For every business, IT infrastructure is a critical and strategic component of their organisation, something the business cannot function without. If you don’t already have an in-house team, how do you choose the right provider for such an important job?
There are usually one of three reasons why you’d be looking for a new provider.
1) Current provider is slow or giving a bad service
2) You’ve had a security breach or data loss.
3) You feel that there’s a more progressive technology company.
These 7 points will help you make the right choice.
Are they local?
Onsite support is a huge benefit when choosing an IT provider. By choosing a local IT company means you’ll get faster service if an onsite support issue arises. Unfortunately, some issues can’t always be resolved remotely and its necessary to send an engineer to a client’s premises to resolve the problem. When things do go wrong, productivity is reduced, and will often require both an urgent and efficient response. When a provider’s resources are nearby, dispatching an engineer to resolve your issue is quicker.
What is the Service Level Agreement (SLA)?
The Service Level Agreement (SLA) holds IT service providers accountable for the delivery of their services. It also creates transparency; it will outline how the IT support company prioritises incoming support requests:
• How fast do they respond to issues?
• How quickly are issues resolved?
• How long will it take if you need onsite support?
This should work with your own business operational needs. Every organisations IT needs are different; it is important that a potential IT provider support practices are flexible enough to meet your exact requirements.
Do they have a good reputation?
It can be a good idea to carry out some initial research on a potential IT support provider, a good starting point is visiting their website. Who do they work with in your sector, what type of size organisation do they typically work with? By reviewing their previous and current clients in similar industries as your business, you will identify and get an indication if they are a good fit for your organisation. Do they have Case Studies, what is the onboarding process?
Another idea is to read customer reviews to see what other clients have experienced. This will give you a better idea of what it’s like to work with the company, Google Reviews and Trustpilot are both excellent resources to provide useful insights into an IT providers true reputation. Once you carry out your research, you will be able to make an informed decision if they are the right IT services provider for your business.
Do they provide scalability in line with your organisation plans?
When choosing an IT provider, it is also important to consider your organisations future growth plans, your IT company should provide services that are scalable to evolve with your business.
Simply put, your IT services provider should have the capability to help you scale. Therefore, choose an IT services provider who can continue to provide you with services as your company grows and your goals change. It can be useful to understand the staffing structure, what is the ratio of IT support staff within the organisation?
What partnerships and accreditations are in place?
Your IT provider should be credible and reputable. You want to work with an IT provider that offer the best possible solutions for your business. Standards such as ISO 27001:2013, one of the most widely recognised and internationally accepted information security standards is important to look out for. It is testament to an IT company’s commitment to customers security. Another standard to look out for is ISO9001:2015, this is important as it relates to quality management within an organisation. It is a sign that they consistently seek to meet and exceed customer expectations and looks to systematically improve performance. It’s also important to look out for industry leading accreditations, for example, Microsoft Partner status.
Do they have experts & experience inhouse to meet your needs?
You must choose a company that has a team of qualified experts to ensure that you’re getting the best service. When reaching out to companies, you can ask them about the qualifications that their teams have, their capabilities and specialised expertise. Seek a company that recognises the real value of experienced staff and constantly seek engineers with a genuine depth of experience in the sectors they operate in. Your IT services provider should offer a skillset that your internal IT team lacks. These skills should include troubleshooting, networking, software maintenance, and hardware maintenance.
Do they promote security?
Make sure the IT services provider you choose works with the latest technologies and tools to protect your business from cyber threats such as malware and viruses. A good IT support company will implement stronger passwords, network monitoring, and recommend MFA logins. They’ll also help you limit access to equipment and files so that only certain people can get into them. With higher security, it’ll be much harder for someone to breach your company’s data.
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