Choosing The Right IT Partner

How working with an experienced IT service provider can help your business plan ahead and reduce costs.

Luke Stanton, Unified Product Specialist, Welcomm Communications

By Luke Stanton

August 16, 2022

A trusted IT Partner should be doing more than solving your immediate short-term issues. They must also be supporting you in the long-term; helping your business plan for future growth and enabling a flexible working environment that meets the needs of your customers and staff. 

At a dangerous time for businesses, where organisations are increasingly preyed upon by opportunistic cyber attackers, regularly reviewing your IT estate, cyber security strategies and network security are all critically important. Simply focusing on the ‘now’ could be leaving your business vulnerable. 

Currently reviewing your IT estate? Here are a few ways establishing a long-term partnership with an experienced vendor could transform your business:

Keeping Technology Up-To-Date

As it ages and becomes obsolete, technology inevitably lacks the latest security measures, increasing the impact of vulnerabilities and making exploitation by Cyber Criminals more likely to succeed.

Replacing technology every few years might sound like a needlessly expensive process, but with the right partner supporting your business, it doesn’t need to be.

Here are some of the ways you can keep your IT infrastructure updated and secure, whilst also reducing the cost of future maintenance and improvements:

  • Identify Network Vulnerabilities

    A diagnostic service such as our IT Security Scan can help identify elements of your network that are outdated and potentially vulnerable – you might be surprised by how many devices within your business have access to your network!

  • Switch to a Lease Model

    With the average lifespan of IT technology averaging around five years, we regularly recommend hardware leasing to our customers. Not only will this drastically lower upfront costs for your business, but it also enables easier maintenance and replacement of technology in the future. 

  • Move to The Cloud

    Migrating your files and storage to the cloud offers a multitude of benefits. Staff previously maintaining your on-premise server can be reallocated elsewhere, and substantial savings can be made by reducing energy consumption and upfront hardware costs.

Reduce Operational Downtime

Outages unfortunately happen in every business, across every sector. However, the way your business responds to and prepares itself for the unexpected is what can make you stand out from the competition.

For instance, one of the ways our IT Support teams help customers stay one step ahead of service outages is our 24/7 remote monitoring service. Offering us full visibility of our customers IT estate, remote monitoring allows us to rapidly identify and resolve issues, before they become widespread across your business.

Another way of strengthening your estate is to look at deploying ‘failover’ solutions across various areas. Once fully installed, these solutions step in as an automatic backup in cases where outages would usually completely disrupt service.  

Examples of these include:

  • Network Failover

    Installed as an emergency measure, a backup router powered by a 4G or 5G SIM card can instantly take over in the event of a wider network outage, maintaining your connectivity until the network fault is resolved.

  • Automatic Data Backup

    In the event of a successful Cyber Attack that restricts access to your files and systems, an automatic data backup can be quickly activated to restore access to your staff, and minimize any disruption to your business.

Consistent, Reliable Support

When it comes to IT partnership, your business deserves guaranteed, around-the-clock support. While it might be tempting to go with a smaller supplier to save on costs, or even give the work to a friend of the business, a sole provider is a single point of failure that poses significant risk.

For example: If your business needs urgent support, who can you turn to if your supplier is sick, on holiday or too busy with other customer support?

Also, in the vast world of Business IT, it is likely that an individual will have a specific, (but limited) area of expertise. This limited knowledge could negatively impact your business:

  • Barrier To Progression

    A smaller IT partner may be failing to support with the growth of your business. Not enabling current best practices, (such as hosting your data and files in the cloud), could be costing you unnecessary maintenance fees and huge productivity gains.

  • Limited Security Experience

    In the constantly evolving world of Cyber Crime, working with a single, less experienced specialist may be putting your business at risk. Failing to comprehensively protect your IT estate could be leaving you vulnerable to cyber attack.

Staff Training

For us, true partnership goes beyond simply signing a contract and implementing a new solution. The right IT partner should feel like a part of your team, working with your staff to help make your business more productive, efficient and successful.

When managing or upgrading your IT estate, it is crucially important to remember your staff, and what any changes will mean to the way they work:

  • How will staff be using their new technology in their roles?

  • Will some or all of your people need 1-2-1 support?

  • Are experienced staff using technology to its full potential?

These are all questions that an IT partner should be able to help you answer.

Staff training is also an important part of a well-rounded Cyber Security plan. According to our partners Barracuda, 91% of Cyber Attacks start with an email. Alongside installing an email security solution, training your staff to spot the signs of a Phishing email can help keep your business protected from the most common form of cyber crime.

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