There are a vast array of benefits to be had from outsourcing your IT requirements to a dedicated company, but choosing the right one for your company’s unique needs does require some careful thought and you’d be wise to read on to benefit from some top tips. Not only do you need your chosen provider to be competent and experienced, but you will also reap greater rewards should they be contactable, approachable and have experience in your specific field. When whittling down a shortlist of potential candidates it is most helpful to ask yourself a number of key questions.
Do they have experience in your sector?
IT is not an immutable concept, it is and must be adaptable to all manner of circumstances, most notably in different sectors and business types. If you are an independent retailer running a bespoke, custom-made system, for instance, you can’t expect your IT provider to be familiar with it, but it would help if they had experience in dealing with other such systems and the expertise and flexibility required to become familiar with it in as short a period of time as possible, so they can react if there is an error or system failure.
Do they have effective and efficient channels of communication?
This is where choosing a local company comes in handy. If someone is just around the corner they are going to have far more windows to pay you a visit than a company with engineers based farther afield. Before choosing an IT support company you should ensure that they are at the end of the telephone and getting in touch with an engineer is a smooth and rapid process. Making a few exploratory phone calls and even contacting some of the companies on their client list can be very illuminating.
Are they responsive?
How can you possibly know this without trying them out first? This is a perfectly valid and natural question to ask, but you should be able to glean enough information to make a judgement call if you ask a few key questions and carry out a little research.
Ask them how rapidly they typically respond to requests and problems and how quickly they are able to resolve some standard issues. You can also look over the testimonials on their site and look for specific mention of responsivity and even give some of the businesses a call to enquire for yourself. Finally and importantly you should ask whether a degree of responsivity is covered in the service agreement.
Who are they partnered with?
Many IT support companies are partnered with major corporations like Dell or Microsoft. You should ask about this and get a feel for whether this arrangement is likely to work in your benefit. If a company has partnerships with some very reputable brands then that is a good indicator of their prowess.
Do they offer a Payment schedule / style to suit your needs?
When working on a budget it can be imperative that your chosen IT support company offer a standard monthly payment profile with no hidden extras. Some businesses on the other hand might prefer a pay as you go system. You need to make sure exactly what is included in your chosen plan and get this in a written contract. These are conversations that should be had very early on to avoid any misunderstandings.
Prevention > Cure
As a final point, it is worth mentioning that prevention is preferable than cure in IT, so you should certainly quiz your shortlist of IT support companies on how they go about preventing problems from occurring in the first place.