How Do We Choose An IT Service Provider?
10 Critical Things To Look For
If your IT company doesn’t return your phone calls, their prices are too high, or they run in to “fix” things only to run out before you find what was done, you need to choose another IT Service Provider.
But what should you look for?
With the rapid changes in technology, how are you supposed to know which IT company is best for your business needs?
We’ll tell you here…
Have you ever heard the term Managed Service Provider (MSP)?
It’s important that your IT company is and MSP… meaning that they provide what’s called Managed IT Services.
What Are Managed IT Services?
Managed IT Services allow you to offload all of your IT services and solutions to a service provider (an MSP). Your MSP assumes all the responsibility for 24-hour monitoring and maintenance of your IT system.
Why Is Using An MSP So Important?
Using Managed IT Services is critical to the success of small to mid-sized businesses today. Most don’t have the resources to hire a team of tech experts and keep them on-call 24/7.
Your Managed Service Provider will act as your outsourced IT department. It’s a much more affordable way to access the comprehensive IT systems that larger business enjoy.
This also ensures that your technology and data will always be accessible, reliable and secure.
And, with the services your MSP provides, your company will be set up to better compete against other businesses like yours.
Sounds like a dream come true, right?
But… you must find the right IT MSP company for your organization.
Which brings me to the main topic here…
What Should You Look For In A Managed IT Service Provider?
Not all IT companies are the same…
Here are 10 things to look for…
Make sure that your IT Service Provider:
1. Responds quickly to your calls. Every company has different processes, and response times vary. Ask for their guaranteed response times:
- How long does it take for them to respond?
- How fast are issues typically resolved?
- How long will it take if you require onsite support?
Make sure they back up their answers with facts and metrics.
2. Is an IT Advisor and not just a repair service. Look for a subject matter expert in the industry you serve. If you run a healthcare practice, make sure they are versed in EHRs, HIPAA and practice management software.
Look for an MSP who can act as a consultant and craft a customized solution to meet your unique requirements. They should explain everything they do in plain language that you and your employees can understand, and how it will impact your business operations.
3. Offers access to a team of highly trained and experienced technicians who provide on-call service 24/7/365. They should ensure that your IT infrastructure is available when and where you need it…And that you have access to specialists who can ensure you are following IT best practices.
4. Provides a guaranteed Service Level Agreement. They should monitor your network 24 hours a day to act on any issues before they cause IT interruptions or downtime that can disrupt your staff’s productivity.
5. Helps you budget for the IT services you require. A good IT service provider will offer services that you can predictably budget for, and solutions that you can write off as operating expenses rather than capital ones. Your MSP should offer a customized package of services for a fixed monthly fee that you can count on.
6. Ensures that you’ll have a highly secure IT environment so you won’t have to worry about viruses, malware, and hackers stealing your confidential data. They should use best-of-breed technologies that block data intrusions and eliminate them before they enter your network. They should also help you maintain IT security compliance for industry and government regulations.
7. Sets up Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Solutions with both onsite and offsite cloud backups to ensure you can always access your IT even if your office is closed due to a storm or other disaster. Plus they should provide continuous backups and testing to ensure your data is easily recoverable.
8. Ensures that proactive support is ongoing so you can have the peace of mind that your IT network will run as it should. This way you can focus on your core competencies rather than worry about technology issues.
9. Offers many different services and solutions you can choose from. This includes things like hosted cloud services, VoIP business phones, mobile device management, wireless services, virtual CIO services and more. Only with a variety of services can they provide the customized information technology solutions that best fit your needs.
10. Makes your success their priority. They must get to know your business and your goals. How can you tell if they’ll do this? Ask them about their clients and the success rate they experienced by using the services they provide. Any company that’s provided success for their customers will gladly be willing to share their stories and references.
There’s no doubt that finding the right IT Service Provider can be a daunting task. But armed with this information you should be able to find the right fit for your business.