What to Look For in an IT Company

A friend of mine told me a sad story I’ve heard many times before.

Their last employer kept using an IT company to fix their problems, even though nothing stayed fixed for very long.

Something would break. This company would fix it. And after a while, something would break again. Sometimes it was the thing that broke before.

An endless cycle of break and fix, break and fix. 

She tried to get her boss to understand that there was no incentive for this company to change.

They weren’t making their money by preventing problems. 

They were making it by reacting to problems.

Her old boss didn’t want to bother with it. It was easier to play catchup than to change.

My friend knew the people at the tech company. They were honest. They believed they were serving their clients’ interests.  

But with the break/fix model, it often seemed like the IT company was happier when things weren’t working.  No doubt they billed more.

If you prefer a more proactive approach, here’s what to look for in an IT company.

Trust that the IT Has the Know-How to Stay Ahead of Problems

Don’t hire an IT company that lacks experience.

Look for credentials and evidence of expertise. How long have they been in business? What certificates do they have?  Do clients stay with them a long time?  What references can they provide you with?  Reputable companies love sharing this information.

Explore their culture. Do they update their systems regularly? How often do their employees receive training?  How do they stay up to date on current cyber security threats?

Invest in someone that invests in their security.

Proactive vs. Reactive

With the break/fix approach, you react to problems. 

This is like a car mechanic who only fixes your car enough to keep it running a few thousand miles before you need to take it into them again.

The model works best in companies that focus on short-term cost-savings. But short-term cost-savings using means higher long-term costs

It’s tempting to rely on a quick fix to keep computers working when your business depends on them.

I prefer clients who have a proactive — not reactive — mindset. In the long run, it’s cheaper and safer to stop problems before they pop up.

Invest in an IT company that addresses problems before they arise. Consistent prevention, rather than reacting and treating. 

Incentive Alignment

Look for IT companies that specify all their services upfront and for one monthly cost.

Know what you’re paying for, and make it cost them money if they don’t do their job.

Make sure they offer a wide range of services.

A company might offer to back up your data, but not security awareness training or yearly system updates.

They might have a competitive price, but it will cost you in the long-run when a hacker exploits the gap in their service.

A Partner

An IT company handles your network and security, so you don’t have to.

At STR, we constantly update our technology to stay on the cutting edge and provide a full package of services: Cyber Security, multi-factor authentication, security awareness training, dark web monitoring, and application white listing to name a few.

We also help all of our clients implement an extensive disaster recovery plan to protect them should the worst happen.

We are not experts in your business.  Most likely you are not an expert in IT.  Shouldn’t your IT needs be handled by an expert?


If you’d like to learn more about how a proactive approach can prevent IT problems before they occur, schedule a free consultation.