Most businesses use IT suppliers to provide expert support for hardware, computer networks, systems and software. Some businesses have more than one provider, as IT businesses tend to specialise in certain areas. Working with your IT providers should be a positive and innovative experience.
However, are you getting the most out of working with your IT providers currently engaged? When was the last time you asked them about how they could further your business? As your business grows and changes, your IT needs to flex and support new business requirements.
At least once per year arrange a planning session where you and each provider can look at videos, demos and examples of technology installations from their other client projects. During the planning session, ask about setup costs, data migration and import, on-costs, data storage location – to ensure compliance with UK or EU data protection laws and any associated risks.
A great way to learn and understand how new technology can help you grow is by attending exhibitions and/or asking your peers how they do it. Always look for local events to meet potential new suppliers. The Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce Expo was a great place to find local experts in IT. The event offers an opportunity for all businesses to forge new partnerships, share knowledge and best practice, and soak up a stream of invaluable advice.
Finally, speak to your accountant about the best way to fund new IT projects as there are often grants and support for investment in technology. Working with your IT providers in partnership should allow you to grow your business, and allow them in on some of your success too.