Your company is at that point in its growth that IT functions are burdensome, and you have decided it is best to outsource some or all of it. But making such a move is always a tough choice given the many IT service providers out there. Furthermore, knowing how or where to start might prove challenging with all the questions and concerns you have.
As with every crucial decision made for your business, you must research correctly and find the best IT support company that will not only deliver quality solutions but matches your business needs. You will have to look past your bottom-line figure to ensure you know what it will include, thus keeping you from getting caught out.
However, first, you must figure out who to find the right candidates to hire. Below are a few things that will help narrow down things to keep you from going through a tough time searching for sound IT support.
Hire IT Services Provider Local To Your HQ
Considering onsite support is a significant factor with immense benefits when outsourcing a tech-savvy provider. Hiring a local IT agency means you will enjoy faster service delivery if any issues arise that need immediate attention.
For instance, the company’s firewall might fail, thus requiring fixing or replacing. Addressing this problem could take days, depending on the IT guys’ availability. Moreover, they might find a third-party vendor to help if they are not geographically near your business headquarters. And if you have several branches, inquire about support for them and how this will be handled. Get to know if they will be covered under the same contract.
Essentially, your tech emergencies will be resolved way quicker and more effectively when an IT support company’s resources (engineers and equipment) are nearby for fast dispatch to your aid.
Does The IT Provider Have Experience With Your Industry?
When it comes to technology, it often varies from one industry to the next. Therefore, it would be best to work with an IT support agency that knows the ins and outs of your industry’s or business’ tech needs.
To figure this out and ensure you hire the right professionals, you should determine if they serve other companies in your industry. Get to know if they have received any significant awards and acclamations in your sector for their service delivery. Furthermore, ensure they are certified for your industry’s tech requirements and needs.
Can They Support Your Servers?
You must be knowledgeable about your company’s workstations or servers. Know the operating systems they utilize to ensure the IT guys have experience supporting them irrespective of the problems. In this area of your decision-making process for who to hire, think of Linux, Mac OS, Windows, Fedora, and Solaris.
Unless you are considering switching infrastructure, you should hire an IT support company conversant with your systems. In as much as many IT professionals are tech-savvy, and often most have universal expertise, experience and proficiency levels vary. If the IT service providers you lean towards cannot support your business tech infrastructure, it will not get the essential support it needs.
Do They Have Experience Supporting Your Company’s Software?
Your business’ software and applications are a critical part of how it operates and its success. Therefore, find out if the IT support providers have experience with much of or all your company’s software and applications.
If you rely on custom applications and software, do not expect the outsources IT guys to know how to use them right off the bat. However, they should be professionals that can triage and troubleshoot various tech-related issues.
Moreover, do not forget that IT and software development and programming are not the same. As such, do not ask your software or application developers to run your IT nor your IT team to create or modify the business’ software and applications. Keep this in mind when outsourcing IT support.
How Fast Can The IT Support Company Respond To An Emergency?
Every business has varied client or customer support process with response times that vary significantly. Similarly, expect the same from the IT service providers you want to hire. Inquire about their response time metrics or SLA (Service Level Agreement). The objective of this to determine the following:
- How quickly they respond, especially if you need onsite support
- How fast they resolve problems when they arise
In short, they should back their claims with proof, which is always in the numbers. They must back their statements with facts and real-time data.
Can The IT Company Handle A Business Of Your Size?
How big is the IT support agency, and it is large enough to support your company’s needs? Know the size of its tech service team and if they have on staff in various departments as you ask about the support processes they provide.
For instance, find out if their help desk technicians also work as sales personnel. You can gauge their support level by assessing if they have more phone calls than the engineers available at the help desk. The two are some of the red flags to watch out for that will keep you from outsourcing your IT needs from the wrong company.
Does Your Business Meet Their Prerequisites?
As you consider the IT services provider’s qualifications that make them a suitable candidate for the job, consider your needs and what qualifies you or your business as a contender for their services.
Some IT support agencies require their clients to have a particular number of workstations or servers to provide support. Some might require changes to the IT infrastructure to ensure it conforms to their uniform standards.
The issue is not that the IT support company has standards; this is not a bad thing; however, the objective is to know what you are getting into in advance. You must ensure that both of you are a good fit for each other.
Check For Certifications And Partnerships
The prudent thing to do is researching and making sure you choose a reputable IT support provider. They are professionals that often partner with major manufacturers like Apple, Microsoft, HP, and Dell to ensure they are as resourceful as possible in their services delivery.
Nevertheless, the company you pick must have a staff that holds certifications and are ready to present them upon request.
Does The Agreement Work In Your Favour?
In closing, the IT world has dozens of different contracts, but all are geared towards delivering the same service. However, the disparities in the business agreements, the details within each might or fail to meet a client’s expectations. Therefore, ensure everything lines up with your needs before hiring.