There will come a time in the life of the average business where an IT problem/s rears its head that cannot be tackled in-house. And while it might be a bit of a bitter pill to swallow, this leads to the inevitable reality that IT consultancy is needed – something that first-timers will understandably find extremely daunting.
Nevertheless, successful business owners the world over will all tell you that one of the keys to getting ahead is knowing when the time comes to ask for help and also knowing how to choose the best source for said help. Spending too long ignoring or trying to tackle a problem that’s too big is a complete and total waste of time and money – both of which are always in too short supply in the business world.
Whichever way you look at it, the more time you spend trying to fix your computers and keep your network systems running faster than snail’s pace, the less time you have to focus on making your business do what it does best.
So the need for help is clear, but this then flags up the almighty question of who to choose and where to find them. It’s also wise to factor a budget into the equation before getting started as depending on the size of the problem and indeed that of the team you take on to help, the daily price for IT consultancy can range from a few pounds to thousands.
Making the Right Choice
The first thing to do is assess exactly what the problem is and what it concerns – this kind of information can be used to narrow down the options available to you in no time at all. Is it hardware? Software? Network links? Or maybe the whole job lot? As soon as you know precisely what you need help with, you stand a much better chance of finding it!
As far as choosing between the options goes, this is an instance where world of mouth and general opinions can make a huge difference. You yourself may have no frame of reference, but other businesses that have been operating for longer than you will probably have a few recommendations of their own. And as this isn’t the kind of information that’s going to give you the upper hand, chances are they won’t mind sharing it with you.
If it turns out that the problem you have is restricted to a single product or a single brand, it’s a safe bet to look through the website of the company itself for directions to reputed service providers. What’s more, a web search can often bring back plenty of results for those who are either certified or endorsed by a specific brand.
Regardless of which provider you are considering however, be sure to choose one that creates a tailored package around your needs and doesn’t instead force you to choose from ‘one-size-fits-all’ solutions that probably won’t be in your best interests. Keep a level head, use common sense, ask plenty of questions and you really can’t go far wrong.
By Lisa Morton
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