How To Choose The Perfect IT Provider

IT Provider

The success of any organisation is reliant on the infrastructure and systems that they install to support the work of the business. Ensuring you have the correct IT support services as well as the right provider and contract in place is crucial to the efficient running of your business. If you don’t have an in-house team you will have to outsource the management of your IT services.

However, you may find there is no one within your organisation with the correct level of knowledge and experience to make this decision therefore you run the risk of choosing an unsuitable company and not getting the right level of service that you require. Here are some questions that will help you ascertain and understand the services of the companies you choose and will help ensure you make you choose the perfect IT provider for your organisation.

Range Of Packages

You need to ensure any company you choose are flexible enough to grow with your organisation. Check if the provider of IT services and solutions offers a range of packages that will suit you now and in the future. You also need to thoroughly understand their costs. What are you actually getting for your money? Find out the services that come as part of your standard package and if you will need to pay for any extras. Will you get remote support? Is this unlimited? What are the limits of their on-site support in terms of what they will do and when? Are there any hidden charges you need to take into account? Ask questions until their services are totally clear.

Out Of Hours & Response Time

Often work on your server such as updates, backups and maintenance are done out of office hours so you need to ask if your network will be monitored around the clock. A reliable IT provider will also agree SLAs and response times so ensure you have those added to your contract. It’s also extremely important you know who is looking after your account. Your account manager will be the person you turn to when you need help and advice so you need to be reassured they are trustworthy and competent enough to do a good job.

Additional Services?

Usually IT support companies offer additional services such as cloud computing solutions, telecoms, website support and hosting. Do you need these services or will you have a need for such services in the future? You will need to check what your provider offers, it may be cost effective to have a single provider for you network and telecoms support.

Reliability

With a myriad of IT support companies offering their services it can be difficult to judge one against the other. So you should look at what type of industry accreditations they have. Find out if they have gained any competencies or won awards. Are the Microsoft Partners for example? How many technicians and engineers do they have? Are they office based? Do they outsource their work or do their in-house team do all the work? Don’t be afraid to ask questions, seek proof of their competency and do your research after all, you need to be sure they are the best provider for your organisation before you sign the contract.

You may feel more reassured if you speak to their existing clients. Client testimonials are a sure way to get a feel for the level of service you might expect, for their efficiency at doing their job whether the day to day maintenance of your network or how swiftly they deal with issues that may arise. If they are offering a top service to their existing clients then you can rest assured this is the type of service you will also receive.

Also, it may be important that the IT support company has a full understanding of your business. If your business sector has specific needs then it’s essential to know if they are equipped and experienced to deal with your requirements.

Know what your business needs and do your research. When you go out to tender for your IT support contract make sure you interview as many providers as you necessary until you find one that suits. It can be a complex arena and they can often blind you with science but a reliable organisation will ensure they provide you with all the information you need. They will be transparent and open in their approach and will also be patient when explaining anything you don’t understand. With a clear understanding of their services, you will be able to make the right decision for your business.

Kate Fogarty

Kate Fogarty is a freelance marketing manager with over 20 years’ experience working in a variety of industries within private and third sector organisations. She is currently working with Infologic and has a passion for writing, working with SME’s, motivating and helping others succeed.