It's hard isn't it? When it comes to IT support providers there are a lot around and you know that you require new one – the only how do you choose? Sometimes you will either Google it or go on the recommendation of somebody else. There are occasions when you just want to find the best deal and you don't really care about anything else.
However, the fact remains that your business will probably suffer a lot if its IT systems were to crumble. Usually (and this is probably more the case) your organization might be badly hurt by an IT support system that doesn't operate how it ought to.
To help with the process we have, in conjunction with Pisys.Net drawn up this list below to help you navigate through the entire process of finding and choosing the very best IT supplier for your business.
There is nothing more pleasing than knowing your supplier is very experienced at doing what they do best. Some great ways to determine how experienced they are includes finding out who the key people in their business are, how many customers they actually have, and the time period they have been in business. However, you may also want to think about what platforms, networks, and software they're experienced with and whether they have experts in these particular areas. Always try to ask a many questions as you can – the substandard providers will run a mile while the top quality ones will welcome them.
When it comes to measuring the performance of a prospective IT support company one of the best ways to do so is to check other satisfied customers' testimonial. However, you should not just take the word of their website testimonials, because of course they're going to say wonderful things. You should definitely contact some of the clients they already support (good quality organizations will provide this as a matter of course) or try to look for them on LinkedIn. Go to their Twitter page and try to locate some satisfied consumers.
Do some research in Google and call one or two of the testimonials advertised on the company web site as many of them are fake. If you do just this one thing it can eliminate a lot of problems in the future.
Cost is definitely a factor. But I think it's better to evaluate value for money not hourly rate. Nobody enjoys spending their money. In order to meet your requirements appropriately good IT businesses will give you different levels of support. It's in your best interest to mention your precise requirements with the prospective IT support company and it doesn't matter if you are a small, medium or large company. They'll put together a personalised support plan to make sure you're receiving true value for money. They will supply support contracts based upon the quantity of users, or if 24 hour support is necessary for you, for instance.
Is your IT support provider accessible enough? If they're a one man show trying to fulfil the needs of lots of customers you should probably be worried about whether or not you're receiving the level of service you require. At the end of the day it depends upon the requirements of your business
Things to consider:
- Do they provide an efficient 'ticketing' system for the queries you've got?
- Is there a single phone number you are able to use to contact them?
- How long does it take for them to respond?
- What is their guaranteed response time?
If you're a company that often operates out of "usual" working hours, you must also find out how available your IT support company would be if anything was to happen on a Tuesday at 3 in the morning or a Sunday evening, for instance.
It is a very common belief that being 'local' is a factor. However, although most of the time this is probably true, after all, it's very comforting to know your provider is not too far away. But by taking a quick look at the SLA response times for your support company you ought to be able to know for sure if the company will meet your requirements in the time. In fact, in order to connect to support most IT businesses make use of remote control, decreasing the requirement to be right around the corner.
Do you feel your IT support sponsors are responsive? Are they proactive? To paraphrase, do your IT support sponsors forecast issues before they take place, not only taking action when problems arise? In that case you've got yourself a real keeper. Moreover, do you like them? When it comes to evaluating your IT support performance this might sound like an extremely soft measurement, but really it's crucial. You want the process to be as simple as it can be when the chips are down, which they will be every now and then. If you have a solid relationship with your IT support team this can be delivered easily.
Beware of long term lock down contracts; any company that want to lock you in without a long term trial period of say 6 months should be avoided. A lock in contract without real proof of services is a recipe for disaster.