The most over-looked capability to pay attention to when choosing your IT provider: Culture
All organisations have a culture of their own – something that sets them apart from their competitors – and most will base their own identity around this. In some cases, this culture is good and helps drive an atmosphere of innovation and loyalty within the company. However, in other cases, the culture is bad, and this impacts all aspects of business.
This is why you need to look beyond the list of capabilities and attributes when you come to choose a potential IT provider. This is why you need to get to know the culture of the provider you will be working with.
So why is culture so important?
Your business is unique
This is not something to be overlooked: your business is, in fact, unique. While your organisation may share similarities with others in your field, and even beyond that, there is no one doing exactly what you do, and this is important.
Choosing an IT provider is not an easy task. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution to this. Instead, you need to partner with an organisation that is willing to take the time to get to know your business and how it operates. If not, how can you expect the solutions to provide the close support you need?
Query your potential IT provider on their procedures for working with new partners. If you feel that they are not able to offer a tailored approach to your project, this may be a sign that you need to look elsewhere.
Your IT provider does more than keep on top of your systems
Perhaps you’ve found a provider that ticks most, if not all, of the boxes on your list. Great – this provider is probably highly competent and is capable of keeping your systems well-maintained and operational.
However, there is a problem here. A top-quality IT provider needs to do more than this. If they are not able to go beyond the generic managed services model that has been kicking around for quite some time, they may not be able to help you get the best out of your IT.
But what does this mean exactly? Well, it all comes down to culture. Your IT provider needs to be a strategic partner, ready to help you develop the kind of winning gameplan that is going to take you to the next level. When we consider an IT partnership in this way, culture becomes all the more crucial. They are your partners, and this means providing something a little different than just another product off the peg. This involves staying ahead of the curve and working closely with your team to achieve a strategic advantage.
Finding a great cultural match helps you achieve your long-term aims
An IT provider should never be reactive and slow off the mark when a problem arises. Instead, they should be able to pre-empt problems before they occur and keep your business running with minimal downtime wherever possible.
This proactivity is crucial as it not only eliminate issues in the here and now, but it also provides effective support moving forwards. However, this is just one of the key attributes required in supporting your long-term aims and driving your business onwards. In-depth industry knowledge, the right skills, and an organisation-wide commitment to achieving the best for clients are all important here.
But all of this will come to nothing if the provider’s culture does not align with your own. This is about more than just working with your organisation and developing products and services capable of meeting your needs. This is about adopting the same approach to business and the same corporate values and identities and about driving towards shared goals.
In essence, your IT provider must have a profound understanding of your business.
Ready to discover an IT partner with a strategic focus on culture?
Get in touch today.