I am here to tell you that in many ways they are not! Of course there are some similarities in terms of the services they provide and the method they use to provide those services but that is where it ends. Any IT provider can set up your network and provide antivirus software. Any IT provider can give you anti-malware and run backups of your data.
Why do I even need an IT provider?
As we have grown more and more reliant on technology to do our jobs, when that technology breaks we are paralyzed. Also, with the advancements in technology, things have become more complicated and it is much less likely that the average employee could just step in and handle an IT issue. I remember watching my Dad change the sparkplugs on our car in the driveway and now, he wouldn’t be able to find the computer chip that controls the electronic ignition, let alone fix it! So without someone dedicated to your IT needs you risk one or more of your employees spending time on IT issues leaving less time to spend on the job you hired them to do.
So…what to do?
You finally bite the bullet and decide to get some proper IT help. So many questions. Do I hire an employee or a firm? Do I pay by the hour or by the job? Should I have someone proactively dedicated to our needs or call on them only when I need them? Again, there are IT providers that fit into all these categories. Even Staples is boasting that they provide computer support.
So is there anything to help differentiate all these providers?
I say yes! Does the IT provider know your business? Do they understand the industry-specific software products that you work with and rely on every day? Can they anticipate your technology needs based on understanding how you do business? UNAPEN Inc. has 20 plus years of experience in Financial Services working with Investment advisors in Connecticut and around the country. The software, the business needs and challenges, the vocabulary are all familiar to our ITComplete team. That’s what sets one IT provider apart from another.
So now it’s time to ask yourself – Does your IT provider know you and your business?
MaryAnne Rode is Manager of Sales & Marketing at UNAPEN, Inc.