infoTECH Feature

June 20, 2017

What to Ask Before your Company Invests in IT

By Special Guest
Kenny Hicks, VP of Technology Strategy

Seeking out the proper technology for your business needs is a difficult, and at times, frustrating task. When faced with a wide variety of options, business executives or owners may think that the best way to solve a problem is by using a company that provides a temporary IT employee. Unfortunately, this is only a Band-Aid solution, and once that employee’s contract is up, the company is on its own, and quite possibly, right back to where the trouble all started.

What’s the solution? Find a technology provider that takes a holistic, build and service approach to its products. Lacking a bit of understanding of the root cause or terminology about the company’s issues? No problem – this is when a business should seek out a provider that assists by guiding the project from the beginning to end, with just the right documentation needed for knowledge transfer and with ongoing support.

In 2019, spending on information technology is expected to grow to over $2.4 billion dollars. This means that most business owners have weighed or are weighing the options to invest in technology solutions. While there may be factors holding them back such as expense, indecisiveness, or that the investment may have a longer period of return, many realize the necessity of moving forward. If you want the best results, advice, team and product for your business, then your business deserves the best investments.

Don’t choose a technology provider as a Band-Aid solution; opt for a holistic approach by thinking about these important questions:

What’s the goal?

Some businesses fall into the trap of bringing in technology that only addresses only one specific task. An example of this one-solution mindset might be regarding the need to create a mobile app, rather than thinking a business might need ongoing support throughout the development process and maintenance once the project is completed. Thinking of one project being one solution is an easy, but unfortunate problem. This type of strategy might cover up an issue – like a Band-Aid – but when dealing with business and technology, issues are sure to arise in the future.

When asking “What’s the goal?,” shift the thinking from one specific pain-point. The goal should be future proof, so equip the business with a team of experts who will handle all of the work while providing support and knowledge along the way.

Where are the tools coming from?

A quick Google (News - Alert) search shows many options for free or questionably discounted services that most often use a business’s own employees. The drawbacks to these quick-fix solutions are that they tend to focus on one initiative or problem, leave once the project is complete and are rarely free because customers end up facing hours of headache from issues that will arise from their software or consultation.

Seek out a solution that uses and develops proprietary tools, frameworks and methodologies to enable customers, large and small, to increase sales, reduce costs and boost productivity.

Who’s in charge?

Some solutions send a body to a business to serve as the IT department. These workers are on contract and may not be fully invested in the company’s approach. While this may initially seem like the business has an expert in residence, once the contract is up the expert is no longer available.

Strong customer service is crucial to ease stressed minds, but it’s even better when that customer service is coming from a team of certified experts. The team should include members with proven technical experience, as well as consultants who think as much about business strategy as they do about code. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the staff, as it should be their goal to empower businesses through the optimal use of technology.

The laundry list of questions to ask and content to research might sound intimidating, but if the technology provider isn’t looking to answer them with patience and a commitment to excellence, the business is better off looking elsewhere.

Interested in seeing why Aura IT customers come back again and again? Check out some of our customer success stories.

About the Author

Kenny Hicks is a senior solutions architect at Aura IT Consulting. From creating the next big idea to solving operational problems, Aura IT Consulting partners with customers to understand their business strategies and implement IT solutions that help them reach their goals.

Edited by Alicia Young

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