Searching For A New Business Computer Services Company_

The $10 million/minute mistake

On August 1, 2012, the leadership at Knight Capital, a multi-million-dollar trading company, were sipping their coffees and getting ready for a vigorous day of trading when disaster struck.

Knight had been prepping for changes in the way that stocks were sold, and had only the month of July to completely reprogram the software they used to pick and choose stocks.

As code evolves according to a company’s needs, some software engineers get sloppy and leave great hunks of old code behind. One such hunk of code was Power Peg, which showed what might happen if the program were to buy high and sell low. It was meant to be used solely in simulations.

The new engineers had the poor fortune to have re-used a flag from Power Peg that was still executable… and for forty-five minutes, Knight bought high and sold low, turning 212 small orders into thousands of replicating orders-in-error per second. The company lost $10 million a minute for a grand total of $460 million until the mistake was caught.

There were warning signs that the software patches were not going to work, including an automatically-generated email that went out to nearly 100 employees, but Knight Capital didn’t have people with the right skill set on their side. If they had received skilled advice about their technology issue at the right time, they might still be in business, today.

Software glitches and hardware mismatch can happen to even the best of us. But if you have the right IT company on your side, you can do better than get help when things go wrong: you can anticipate and prevent problems before they become $10 million per minute mistakes.

Addressing tech issues before the crisis

You don’t want to spend time researching and reviewing a slew of companies when your server is down, when your most important presentation has been corrupted by a virus, or when your VoIP fails just before that vital call. Do your research on every computer repair in Albany NY, discover what each company can do for your business, and then make a few calls. If you plan ahead and find a computer repair company before disaster strikes, you’ll be ahead of the game.

What to consider when hiring an IT company

When searching for a computer repair company in Albany NY, there are several questions you should ask in order to determine whether they are right for you and your business:

1. The best companies offer a full range of services and have a variety of options

If you choose a company that does not offer a full range of services, you may need to switch companies or add a new company as your business grows. Finding the right company means a focus not just on what you need right now, but with an eye on your goals for the future.

2. The best companies focus on what you need

A skilled computer repair company will be able to offer you a service package that is tailored to you. They may go above and beyond in their service, but they will not press you to purchase products or services that aren’t appropriate for your company.

You may want to ask the company about package deals if you use more than one of their services. For computer repair, for example, they might have a package that includes regular maintenance and a thriftier package that for break-fix support alone.

High-quality IT or computer repair companies will have a dedicated engineer and/or a dedicated account manager who coordinate all the work for your business. That means these professionals will get to know both you and your company to best understand how to meet your needs.

3. The best companies are trusted in their community

Check out how long the company has been in business and be sure to look at their ratings online. Be sure that you read through the reviews to determine that the company excels in the types of computer repair and IT services that you need for your company. If the reviews look good, then contact the company and ask them for references, just as you would for someone interviewing for a job.

A reputable company will be happy to supply you with the name of a previous client who appreciated their work. You might ask that client:

  • if the job was done on time
  • if the work was good quality
  • if the company stuck to the agreed-upon price
  • if they were responsive, easy to get ahold of, and communicated well

A trusted company may also have case studies or testimonials on their site to look through.

Finally, be sure to check that the IT company in question covers your community.

4. The best companies know that timing is everything

Some IT companies ask you to make a commitment to their service for a particular period of time. Be sure to ask the company if there are cancellation fees if you end up taking your business elsewhere!

Finally, don’t forget to ask the IT or computer repair company about their response times. Many will have guaranteed service around the clock, or will have regular hours but make exceptions for emergency issues. Inquire as to how swiftly they typically respond to a problem.