Keep I.T. Local

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Why keep your IT local? In today’s market, we know that our customers have options. IT companies saturate the market and offer more and more for a bargain.  Foreign companies offer services at below-market rates, and, while not every experience will be a negative one, you can expect a great deal more complication. From a basic logistical standpoint, there are several issues that arise almost immediately, the immutable force of time being your first obstacle. Working from radically different time zones makes communication by phone impractical. Beyond the time difference, there is the problem of expertise -- inexperienced or flat-out no-experience programmers try to land lucrative jobs for which they are not qualified and ultimately end up botching.

In 2012, Applet Studios pulled its foreign development program, transferring it to U.S.-based programmers after a horrible experience with its outsourced application development project. After lining up promotions and advertising for the launch of its new app, Applet was horrified to learn that almost no usable work had actually been completed. The program’s director exchanged several emails with his contractors, assuring him of the programs successful development. After days without a response, the contractor answered that the developer had been ill. When the final product was presented, it bared almost no resemblance to the specifications given. Already behind on their marketing window of opportunity Applet was forced to both scrap the app and write off the marketing investment as a loss.

When customers outsource their IT, they can expect to receive precisely what they pay for. When dealing with a tech company outside of your community, first consider reputation:  foreign companies have less to lose. When a company markets on a larger scale, accountability is often the first thing to go. An unresponsive help desk, site functionality issues, poor SEO, and even basic content can be sources of constant frustration.

Hardware repair can be just as vexing -- overcharging and providing sub-standard service is the hallmark of so-called big box companies, according to the employees themselves.  http://consumerist.com/2011/06/10/9-confessions-of-a-former-geek-squad-geek/ Consumers are regularly overcharged for services provided and have their repairs done by underqualified service technicians. This often-overlooked form of outsourcing these big box repair shops does little to contribute to the local business stability of a town, instead sending maximum profit to a larger collective elsewhere. Often this process works to the detriment of smaller businesses who provide the same service. 

What does all this add up to? Consider the benefits of both access and accountability, but don’t discount the community benefits to keeping your IT services local. Local businesses are just that: local. Their success is the success of a community, and their contribution of revenue helps maintain a vibrant economy. They provide jobs and better wages to their employees, ensure product and service diversity, and maintain a level of competition that protects against monopolies and price gouging. So whether you’re thinking about reinvigorating your website, developing a new one, creating an app, or just need some hardware repairs, remember: your local IT provider, Armor, can help.

Monday August 29th, 2016