Choosing an IT support company can be an overwhelming task for any business owner, even more so if they aren’t technically minded. Below are 15 considerations to make when choosing an IT support company for your business.
1) Ask for references – There is no better seal of approval than a glowing client reference. If the IT support company are confident with the services they provide, they should be more than happy to provide you with their clients contact details.
2) What does the service contact cover? – It’s amazing how many businesses sign IT support contracts without checking which services are covered. The last thing you want is to pay extra for a service that you thought was included within the contract.
3) Location – If your problems can be resolved remotely, then location isn’t that big a deal. Location only becomes a problem if you require an IT technician to come to your place of work to fix a physical problem. Ideally, the IT support company that you choose will be located within an hour’s drive of your premises.
4) Price – While budgets are very important to all businesses, you should never choose an IT Support Company based on the price of their services. Sometimes you have to ask yourself why some IT support companies are so much cheaper than the others. If they can offer their services for so cheap, how much time do they devote to your business?
5) Contingency planning – Nobody likes to think the worst, but what would happen if there was a fire, a flood, or your computers were stolen? Would your business be able to survive for a day without its server? The right IT support company should be able to advise you on this and help you to devise a disaster recovery plan.
6) Proactive monitoring – Good IT support companies have the ability to provide both reactive and proactive services. Resolving your IT problems is half the battle, but if your IT support company constantly monitor your systems, they will be able to find and fix faults before they cause your business any problems.
7) Signs of credibility – You should always check a company’s accreditations and partnerships. The right IT support company will have developed key partnerships with top IT companies. Accreditations and partnerships to look out for include Microsoft Gold Partner, Microsoft Cloud Champion, Microsoft Small Business Specialist and Dell Premier Partner.
8) Response times: It’s worth noting that when an IT support company tells you their average response time, this is usually the time that they take to acknowledge that they have logged your problem. You should be looking for average response times of 60 minutes or less!
9) Dedicated account manager: It’s important to have a single contact within the IT support company you choose who you can develop a rapport with. Your single point of contact will get to know you and your business, and in turn know exactly how to meet your needs.
10) Logging support calls – It can be really frustrating when you can’t get hold of the right person. Make sure your IT support company either has a dedicated line which is manned with technicians, or another facility such as an online form that goes straight to the support people.
11) Do they understand your industry – Choosing an IT support company that has experience of working with business in your industry can be very beneficial. For example, they will have a better understanding of the types of services and software your business requires, and the types of challenges that it faces on an everyday basis.
12) Knowledge of the latest technologies – Do they keep up to date with the latest developments in technology and invest in regular staff training? The IT industry is constantly evolving, so it’s paramount that the IT support company you choose is keeping up with this.
13) Who are their existing clients? – Check their website to get a better understanding of the type of clients they work with. Do any of their existing clients have similar requirements to those of your business? If they have a lot of larger clients, will they be able to allocate enough time to meet the needs of your business?
14) Your specific software – The majority of business run one or more specific applications. For example, real estate agents will run property management or accounting software. It’s possible that the IT support company you choose will not be experts on these programs, so check that they are willing to take the time to get accustomed to them.
15) How many services do they cover? – Check their service offering to find out if they can cater for all of your needs. It’s much easier to choose one IT support company who can deal with all of your needs. If they don’t have the specific skills in house, they may have partners who can provide that service under their direction.
This is an article by Circle IT Support