While it’s difficult to say if the global pandemic is over, subsiding or if the world is just too fatigued to keep up with the endless variants, warnings and precautions. No matter what the current, correct state of the COVID-19 pandemic is, there is no denying it changed the world in ways never predicted, especially the associated economic disruptions that created a complex labor environment resulting in a shortage of high-quality talent across many sectors.
This hiring crisis is something new for today’s workforce, a phenomenon not seen time immemorial. The talent shortage is so acute it’s creating operational risks and even limiting service in many businesses. More than 6,000 flights were canceled or delayed one weekend in June 2022 due to labor shortages. No industry or sector is immune, especially the IT industry.
As small businesses emerge – or acclimate – to a post-Covid world, IT projects are at the top of the priority list. Everyone learned a painful lesson in 2020 when an almost instant pivot to work-from-home was enforced and the associated needs of cybersecurity, collaboration and productivity became clear. The IT projects most small businesses are taking on now include adoption of the cloud, integration of collaboration tools, such as Microsoft Teams and work-from-anywhere capabilities, such as Zoom, and Zoom Phone. The shift has started from tactical to strategic.
Just as small businesses recognize the need to keep their technology in top shape and a necessary tool for business, including operations, the IT industry is dealing with a talent gap.
If an IT service provider is having problems with talent retention, meeting service level agreements or simply not as responsive as before, it could be a direct result of the talent shortage and the difficulty of attracting or keeping talent. Of course, the friction associated with changing IT companies is always a factor; they know your environment, they understand your business and they likely have key projects in flight. These are all valid reasons not to jump impetuously to a new provider when disappointment seeps in.
If your IT company does not have the right level of talent to meet your slate of IT initiatives or simply can’t commit to start (or finish) of key projects, then it may prove time to plot a move, but one that is carefully planned, spans several months, allows the new and old companies the opportunity to work together and, of course, assurance that the new IT Service company is well positioned to meet your demand.
There are over 800,000 computer support specialists available throughout the United States.
If considering a move, consider these factors.
It's important to find an IT support company with the specific experience and ability your business needs. Consider what you will expect from your IT company, not only today, but in the future as the business grows and expands. Make sure any company you consider has specialized experience and ability in the present and future areas your business needs.
A Proactive Approach
Many IT companies still use a break-fix model when it comes to their IT needs, waiting until something breaks before calling for help to fix the issue. This model can cause unnecessary downtime, lost productivity and stress on employees. Look for a managed IT Services company that uses a proactive approach when assessing IT needs. They review your current infrastructure and make suggestions based on your specific business goals. Their approach can help you avoid potential issues down the road.
The Right Tools
Make sure the IT support company uses tools that can help your business. For example, remote monitoring and management tools. These tools ensure IT infrastructure receives attention 24/7 and sends alerts when things fall outside expected parameters. If there's ever an issue, the Managed IT Services company will catch it right away. An immediate response can minimize downtime.
It's not enough to find an experienced IT Services company. Make sure the company can meet your needs too. Ask each company how big their team is, how many clients they're currently helping and how long their technicians have been with the company. Technology support is unlike other businesses; the expectation is support is always available and response time is fast, no matter the time of day. Fast IT response times help your business and reputation.
A Strong Reputation
Before choosing an IT Services company, do your research and seek recommendations. Once you have a list, visit each company's website to understand what they do and how they do it. Check to see if they are BBB certified. Ask for references and speak with current clients that are in your specific industry. Directly ask if they would hire the IT Services company again. A strong professional reputation is a key indicator for any business, but especially and IT Services company.
About 60% of businesses outsource their IT to save money. While 57% use outsourcing to focus on their core business, 47% use outsourcing to solve capacity problems. About 87% of small businesses say cost-cutting is the top reason to outsource to IT professionals. When you ask for a quote, make sure you understand what's included and what is not included, but don't make a choice based on price alone. Instead, review the other factors to find the best IT support team for your business.
Finding a trusted IT company can improve your productivity, minimize downtime and protect the reputation of your business. A company without a solid IT Services company risks putting the business in a vulnerable position. Roark Tech Services is well positioned to help a small business reach the next level with their technology adoption.
Established in 1998, Roark Tech Services is a boutique firm that supplies performance-focused, fit-for-purpose solutions to select organizations. We limit the number of clients we take on, carefully selecting only those that guarantee our ability to supply unmatched quality and response time. We take pride in the personal relationships we establish with our clients and consider it an essential part of the service we offer.