How To Find A Reliable IT Support And Service Provider

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In today’s technological age, businesses can’t afford to not have reliable IT support and service providers. However, with so many options available, how can you be sure you’re picking the right one? Here are a few tips to help you find the best provider for your business.

1. Do Your Research

The first step is to do your research and ask yourself these questions: 

  • What do we expect from our IT support and service provider? 
  • Do we expect them to be proactive or reactive? 
  • What is the cost associated with this? Can we afford it?
  • How will the solution fit within our current structure and how does it complement our existing systems? Will it fit into our budget?
  • How is this going to affect my employees? 
  • Is this vision aligned with my company’s goals and objectives?
  • What are the benefits vs costs of having an in-house team versus using a third party?
  • Is there a compromise that can be reached if needed (e.g. working onsite with your team)? 

When making these decisions, think about your business processes and try to determine whether you want someone constantly checking up on your systems or if you would rather have someone to help you when something goes wrong. It is vital to remember that the right business IT support that knows and upholds your business operations, vision, mission, and values can make a significant impact on the resilience and growth of your company in the future. It is thus wise to formulate these questions and add other specific ones based on your business systems and operations. Don’t be hesitant to ask these questions because it might cost your business dearly if you do.

2. Interview Potential Providers

Once you have a good idea of what you’re looking for, it’s time to start interviewing potential providers. When meeting with them, be sure to ask the following questions:

  •  How long have you been in business?
  • Do you have any references?
  • What is your experience with my industry or type of business?
  • What is your approach to IT support and service?
  • What are your rates?
  • What is included in your services? (This could include things like onsite support, remote support, 24/7 availability, etc.)

Again, the importance of asking questions cannot be stressed enough here. The more inquisitive you are and ask relevant questions, the more insight you gain from your prospects. Write down or document their answers for you to review and decide which candidate to hire.

3. Get Quotes From Multiple Providers

Once you’ve interviewed a few companies and received quotes, sit down with your team and compare them. You might find that one company has better rates than others or offers more services, but it is important to figure out what is most important for your business. It might be cost vs flexibility with remote support or availability hours. Once you’ve decided on the most important factor for your business, you can then consider other factors such as how long they’ve been in business and what references say about their quality of work. Transparency is the name of the game here. Observe how willing your prospective providers calculate costs and divulge information from hypothetical questions and scenarios. Established and reputable IT companies will openly provide quotes and inclusive costs. Quotes take you a step closer to making a wise selection from among your candidates.  

4. Get Everything In Writing

It’s always a good idea to ask potential providers if they can provide you with previous client work so that you can see how the company handles projects and see examples of their quality of work. If they can’t do this, be wary and very cautious as the only way to really ensure that you’re getting your money’s worth and that you’re working with a provider that knows what they’re doing is through constant communication and evaluations throughout the course of the project. While quotes are often projections or estimates of the possible costs associated with hiring and working with your candidates, getting things into writing and making sure no surprise fees and costs come up can reassure you of the reliability of your potential IT support and service provider.

5. Keeping Current With Technology

In today’s world, technology is constantly changing. Make sure to ask potential providers how they stay up-to-date on current technologies as well as their methodologies for keeping systems updated and secure. In addition, if you rely heavily on certain software or systems, make sure that the company will keep those up-to-date for you as well by formatting hard drives regularly making sure key programs are up-to-date.

When looking for a reliable IT support and service provider, it is important to keep these things in mind. By following these tips, you can be sure that you’re making the best decision for your business.

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Jennifer Evans
President, @B2BNewsnetwork (launched Nov 2014). Content, community and analytics obsessed. Inventor @squeezecmm. Past chair, @itac_online @whiteribbon