What headaches could the wrong tech partner cause your company? Missing data. Business interruption. Uninformed decisions. Angry people. The list goes on and on. Technology is at the heart of modern business. To avoid headaches, you need a strong technology partner. Use this checklist to makes sure you’ve vetted yours.
- Is the system secure? If your company handles personal information – anything from names and email address to Social Security Numbers and credit card numbers – you need to do everything possible to keep it safe. If your tech partner causes a data breach, your company could be the one to pay the price. Look for security.
- Is the partner accessible? When you have a question, you want an answer. Do you have a way to submit a question immediately? Do you have a Customer Success Manager? Look for a partner with multiple access points and online resources to get answers you need immediately.
- Is training provided? Switching to a new tech system can be a huge endeavor, and minor hiccups can lead to big business interruptions if you don’t know how to handle them. Look for a tech partner who will provide training and support as needed.
- Is the system easy to learn and use? Tech support is important, but you don’t want to have to use it every day. You need a system that’s easy to use, easy to train new workers on, and with online tools to help answer your own questions.
- Will the partner compete with you? You have enough competition. You don’t need to invite more of it from someone who’s supposed to be your ally. But be careful. Some tech partners will offer your same services directly to your customers. Find a partner who won’t compete with you.
- Is the service or solution new and untested? Novel products can sound appealing, but there’s a catch. New tech solutions often have bugs that still need to be fixed. There’s a difference between being on the cutting edge and turning yourself into a guinea pig. Look for years of experience in your tech partner.
- Will the partner still be there tomorrow? Another problem with new solutions is that they don’t always last. Imagine what would happen if you picked a tech partner today, and then tomorrow that partner disappeared. How would you get the updates and support you need? Avoid the problem by picking a partner with proven staying power.
- Does the partner know your industry? Your industry has specific compliance issues and tech needs. You want a partner who understands your business as well as you do, so you can navigate concerns and avoid problems together.
- Does your partner offer customization? One size does not always fit all. You need a tech partner who will provide your company with the right customization options so you can get the perfect solution for your unique problems.
- Is there trust? Trust is important in any partnership, whether it’s a marriage or a business deal. Request a demo, check references and ask questions until you feel satisfied that you’re in good hands.
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