How to Speak With Your IT Provider Part 2: Communication Strategies
Communicating what you need can be difficult, especially in a highly specialized field like IT. In many ways, it can feel like being in a foreign country without speaking the language: you communicate with gestures and vague generalizations.
Of course, over time you’ll start to develop a language of your own — or at least a methodology for communicating.
This two part series is designed to help you do exactly that, but for the language of IT professionals. In the first part, we discussed framing tools to help define your IT services needs. In this second part, we will look at active strategies to facilitate deeper communication.
Center Your Conversation Around You Business
We spent a whole post giving you the tools to frame the types of services you are looking for, now it is time to put those tools to the test.
When talking to an IT professional, it’s important that you tightly restrict your conversation to the needs of your business. Don’t get bogged down with trying to understand the mechanics of technology, at least not initially. If you are unsure of what a service is or how a piece of technology works, ask them to explain it to you in the context of how it will impact your business specifically, both in a procedural and financial sense.
Once you have explained the needs of your business, you should make an effort to honestly listen to the advice that you are given. While IT services or computer support that your IT consultant is bringing up might seem out of left field, give them the opportunity to explain why those particular IT services would be beneficial
Especially when it comes to security, it is important to defer to their expertise. There have been several very notable cyber attacks lately, but the truth is that they are much more wide spread than you might think. The federal government alone has seen a nearly 680% increase in attacks in the last six years.
Maintain Your Authority
It is very easy when talking to IT consulting services to let your curiosity get the best of you. While the incredible strides made in technology can be incredibly fascinating, or alternative, overwhelming, it is important that you maintain your authority over the situation.
If you feel like a service is not necessary for the success of your business, you shouldn’t hesitate to say so. While it is always important to respect the opinion of experts, you shouldn’t let them convince you that they understand what your business needs better than you do.
The biggest challenge when trying to enlist the help of IT services is communicating clearly what you and your business need. Hopefully, this two part series has given you the tools you need to better communicate with your IT provider.