In any business, the IT team is a critical part of keeping things running smoothly. But in a professional services firm, they play an even more important role.
For one, clients expect a higher level of service and responsiveness from a professional services firm. And two, the nature of the work means that data security and confidentiality are paramount.
So what are the 12 most important features of a professional services IT team? Let’s take a look.
They’re always on the lookout for new technology
The most successful IT teams are those who never stop looking for new technologies that can help their business. They’re always on the lookout for new tools and platforms that can give them a competitive edge. Spend some time talking to prospective teams about what kind of tech they are currently using, why they use it and, importantly, what kind of tech they are looking into. Consider talking to them about automating professional services and what they see as the future of automation, as this will give you a good insight into how they operate.
They have a deep understanding of their users’ needs
A great IT team will always put their users first. They will take the time to understand their specific needs and pain points, and they will tailor their solutions accordingly. This means that they are not only looking for ways to improve the user experience, but they are also constantly trying to find new ways to make their users’ lives easier. When talking to prospective teams, ask them about specific users they have in mind and how they plan on meeting their needs. This will give you a good sense of whether they are truly user-centric.
They are great communicators
Any successful team is built on strong communication, and this is especially true for IT teams. A good IT team will always make sure that everyone is on the same page, whether it’s through regular updates, team meetings, or simply by being available to answer any questions, their help desk is there for you. This way, there are no surprises, and everyone knows what is expected of them. When talking to prospective teams, ask them about their communication style and frequency, and see if it matches your own preferences.
They have a collaborative approach
IT projects can be very complex, so it’s important that the team you choose has a collaborative approach. This means that they are willing to work with other teams, departments and stakeholders to get the job done. A good IT team will also be open to feedback and willing to adjust their plans accordingly. When talking to prospective teams, ask them about how they usually handle projects, how they collaborate, and the tools they use for efficient communication. This will give you a good sense of whether they are truly team players.
They are always learning
The most successful IT teams are those that are constantly learning and evolving. They understand that the world of technology is always changing, so they make it a point to stay up-to-date with the latest trends. They also know that there is always room for improvement, so they are always looking for ways to learn and grow. When talking to prospective teams, ask them about their commitment to learning and professional development. This will give you a good sense of whether they are truly dedicated to improving their skills.
They have a results-driven approach
A good professional services team will always be results-driven. They will set clear goals and objectives, and they will do whatever it takes to meet them. This means that they are always looking for ways to optimize their processes and procedures. When talking to prospective teams, ask them about their process for setting goals and measuring success. This will give you a good sense of whether they are truly results-oriented.
They are flexible and adaptable
The thing with professional services is that no two projects are ever the same. This means that the team you choose needs to be flexible and adaptable enough to handle whatever comes their way. A good IT team will be able to quickly adjust their plans and processes as needed without missing a beat. How do they usually handle changes? When talking to prospective teams, ask them about a time when they had to make a major change mid-project.
You should also find out how easy it is to scale your service up or down. You might not need the same level of service all the time, so it’s important to choose a team that can adjust its offerings accordingly.
They have a proven track record
When it comes to professional services, experience is always a major plus. Look for a team that has a proven track record of successfully completing projects that are similar to yours in scope and size. Ask for references and case studies, and take the time to talk to their past clients. This will give you a good idea of what it’s like to work with them and whether they are likely to deliver on their promises.
They have a customer-centric approach
Your professional services team should always put the customer first. They should take the time to understand their specific needs and pain points, and they should tailor their solutions accordingly. You can usually tell if a team is customer-centric by the way they talk about their past projects. Do they focus on the challenges their customers were facing, or do they just talk about the features they delivered? When talking to prospective teams, ask them about a specific project they worked on and how they went about addressing the customer’s needs.
They have a data-driven approach
A good professional services team will always use data to guide their decisions. They understand that data provides insights that can help them improve their processes and deliver better results. Keep in mind that not all data is created equal, so it’s important to choose a team that knows how to collect and analyze the right data. When talking to prospective teams, ask them about their process for collecting, analyzing data and backing up data.
They treat cybersecurity with the utmost seriousness
In today’s world, cybersecurity is more important than ever. A good professional services team will treat cybersecurity with the utmost seriousness, and they will have procedures and protocols in place to protect their clients’ data. When talking to prospective teams, ask them about their cybersecurity procedures. This will give you a good sense of whether they are truly serious about protecting their clients’ data.
Awareness of compliance issues and best practices
When working with sensitive data, it’s important to choose a team that is aware of compliance issues and best practices. A good professional services team will have procedures in place to ensure that all data is handled in a compliant manner. When you entrust your data to a team, you should feel confident that they will take all necessary steps to protect it. They should go into specifics regarding things like data storage, data destruction, and data security.
When choosing a professional services team, it’s important to choose one that has the right mix of skills, experience, and personality. The team you choose should be results-driven, flexible, customer-centric, and data-driven. They should also take cybersecurity seriously and be aware of compliance issues and best practices. By taking the time to find the right team, you’ll set yourself up for success.