchase second-hand delivery vehicles by tracking their performance history.
This technology can store and validate the vehicle’s performance and maintenance data for buyers and sellers.
By keeping records in a secure, immutable ledger, stakeholders can have a more reliable and standardized way of determining factors inherent for purchasing. Both parties can also save on costs since there is no need for an intermediary or middleman.
Blockchain not only helps validate records of second-hand vehicles but new carriers, too. Let’s say a freight broker needs to identify a new carrier to assign a capacity load to.
Blockchain supports the broker by creating a decentralized network that stores carriers’ records across the industry. This way, brokers can decide which carriers they can assign the loads during crunch time, even without onboarding.
Smart Contracts are blockchain-coded, self-executing tasks that are impactful to the freight industry.
When a specific condition is met, smart contracts execute tasks, such as releasing payments. By doing so, they eliminate administrative steps like passing forms for approval, which are fraud and loss-prone, cut costs, and remove possibilities of error.
The retail industry can also benefit from blockchain technology. Here are some ways blockchain can help the industry address common barriers.
Retail companies need to manage their inventories properly to improve their overall efficiency. These enterprises need to keep track of product expiration dates and other consumer interests.
With blockchain, retailers can manage their inventories more efficiently. By automating product surplus or shortage processes according to consumer demand, blockchain can also help retailers save money.
Crypto payment method
Presently, cryptocurrency markets are thriving, and cryptocurrencies are seen to become the future’s money.
Retail companies can have an advantage by using existing crypto as an official payment method. It can help consumers pay for products transparently using secured digital money.
Customer identity management
Retail companies commonly store client information like bank account or credit card details in a client-server networking model. Unfortunately, this is quite vulnerable to manipulation and can result in dire consequences like privacy breaches and state law violations.
Retailers can use blockchain to secure customer data in immutable storage. Only customers can access their information, preventing third parties from breaching the network and corrupting their info.
One of the significant benefits of blockchain in retail is the prevention of counterfeit goods and fraud. The retail industry has suffered significant losses due to fraud, hurting brands immensely.
With blockchain technology, retailers can ensure they’re receiving authentic products by tracking them from the manufacturers. As a result, they can prevent counterfeit items from damaging their reputation.
Blockchain not only helps tackle fraud and counterfeit goods but also reduces cyber hacks. Security threats continue to threaten the industry, resulting in loss of revenues and damaged reputations if not prevented.
Blockchain provides high-security protocols to counter cyber attacks, which means security breaches are no longer possible. In a nutshell, blockchain can help protect revenues by safeguarding the network from unscrupulous third parties.
Blockchain technology has obvious advantages for businesses across various industries. It makes a reliable option for organizations that want to improve their operations and scale in the new digital economy.
Summing up, startup or not, harnessing the power of blockchain can do wonders for your business. It can help you overcome challenges that have long been plaguing your industry, introduce more features to your market, and lead the competition.
Innovative solutions like blockchain technology help businesses gain a competitive advantage. Visit our website to explore other technology solutions that can help your business scale today.