Choosing an IT support company can be a daunting task, especially when you consider how important IT systems have become for businesses in recent years.
With so many companies all competing for your work, it can be hard to decide who to choose. In this article we will provide you with tips that will make choosing an IT support company easier for you.
Ask for references and testimonials
Nothing creates trust more than a glowing reference, so it’s worth asking the prospective IT support company to provide some. When contacting the referees, ask them how satisfied they are with the services the IT support company has provided them. They can also provide you with a valuable insight into the way that the company works and how your relationship can be maximised.
Keep in mind your future needs
Before choosing which IT support provider to go with, you must consider the future needs of your business. Do you expect your business to expand within the next five years? Will they be able to provide a scalable solution which allows you to easily increase the level of IT support they provide?
If you answered yes, it’s recommended that you choose an IT support company that has the experience and resources to help you adapt as your business expands. The last thing you want is to get stuck with a support service or solution that you outgrow quickly.
Choose an IT support company that’s located within a 2 hour drive of your office
There might be an occasion when your chosen IT support company needs to visit your office to fix a physical issue or install new hardware, so it’s handy if they can get to you within a 2 hour drive. Choosing an IT support company that’s local to your business can provide your business with a huge advantage. However, this does depend on the type of service you require as some IT problems can be resolved remotely.
Choose an IT support company that gives you a single point of contact
Sometimes you just want IT problems to get resolved as quick as possible, so the last thing you will want is to spend hours of valuable business time phoning around to speak to the right person. Having a single point of contact will get the problem resolved quicker.
Choose an IT support company that understands your industry
Choosing an IT support company that has experience of working with businesses in your industry can be very useful. For example, they will have an idea of the types of software and services your business requires, and the types of challenges that you face on a day to day basis.
Price is important but don’t make this a deciding factor
The cheapest option will always sound the most attractive, but it can actually end up costing you more money further down the line if jobs haven’t been done correctly. For example, some IT support companies charge lower prices for their services due to lower levels of technical expertise and resources. Some IT support companies genuinely offer good value for money, but remember the old adage, “You get what you pay for”.
Find out what is and isn’t included within the IT support contract
Ask the prospective IT support company which services are included within the IT support contract. If they reply with “we cover everything” then I would not recommend trusting them. Ask them about the specifics of the contract, does it cover labour charges on incidents that relate to hardware or specific software? Some also include travel time and mileage to and from your business premises. It’s unlikely that bespoke software built by another will be included. Before signing up to anything, make sure the contract clearly states all of the services that are included.
Make sure they have the necessary qualifications and accreditations
It can be hard to gauge an IT support provider’s credentials and qualifications. For example, if they are providing support for HP computers and software, do they hold a HP partner accreditation? There are also various levels of Microsoft partnerships such as Silver and Gold. These mean they have achieved a certain level of competency, and are seen by Microsoft as a reputable company. The IT industry is constantly evolving, so an IT support company who have achieved the latest qualifications demonstrate their commitment to keeping up with changes in technology.
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