- Technology Neutrality – Firm should have experience with competing technologies (example: Windows vs Linux) and should recommend the technology that is right fit for the client only after thoroughly understanding and careful evaluation of their needs. Just a few years back some IT Services companies pushed their clients toward cloud as a way to reduce their cost, but without any proper due diligence. In the beginning their clients traded fixed costs for variable expenses, but then the charges started adding up with increased usage resulting in unsustainable IT spending.
- Vendor Independence – Firm should not act as a reseller of a particular vendor’s product and push that product whether it makes sense or not. Many firms just sign up with one vendor and push its solution on clients. This plays out more in backup and disaster recovery space than any other, where firms push a backup solution using a one size fits all strategy with less than optimal outcomes for their clients.
- Security Awareness – Firm must be able to clearly show how it improves and maintains its clients’ cybersecurity posture through preventative and responsive measures. The measures include both hardware and software deployments as well as organizational controls in place that mitigate the security risks. They must also be able to help their clients identify and close any compliance gaps.
- Disaster Preparedness – As with security, firm must be able to demonstrate to its prospect client it’s approach to business continuity that includes developing and implementing a thorough plan, as well as testing the plan on a regular basis. Many firms will put up a backup plan in place, but will then fail to perform regular disaster recovery drills to confirm that the backup is not only good, but also satisfies the RPO and RTO requirements.
- Responsiveness – This may be the most difficult factor to evaluate as every firm claims it’s responsive to its clients needs. However, companies must feel comfortable in its partner being able to meet SLA in terms of responding to normal tickets, urgent tickets, and be able to provide timely resolution of issues by having resources with right skill set assigned to such issues.
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