A scenario we often encounter at Lanter is the previously small business in the midst of a significant period of growth. This typically leads them to re-think whether their existing IT set-up is still fit-for-purpose. Usually, the short answer is probably not.

Business owners are therefore faced with a decision around future technical support … hire an in-house IT professional, extend their existing in-house IT capacity, or bring in an external partner to manage their evolving, growing and increasingly complex needs.

Often there can be resistance to the latter option based on common misconceptions resulting from general stereotypes, or negative experiences with substandard previous IT partners.

Here we address common concerns and bust the myths. Read on to discover exactly what you should expect from an external IT partner of genuine quality …

“If I have an issue I’ll just end up in a queue on the phone. There will be a significant wait before my issue is looked at.”

While this might be the case with some providers, it certainly should not be the norm. We can say with confidence that with Lanter, you won’t get put into a queue or be kept waiting for hours.

We completely understand that IT issues impacting performance and customer experience need to be handled now! Otherwise your risk reduced productivity, and reputational harm.

Make sure you pick an IT partner that is on-call 24/7, so there will always be somebody available to help. No matter what time of the day or night, you should be able to count on having access to an expert to ensure your issues are dealt with swiftly and effectively. After all, our job is to minimise your frustrations, and not add to them!

“I’ll have to speak to lots of people before I eventually get to talk to somebody with the right expertise to help me.”

A good IT support company will build a team of highly-skilled engineers and technicians who can solve the vast majority of issues on-the-spot.

At Lanter, we take this commitment one step further by providing clients with direct access to their very own dedicated technical Account Manager who knows their business, environment and distinct requirements inside-out. This is important, as it allows them to quickly identify the most appropriate solutions.

“IT support is only there to respond in the event of an issue arising.”

Sadly, with some providers this can be true. A large cohort believes they exist simply to react and resolve the immediate IT issues of their clients as they arise, and charge by the hour for the privilege.

The major downside of this approach is that it offers no incentive to fix the underlying issue, because the company will profit from fixing the same recurring problem over and over again.

Conversely, a quality IT support partner will continually work behind the scenes to identify and resolve problems before they have the opportunity to cause disruption. This is a win-win situation. The IT company spends less time fixing issues, your team isn’t disrupted, and your network benefits from continuous, long-term fixes.

“An IT support partner is only concerned with fixing immediate day-to-day problems.”

Good IT support is about so much more than simply fixing what’s broken. Ongoing guidance should form a key aspect of the offering, including the provision of advice on improvements to your system that will help meet your current and future goals, needs, growth and success.

An IT partner should be thinking six months to a year ahead. Beyond that, they should have a long-term plan to offer continual improvements to your IT operations for many years to come.

An expert with a passion for the IT space will always remain fully across the very latest technological products and developments in a rapidly evolving space. They can therefore present suggested improvements to your IT set-up, and use their insights to clearly outline the potential benefits to your particular business.

The IT space is a complex and jargon-heavy world, and the many different options can seem overwhelming. Your IT partner should have the ability to translate everything into easy-to-understand language, empowering you to fully comprehend their recommendations and the implications, so that you can make the right decisions for your team and customers.

The extent and breadth of services offered by an external IT support partner is also frequently underestimated. For example, many clients don’t realise the support they should be accessing around automation and workflows. With the right tools and programs, double-handling can be eliminated, information can be found quickly, staff can save time, and efficiencies can be improved.

Equally, businesses with an IT support partner in place can fall into the trap of believing their system security is all in order. Because no news is good news, right? Not exactly!

Your provider should be making a noticeable ongoing commitment to identifying potential security risks, and recommending measures that will boost protection. At Lanter, this is in-built as a fundamental aspect of our IT support offering. Keeping your critical business data safe is a non-negotiable for us!

“My previous IT support partner never seemed to learn from the issues that arose, and I found we were facing the same problems over and over again.”

This is absolutely not how Lanter or any other quality IT support provider operates. Tackling the same issues repeatedly not only wastes your time, but ours too. For us, the goal is to identify the route cause of any problem, before implementing the steps that need to be taken to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

“IT providers tend not to be very service-orientated.”

At Lanter we proudly take a ‘customer first’ approach.

Developing a close and communicative relationship with your IT provider is vital to ensure you get the best out of the relationship. Clear and regular communication is vital. Our aim is to become a trusted extension of your own team. A willingness to engage in an ongoing dialogue where ideas for long-term improvements to your IT infrastructure are discussed, is a sign that your IT partner is invested in the success of your business.

Trust is an important element of the relationship, particularly because you might struggle to extend that trust initially, due to previous negative experiences or the fear of a loss of control.

The way Lanter builds trust is through providing a responsive and effective service, and developing client relationships over time by demonstrating an understanding of your business and the importance of customer satisfaction.

A quality IT service provider will ensure continuous improvement and will work to create operational efficiencies within your business. At Lanter, we’re here to support you over the long term, with an ever-evolving IT solution that will always align with your business objectives.