We all know the benefits of outsourcing IT? Lower costs, improved service, more expertise and resources etc, but we also need to be mindful of some of the drawbacks – unresponsive suppliers, hidden costs, lack of initiative…. This guide helps you pick the right IT support supplier and hopefully avoid those drawbacks.
1.How did you find out about them? This demonstrates how seriously they take their business. A provider that is willing to spend on its sales and marketing process is a sure sign of a business that is actively trying to grow their business and such will be able to cope with your growing business.
2.Location, Location, Location! – Most IT issues can be resolved remotely but for the rare occasion when an onsite visit is essential you need to be sure that your IT provider will be able to do so easily. How long will it take them to get onsite for your critical emergencies? 1hr is amazing, 2hrs is very good, 3 is ok anything more than 4 is a no no!
3.Check their credentials. If they say they have 20 Engineers and 3 Offices – visit some of their offices to make sure this is so (and while you are there look to see how they treat their equipment, if they are not looking after their own equipment how well will they look after yours?). Check their qualifications and accreditations – make sure they have what they say they have.
4.Cost vs Quality – The old adage applies – “you get what you pay for”. So although the cheaper option may look more attractive now in the long run it may end up costing your company more – however don’t be afraid to negotiate. Make sure you are getting value for money.
5.Find out what other services they offer. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you need to call one company for IT support, another to look at your security, another to manage backups, or to help with an office move. If you have a good relationship then ideally you trust them to assist you in other areas.
6.Is there a trial period? Or at least a cooling off period? Many suppliers will have a minimum contract period, so it makes sense for you to trial their service before you commit.
7.Get references – If you do nothing else make sure you ask every potential supply to provide you with references so you can speak to their current customers – You should aim to speak with at least 3 references.