Transparency can be lacking in the IT services world. Some individuals in the industry are so focused on the technology that they overlook the importance of transparency. They can come across as secretive, combative, difficult. Because of this, the prospect of switching IT providers can feel daunting.

We are always working on transparency. Transparency is: the quality of being easy to perceive or detect; the quality of being open to public scrutiny (definitions from Oxford Languages).

Transparency can be hard for IT companies for a couple of different reasons. One reason is that companies sometimes don’t want to share how we do things. We fear that other companies might “steal” our solutions.

At Inderly, we sell our labour (helping people with tech support), which is straightforward. But we also sell a product that we have refined over the years (the Cloud Office, a virtual desktop/private cloud solution). We have decided that doing the work of putting together the Cloud Office is more difficult than figuring out how to do it. So we aren’t secretive about the architecture behind it. We are also open with clients about the 30+ software programs we use to deliver all of our computer management and security services.

The second reason transparency can be hard is that public scrutiny makes us feel vulnerable. We fear being openly challenged by competitors and clients. The good part about being openly challenged is that is makes it necessary for us to evolve with the times, and to feel confident in how we provide IT services.

We’ve put together 4 tips to achieve more transparency from any IT services company helping you with office technology:

1. Have regular meetings with your IT services provider

Regular meetings will build trust and understanding. Your IT services provider should be interested in helping out with your office’s evolving needs. To help you understand the types of services your IT team can provide, read up on the 10 most common products and services offered by IT companies.

2. Understand pricing

Not everyone openly advertises their pricing, but at a minimum you should understand how much your IT services cost, what’s included, and what additional costs will apply.

3. Know where your data lives (and are there tested, remote backups?)

Access to your work data is important, whether you’re working in the office or remotely. Equally critical are secure, tested backups of all your data in case of emergency.

4. When hiring a new IT services company company: ask for references, and a
sk about your exit clause/offboarding costs

When you are hiring a new IT services company, we always recommend checking client references. You should also feel free to ask specifically about your exit clause and offboarding costs. You’ll want to know how to access and move your data, should you decide to move IT companies.

Without regulation or official oversite, IT professionals must stay committed to industry best practices. And, clients must do their research to find an IT support team that is trustworthy, knowledgeable, and helpful. One way for IT services companies to stay on top of best practices is to continually work on improving transparency.