Choosing an IT to support your business is a huge step.
The right IT support partner can help you harness technology to help your business leap forward, control your outgoings and enable you to serve your customers more effectively. Choosing the wrong partner can bog you down.
Here we have provided a checklist of things to help you find the right company for you – one you can trust:-
ü Decide what sort of supplier you want. The local one man band might be cheap but they are unlikely to have the skills to support all but the very smallest clients. The national companies are unlikely to view you as an important customer. A reputable company close to you looks like the best bet.
ü For support the IT Company should have a written service description showing you what you get for your money and what Service Level Agreement (SLA) they can offer.
ü Make sure the contract is comprehensive and ask specifically what the extras are. Also watch out for onsite time – make sure this is included as part of the support contract.
ü Avoid systems that ask for additional money for one site time or where you pay for pre-booked hours, you will never know what you got for your money.
ü You are perfectly entitled to ask for references and it is worth taking these up.
ü Visit the potential suppliers offices – very few customers do this but if you are going to rely on a supplier then make sure that they do have the staff and systems they claim.
ü Ask about their pro-active support – this is essential as prevention is better than cure. The better companies will have systems in place to spot issues and fix them before they affect you.
ü What system do they have to take control of your computer and fix day-to-day issues?
ü Will they give you a named contact within the company to take responsibility for the quality of service to you?
ü Do they have accreditations with major vendors like Microsoft?
ü Ask whether they will take responsibility for system components purchased elsewhere and whether thy will use existing unexpired warranties – you don’t want to change everything out just because you’ve changed the support company.
ü What range of services do they offer? You may not need all these today but you might tomorrow. Do they cover other areas as well as just IT support that might be required by you in the future.
ü Don’t be embarrassed to ask them if they are financially viable and able to meet your requirements in the foreseeable future.
And finally, what about the future. Are they equipped to support your business as it grows? Do they have an expert team that can take you and your business to the next level?