In the 1st part of this series we discussed how important your IT guy is to your business and how hard it is to find qualified, competent and honest consultants. In this 2nd part we are going to explore your role (and you have one) in maintaining a great working relationship with your computer guy.
Once you understand your role and responsibilities for maximizing your technology investments, and what your consultant is and is not responsible for, you will have a much better working relationship with them and prevent most unpleasant surprises and expensive misunderstandings.
Take Responsibility For Your Own Protection
Many business owners automatically blame their computer or their consultant when they experience a problem, get infected with a virus, or realize their network has been taken over by spyware or, even worse, ransomware. In some cases these problems are due to negligence by your consultant.
However, most spyware and virus attacks are the result of an end-user downloading a questionable file or program, disabling their antivirus software, or somehow circumventing security settings or acceptable-use policies set by your consultant. Many other problems are due to hardware or software inadequacies that can’t be controlled or prevented by your consultant.
Finally, many business owners don’t want to pay for their consultants to perform simple preventive maintenance, update security patches and virus definitions, or monitor their system’s performance. This lack of maintenance is an invitation for problems that can’t be blamed on your computer consultant.
Unless your consultant has complete control over your network and has been given the responsibility to monitor and maintain your network 24-7-365, chances are that your problems were not caused directly by some action they took (or didn’t take). Again, that is not to say that you are completely at fault for all network problems, but you and your employees need to take an active role in keeping your network and data safe from harm.
Quite often, business owners take an adversarial approach to working with their vendors. They are paying the bills, so they believe that they have the right to be demanding, difficult and even hostile. What they don’t realize is that vendor relationships can make or break a company, and maintaining a good working partnership with your computer consultant is critical to your business success.
The more respect and appreciation you give your consultant, the more they will want to do a great job for you. Keep in mind that you might need them to do you a favor, or pull you out of a big mess, somewhere down the road. If you’ve developed a good working relationship based on mutual trust and appreciation, they will be far more willing to go the extra mile and help you out when you need it most.
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.