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There seems to be an array of companies popping up these days that provide “IT Services”, and to the average person, they’re probably all the same. Most businesses will think “if they can fix a computer, great!”. But there’s some important questions you should be asking before your hand over the keys to your entire computer network to an “IT professional”. After all, if you’re like most businesses operating in the 21st century, you probably rely on your technology infrastructure for everything – from your book keeping, to your customer records, to your invoicing and job details. Simply put, you couldn’t run your businesses without your technology. So that begs the all important question; How do you determine if your IT provider has the skills and knowledge necessary to support your business technology?
Technically speaking there is no barrier to becoming an “IT professional”. It’s not like being a lawyer or a doctor – anyone with a little “computer knowledge” who knows their way around Windows and a computer can be in this game. However, technology is such a broad topic and the average IT professional needs to have knowledge in many areas of IT. As businesses rely more on their technology they also invest more in it, meaning that the average IT support company needs to have expertise in areas such as IT Security, networking, storage, backup, redundancy, desktop support, servers, wireless – the list goes on and on.
So how do you become an ‘expert’ in all of these areas? By becoming certified. IT certification programs ensure the technical competence of IT professionals. Certification exams go beyond training by providing a tangible measurement of a technician’s knowledge of a specific IT support function or product. Certification programs establish standards for IT education and play an important role in developing a qualified technical resource that can be trusted when it comes to managing the technology for your business.
So ask your IT provider what their certifications are. If they’ve only worked on home computers – they shouldn’t be touching your corporate servers. If they only deal with removing viruses from grandma’s computers, why are they installing firewalls, you get the point.
The reality is, your IT support company should be a key strategic partner in your business – providing support, service, advice and direction on all things technology and how they impact your business. To do this effectively, you need the right people, with the right knowledge, and the papers to back it up.
At Partek our technicians hold the following certifications: