Let’s be honest. Your IT guy is an important part of your business strategy and the relationship you have with them will be key to the health of your computer networks and ultimately your bottom line. An excellent working relationship will translate into problem free operations while a poor relationship will likely lead to trouble.
Some things in life are great bargains but most of the time we get what we pay for. In the world of IT a bargain may be an indicator that the IT group is not the one you’re looking for. There are no shortages of horror stories about incompetent computer repair “gurus” bungling jobs, causing more problems, and wasting everyone’s time and money. I’m sure if you talk to your friends and colleagues you will get an ear-full of the unfortunate experiences they have encountered in this area.
Many people look for a part time guru – usually a friend or family member – who can work cheaply and save their business a bit of money. While they may love computers, and likely have some real skill, certain issues can easily overwhelm them because of their limited experience. We frequently receive calls from business owners who desperately need certified professionals to salvage lost data, restore equipment, or help to recover from another catastrophe caused by lack of experience or training.
By all means, work with friends and family to network and grow your business and to encourage you on a tough day, but consider other options for the greater responsibility of computers, servers, and other technology systems that keep your business going.
I know how hard it is to find qualified, competent, honest consultants, so it makes sense for me to share with you some my experience on how to get the most out of your relationship with them.
A great computer consultant will free you from worrying about data loss, downtime or other problems, allowing you to focus on the more important, strategic aspects of running and growing your business. It will also free your staff from trying to be jack-of-all-trades and wasting time on activities they are not particularly good at, which also distracts them from doing their regular job. Ultimately they will recommend products and solutions to help your business operate more competitively, increase sales, and lower your workload and stress levels.
But that is not to say you are completely off the hook.
There are several ways you can undo everything your consultant has done for you and severely jeopardize the security and reliability of your network. You are ultimately responsible for making sure your consultant understands your business priorities, goals and operational systems so he can offer sound advice and solutions to support you.
This is the 1st part of a three-part discussion on what it takes to get the most out of your “IT” guy.
Bob Milliken is the TheITguy@CascadiaSystemsGroup.com specializing in helping businesses with their IT needs. Discover how great local IT services can be. 604.270.1730.