There has never been a greater appetite for IT innovation than in businesses today. An extraordinary 99% of CIOs are now being asked to accelerate innovation to increase their company’s competitive advantage.

Organizations are counting on IT teams to update their infrastructure quickly to deliver this much-needed innovation, as they navigate an ever-increasing threat landscape while seeking to avoid costly downtime. However, despite their best efforts, 77% of organizations report that IT performance falls short due to misalignments in the business.

One of the primary reasons for misalignment is the ever-widening IT skills gap, which impacts teams’ ability to meet their company’s business objectives. Tech talent is in historically short supply, and IDC predicts this gap will soon cost businesses over $775 billion in delays each year.

So, how can your business achieve its technology objectives without much needed in-house resources? By identifying and working with the best possible IT experts, who’ll give you the certainty of reliability and help drive next-generation technology transitions.

There’s no match for expertise

The IT skills gap may be a universal challenge, but every business is different. That’s why, to meet your organization’s unique requirements, you need to select the right IT vendor – one that offers uniquely qualified experts who can draw on their expertise, analytics, insights, and automation to help your team achieve their technology goals.

These experts should work with you to understand your business priorities and identify opportunities – guiding your organization from onboarding and implementation, to adoption and optimization, to your next technology transition.

Here are the fundamentals to look for.

Three ways to know a vendor is right for you

1. They’ll be with you every step of the way

Your ideal IT vendor will work side by side with you, providing expert guidance and leveraging best practices throughout the technology lifecycle – from evaluation through transformation – so you get the most from your IT investments.

With access to the expertise, analytics, insights, and automation you need – where, when, and how you need it – every member of your team can achieve the outcomes they want.

2. They’ll provide continuous and proactive expertise

With consistent, proactive recommendations powered by data-driven insights, your IT team will have regular access to trusted knowledge. This can range from expert support from a network consulting engineer, to best practices and proven methodologies focused on industry-wide solutions to optimally guide your journey. Plus, the right vendor will curate recommendations by mapping your team’s goals against specific use cases to accelerate deployment, risk detection, and remediation.

3. They’ll help your IT talent thrive

By taking advantage of trusted knowledge and industry expertise, your IT teams can architect the right strategy, engineer for changing business needs, predict and resolve operations issues, improve your security posture to preempt, protect, and defend, and deliver new applications to market faster than ever.

To address the skills gap, you should have direct, ongoing access to experts who’ll assist with your most difficult use cases to help your teams succeed every step of the way.

Sharper insights, smarter actions

If you’re ready to take the next step, our Cisco Business Critical Services (BCS) experts can help. Our flexible, tiered subscription service provides the expertise IT teams need to drive performance and accelerate transformation, throughout their lifecycle journey.

We provide frequent access to Cisco expertise through 1:1 coaching, team workshops, interactive technical webinars, and operational guidance. Moreover, your teams can address risk more efficiently with the analytics, insights and automation of Cisco Collaborative Intelligence to deliver tailored insights and actionable recommendations to support your Cisco architectures.

Diagram 4 IT Vendors

With the right IT vendor providing continuous engagement throughout your technology lifecycle, delivering value for key IT roles, your organization can perform with confidence, manage risks, and transform at speed.

For more on transforming, visit Business Critical Services.