Article printed in the Technology Supplement of The Sunday Times dated 17th April 2016
Businesses, regardless of their size, require IT support in some capacity. Rather than be a constant cause of concern to business owners, the IT component of any business should ensure that operational capacities are maximized. This is why identifying and selecting the right IT solution partner is essential in order for organizations to reach their business goals.
An IT solution partner should comprehensively handle the entire IT requirements of their client from concept to implementation through to support. This process will include analyzing the client’s current infrastructure and evaluating their business needs, so as to propose an ideal, complete solution whilst also envisaging any future changes which the organization may face.
Companies need to consider in depth a number of factors when choosing the right partner to handle their IT requirements in order to avoid unnecessary costs and delays, production slowdown and loss of business.
Consultancy, Project Planning and Management
Companies look for the most effective solution for their ICT needs, both operationally and financially. The IT provider’s experience will enable it to guide customers to the best solution for their business functionalities.
For the implementation of new or additional IT facilities, it is important that an appropriate plan is in place. This involves the identification of all the steps and tasks needed to be taken, the availability of personnel to undertake them, a timeframe defined for each task, the order in which tasks need to be performed, and the person(s) responsible to complete it. Progress has to be regularly followed up and alternative solutions offered in case of any deviations from plan.
A provider that has undertaken many such projects and has the necessary experience and expertise is a reassuring factor for the client.
As organizations grow and change, it is crucial to review existing structures to ensure that they are aligned efficiently and continue to meet business needs. Once again, this is where the IT provider’s previous experience and skills come into play. The rapid developments in enabling technology, changing customer needs and demands, as well as business pressure to control costs, continue to promote the need for ever-changing process improvements.
IT providers therefore need to be quick to enable their customers adapt to these changes and ensure that they are always on the forefront of technology.
Security, Business Continuity, and Disaster Recovery
In today’s world, data security is a big concern for businesses. In order to reduce an organization’s risk of a security threat, the weak areas have to be identified and adequate measures implemented. Whether it is an external attack or one within the organisation, a company must have the possibility of detecting such threats with a subsequent plan of action to counter such situations with minimal downtime and losses.
Apart from malicious attacks, operational problems may also arise due to unforeseen situations which shut down a company’s entire system, seriously compromising all the company’s data. The IT solution partner needs to provide all necessary services to ensure the continuation of business operations in such events and provide an alternative operating space should this be required until full recovery is resumed.
Maintenance and support
Another fundamental area not to be overlooked is maintenance and support. Maintenance agreements with the IT provider ensure that a customer’s systems are kept operating flawlessly. Support on the other hand, provides assistance to the user when encountering difficulties during the day-to-day operation. Training at both technical and application user levels should be part of every system delivery.
Ultimately, an IT solutions partner has to continuously work hand in hand with their customers to ensure that all their IT needs are addressed, enabling their journey to innovation to be a successful one and keeping their business at the top of the technology game via-a-vis their competition. Where organizations’ IT requirements are concerned, business owners need the peace of mind that handing over this area to professionals will allow them and be able to focus their efforts on their core business activity.
Megabyte Ltd. has been established since 1979 and its mission is to provide total cost-effective, state-of-the-art solutions based on professional services and partner products and tools to enable its customers to be more efficient and competitive. The key to its success lies in the expertise accumulated over the years in systems design and implementation and its active involvement in providing technical consultancy, particularly in the areas of IT strategy, planning and integration.