Ever sworn at a computer? Of course you have! And that's why you need Ingenious to guide you through the IT maze H anding the cornerstone of your business (and it really is the cornerstone these days) to an external IT support company can be extremely daunting. How do you know if they are any good? More importantly, how do you know if they are knowledgeable, efficient and organised enough to be able to deal with your needs effectively and promptly? This is possibly the most important aspect of any relationship with a technology partner. You need to pick a company that will work in your best interests and not theirs. This has to be a company that doesn't just shift kit and services - they need to be able to make sound judgement calls and work on an evolving strategy on what is best for your business (and help you when you are swearing at the PC!). They also need to be fully up to date with the latest technology. Buzzwords and endless bombardment of techie jargon and sales techniques make this one of the most difficult things for any business to fathom. The company needs to have strong knowledge of the latest technology and to let you know whether it is what you really need, can afford and if it actually makes sense to implement it for your business. Performing under pressure Business relationships are very important. You need to know that the company you use will perform well under pressure (almost all IT problems have a business impact and need to be fixed pronto). You also need to know that they will respond well to criticism (praise is always welcome!) and that any misunderstandings or problems are addressed and dealt with sensibly and maturely. Things can go wrong and you need to know they will be put right without grief. It may be tempting to consider hiring your own in-house IT person. For companies with fewer than 150 staff this almost never makes financial sense. Think about the following: The member of staff will be entitled to 20-30 days a year of holidays (plus possible sick days) - you may even need two people. There might not be enough work for them. Good staff expect high salaries - £40K plus. Further expenses: benefits, desk space, IT/ telecoms, national insurance etc.