Many business owners are under the impression that working with an IT support provider will require them to sign a hefty contract that ties them in for a considerable amount of time. Although there are companies out there like this, there are also support providers who are willing to evaluate your existing systems and listen to your needs. As the business owner, it’s important that you get a service that is in-line with the needs and budget of your business. In this article I will provide you with a number of tips that will make choosing a managed service provider a less daunting task.
Know your needs
Knowing the exact needs of your business will allow you to gain more accurate quotes from IT support companies. Write down a list of your support needs and any changes you can make to improve your current infrastructure. If you haven’t purchased any IT equipment for your business, think about hardware and software such as laptops, desktops, printers, and software.
The ability to scale up or down
As the needs of your business change, so will your relationship with your IT service provider. Being able to increase or reduce your IT capabilities when new circumstances arise is integral to the success of your business. When choosing an IT company to work with, ask them about the cost and speed of making changes to the levels of support they provide.
Is the IT support company experienced in the types of systems you use?
While the majority of IT support companies will be fine supporting standard office systems, if you use specialist software that is designed specifically for your business sector, you will need to make sure that the support company has the expertise required to deal with it.
Location, Location, Location
Another important factor to consider is location, many support providers will attempt to fix problems remotely, either via the phone or by connecting to your systems. While this can be a very efficient way to solve problems, this isn’t always practical as some issues cannot be resolved remotely. Should you need a technician to attend your workplace; a local IT company will provide a quicker service and save you a considerable amount of money on call out charges.
Cost of the support
Although cost shouldn’t be the deciding factor when choosing a support company, it’s still important to have an accurate price estimate so you can look at the bigger picture. Before signing any contracts it’s important to make sure that the contract covers every contingency possible. You should also ask for a detailed analysis and breakdown of how each service is priced. The last thing you will want is an invoice for a service you thought was included in the support contract.
Is the support company a suitable size for your company?
Not all service provides are suitable for everyone. If you are operating a small business, it is quite unlikely that you will get to use the best support technicians that a larger service provider has to offer, despite what they may tell you in adverts. For corporate, a smaller IT support company might be unable to provide adequate levels of support. It’s all about striking the right balance and finding a company that can truly accommodate for your needs.
This article was contributed by David at CSG IT Support, David is passionate about all things IT including disaster recovery, data networking and technical support.