If you probably aren’t in the business of working with technology, if can seem very impressive that your outsourced IT team has lots of certifications on their wall, or listed on their website. But what do all of these accolades really mean to you?

In reality, they are little more than a good starting point for an IT company. They tell you that the team, or at least certain members of it, have successfully completed training courses for specific hardware and software platforms. What they don’t tell you, however, is how the IT provider will put those skills to use for you, and whether you’ll be happy with the level of service you are receiving months from now.

Put another way, it’s expected that we should have some technical proficiency, but don’t let that be your only guide for choosing an outsourced IT company. A good technology partner will also have:

Fast response times. It’s one thing to be able to fix a technology problem, and another thing to be strong in customer service and responsive to what your clients need. It is almost become cliche to talk about IT firms that keep their clients waiting for hours on the phone, or sitting around for days before critical technology issues have been dealt with. In the end, figuring out whether your outsourced IT team is going to be responsive or not is just as important as determining what kinds of problems they are certified to fix.

The right pricing structure. Talk to enough business owners or CFOs, and you’ll find that many of them consider IT to be almost a sort of “no man’s land” where no one has any idea what technology costs should be like, or what the company is really getting for its investment. You want an IT team with clear, affordable, and consistent pricing. What does it matter how adept your outsourced IT provider is at solving problems if you can’t count on predicting billing from month to month?

A customer-centered approach. What this comes down to is the fact that certifications and technical knowledge are important, but not nearly as important as a commitment to working for you. The best IT providers don’t just have insight into the way that hardware and software work, but a customer-focused attitude that means returning calls right away, showing up when they say they will, and explaining issues and solutions to you in a way that you understand.

It’s very likely that different outsourced IT vendors that you meet with are going to have similar sets of training and certification. It pays to pay attention to these, but make sure that your real focus is on figuring out how responsive they are to your needs, what their services will cost, and whether or not they seem devoted to serving you in the future.

Or, if you’re ready to work with the best IT team in the business, why not schedule a free consultation with us today?