Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. When looking for an IT professional, seek someone that has an open and business-minded approach. Humans are creatures of habit, and the tip of the habitual spear seems to be gilded with IT professionals. Make sure that your IT provider is not joined at the hip to certain vendors, merely because they are re sellers and get a generous margin on a product.
Make sure that your IT professional does not see all problems as being in need of technical solutions. Technology is merely a facilitator that can aid people in performing their jobs. All jobs are done by people, in some way. With that in mind, an IT professional is more likely to implement a solution that is long-lasting and not merely a band aid to mask a deeper personnel issue.
Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
A. IT as an industry is constantly changing, every single day. There are a myriad of subsets of IT work and each interrelate to each other. The rapid changes and the complex relationships between the many different systems make it impossible to know it all.
The best IT people don't have all the answers. The best IT people know where to look and who to talk to for the answers. The best IT people know what questions to ask, rather than which prefabricated "answers" to give.
The best IT people aren't those who quietly sit at their desk all day and clickity-clack on their keyboards while other people wonder what magic they are performing. The best IT people are inquisitive into the business's operation and the specific challenges of the marketplace that the business works in. IT changes with the industry that it is applied within. Technology within business has many common threads, but there are specific challenges in applying it to amusement parks, retail outlets, financial services organizations, car dealerships, and etc.
Q. What questions should a consumer ask to hire the right service professional?
A. How long have you been working in IT as a professional?
Do you have any professional certifications or degrees in related fields?
What systems do you have the most specialty knowledge in? (The answer could be broad, such as "Network", "eCommerce" or "Servers." Ask them to narrow it down. What kind of networks? Which eCommerce platforms? What kind of servers?)
What are some projects that you've completed that you were most proud of? (This gains you an idea of what the person's greatest interests may lie in)
What books, articles or authors most influence you concerning your outlook on technology? (This is a bit touchy-feely, and many IT pros will probably shrink back at it. This is not a field that has a lot of theory written on it, but it can be found if one looks carefully. Also, the mindset behind IT is, in my opinion, best formed by those disciplines outside of IT. For instance, concepts behind manufacturing operations management or even martial arts are very applicable to IT)
Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?
A. The only way to measure success is by having a specific goal in mind. With a goal set, you can then know for certain if you've achieved success or not.
Before contacting a technology worker, make a list of the top three interests you have concerning your technology. The number "three" isn't magical, but it's a good starting point. Perhaps you have one need. For example, making sure your data is safe from a disaster. Make a list of the topmost concerns as related to your data. How far back do you want to be able to retrieve data? Are there regulatory concerns in your industry? How quickly do you want it to be recoverable?
Think through what your goals are. You won't be able to know exactly which questions to ask; that's what an IT pro can help you with. However, coming to the professional with a list of clear goals makes the project or projects much more likely to succeed.
Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
A. Crux Hosted Services stands out among IT professionals because we try to pull back and see the larger issues at stake when implementing technology. A customer certainly knows what they want, and we don't question that. However, often times when searching for outside services, an organization doesn't know exactly how their need can be met and how to ask for that help. If a customer asks for a faster database server, the real need might be that a certain query that their CRM tool makes needs to be re-written with better SQL. That would likely save a lot of time and money
Beyond merely doing "Root Cause Analysis" which isn't entirely unusual for an IT professional to do, Crux Hosted Services is inquisitive by nature and seeks to understand the needs of a business as they lay out their desires to ensure that a client is truly happy about what they receive.