There is often a lot of competition in the marketplace in terms of IT Support or Managed Service providers and picking the right IT partner for you can seem like a minefield.
Here are 7 things you can look for when choosing the right fit, including some questions you may want to ask when they are bidding for your business.
1. Their systems and processes
An expert IT partner will take pride in their dedication to quality, security and maintain their systems and processes in house. Take a note of the accreditations that the company has to their name and whether they partner with any top brands in the industry.
Ask about what procedures they have in place to protect their own business. Specifically, ask if they are themselves Cyber Essentials accredited and up to date on the most recent government legalisation.
Are your potential partners willing to share their statistics on response times and issues resolved? Are they measuring these stats in the first place?
When they communicate with you, do you understand clearly and confidently what the issue is that you are discussing? IT can often surround itself with a lot of jargon and not everyone is familiar with the language. An excellent IT support provider will speak in plain English and ensure that you understand exactly what is happening with your business. Ensure that your agreement is going to be transparent too. You need to know exactly the level of support you are getting and that there are no hidden costs.
3. Testimonials and case studies
Have you been given recommendation? Are the companies you are enquiring with open about their testimonials and do they take the time to put together case studies and ask for reviews from their clients? Are they willing to put you in touch with an existing client to discuss the service levels they received and give a live recommendation about their company
Whilst location isn’t everything, knowing that your IT team can be with you within the hour can put your mind at ease should you have an IT related emergency. Of course, the majority of IT systems are monitored remotely and many issues can be solved remotely, however, in the unlikely event that you need a technician onsite it could save your business time and money to have your support team just around the corner.
Will your IT partner grow as you grow? When they bid for your business, are they asking about your future growth plans and how they can help your IT systems and adapt their support to your success?
Scalability is often what causes SMEs to switch IT providers as they feel their support team is unable to cope with the rapid growth within your business. Make sure the scalability conversation is a priority!
6. Are they industry specific?
Another area to consider is whether they have worked with your industry before. If your business is very specific and you operate very specific systems and processes, it may be that you want to seek an IT partner who has existing knowledge of your field.
7. Their team
Are you going to have an account manager for your support and does the company have a contingency plan for when they are on holiday or stuck with a big piece of work with another client?
You may want to go as far as to enquire about the turnover over rates within their team. Getting to know your business systems often takes time and patience and you do not want to be going through this process over and over again. Keeping up to date is also extremely important, so enquire as to the amount and regularity of training that occurs within the business. Many team members can learn on the job as their clients IT systems can be so different, but keeping up to date with current legislation and software updates is extremely important.
At Like Computing we are security experts that can look after your SME from the outside and in. We are constantly monitoring the industry and with a background in security we are dedicated to making sure other SMEs have the same services available to them. For more information please get in touch by calling 01524 813 003 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.