This second part of ‘Why Use Outsourced IT Support?’ focuses on what kind of questions to ask when looking for your ideal outsourced IT support company.
First part can be found here.
10 Important Questions
Here, we’ll focus on 10 important questions (although you may have others) and the reasons why you may want to ask them.
1. What specific services do you offer and how do they align with my business needs?
Understanding the specific services offered by an IT support company is crucial in determining whether they can meet your business needs. This will also help you understand the level of expertise and experience the company has in areas that are important to your business.
2. Can you provide references/testimonials or case studies of similar clients?
References/testimonials and case studies can provide valuable insight into the company’s past performance and the types of businesses they have worked with. This can give you a sense of the company’s level of expertise and their ability to deliver results.
3. How do you handle and prioritise service requests?
Knowing how the IT support company handles and prioritises service requests is important to ensure that critical issues are addressed promptly and that your business can continue to operate smoothly.
4. How do you ensure the security and privacy of my data?
With the prevalence of cybercrime and the potentially devastating consequences to the business and customers from breaches and hacks, the security and privacy of your data is now of the utmost importance. It is essential to understand the measures that the company takes to protect your data.
5. How do you handle communication and updates during an ongoing project or service?
Clear and consistent communication is vital to the success of any project or ongoing service. Understanding how the company handles updates and communicates with clients can help you gauge their level of responsiveness and customer service.
6. How do you handle and resolve conflicts or issues that may arise?
Issues and conflicts are very likely to arise during the course of a project or service, so it is important to understand how the company handles and resolves these situations.
7. How do you measure the success and effectiveness of your services?
Measuring the success and effectiveness of the services provided by an IT support company is essential to ensure that your business is getting the best value for its investment.
8. What are your availability and response times for support?
Knowing the availability and response times of the company’s support team is important to ensure that your business can get the help it needs when it needs it.
9. What is your pricing model and are there any additional costs?
It’s important to understand the pricing model used by the company and any additional costs that may be incurred. This can help you budget for the services and avoid any unexpected expenses.
10. What certifications and qualifications do your staff have?
Certification and qualifications of the staff are important to ensure that the company has skilled and experienced professionals on hand to handle your IT needs. This can help you have the confidence in their capabilities to provide the right solutions for your business.
Other things businesses may consider when looking for an outsourced IT support company could include:
– Proximity and Accessibility
Considering the location of the IT support company and how easily you can access them. It can be beneficial to have a local company that can quickly respond to on-site needs.
As your business grows and evolves, your IT needs will change. It’s important to consider if the company can accommodate those changes and if they can provide scalable solutions to match your business growth.
– Technical Expertise
Consider the technical expertise of the company and their ability to provide solutions for your specific industry or business type.
Service Level Agreement (SLA): An SLA is a contract that outlines the level of service and support that the company will provide. It’s important to understand the terms of the SLA and if it meets the needs of your business.
– Cloud-Based Services
Many businesses are continuing to move to cloud-based solutions for their IT needs. It’s important to consider whether the company provides cloud-based services and if they have experience in this area.
– Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity
Consider the company’s disaster recovery and business continuity plan in case of an emergency or major interruption.
– Compliance and Regulations
If your business is subject to certain regulations, it’s important to ensure that the company can provide solutions that are compliant with those regulations.
– Cost-Benefit Analysis
Carefully evaluate the cost of the services provided by the company and the benefits they bring to your business. Compare it with other providers to ensure you are getting the best value for your investment.
– Partnership and Partnership Model
Consider if the company is interested in building a long-term partnership with your business and if their business model supports that kind of relationship.
– On-Going Support and Maintenance
This is a critical consideration when looking for an outsourced IT support provider because it ensures that your business will receive the necessary support and maintenance to keep your IT systems running smoothly and efficiently. It includes regular updates, backups, security patches, and troubleshooting. This is important to ensure that your IT infrastructure is always up-to-date and secure, and that any issues are addressed promptly.
On-going support and maintenance also includes proactive monitoring and maintenance, to detect and resolve any potential issues before they become major problems. This can help to reduce downtime and increase the overall reliability and stability of your IT systems.
Additionally, on-going support and maintenance includes keeping your systems compliant with any industry regulations and standards and providing your business with the necessary support to manage changes, upgrades, and new technology adoption.
Having an IT support provider that offers on-going support and maintenance can provide peace of mind and allow your business to focus on its core operations, rather than worrying about the maintenance of IT systems.
What Does This Mean For Your Business?
The sheer number of companies now opting for outsourced IT support is a reminder of how important the benefits are, e.g. cost savings and improved efficiency, on-demand expertise, and being able to focus more on their core operations.
IT now plays such a central role to businesses that choosing the right outsourced IT support company is an important decision that could have a serious impact on the business going forward. This is why, as with so many things, being able to ask the right questions can be the key to making the right decisions.
The above questions, therefore, may prove particularly useful if your businesses is considering outsourcing IT support.
By Mike Knight