Choosing an IT company can be a stressful task if you aren't sure what to look for. Finding an experienced and reliable service team is essential to getting the quality of care you deserve from an outsourcing company.
Without the proper information, you could end up making a costly mistake by choosing the wrong services and provider for your business.We've simplified things for you, highlighting the five questions to ask when choosing an IT company.
These are what we consider to be the absolute essential questions you need to ask each and every IT services firm you meet with before making your decision:
1. Will I have a dedicated account manager and dedicated engineer?
Having an account manager or main point of contact is important for communication between you and your IT company. Make sure you ask how these communications will work and voice your expectations for availability of this contact person.
Having a dedicated engineer may be unrealistic because each job may require a different area of expertise and this means different engineers. As long as you have an account manager who is familiar with your account, having different engineers shouldn't be a concern for you.
2. What are your different support options or levels?
This question is important because it opens up your options. When you meet with a representative from a potential IT company, they may assume that you want and need the highest level of support available. Ask about pay-as-you-go plans as well as managed services plans and decide which one sounds right for your company.
3. What areas/regions do you serve and what is your minimum response time?
This protects you from hiring a firm that is located several hours from your office and isn't able to dispatch an engineer immediately if you do have an emergency. Be sure to have in writing what their response time is for regular service as well as emergency service. This would also be a good time to ask if there is a different rate for regular and emergency services as well.
4. What certifications does your team currently have and which ones will you be working towards in the near future?
Every engineer will have an area that they are more familiar with whether it is security, phone systems, or networking. Ask your potential company for a list of current certifications held by any engineer that will be working on your account. The more certifications, the better, because it means they will have a wider range of expertise to address any issues that might come up in your IT environment.
5. What, if any, hardware/software companies do you work with directly?
An IT company that has relationships with major resellers can help you buy the exact hardware and software you need for your business. Be sure to ask if they are partners with any hardware/software companies. You want to be sure that your company can offer you the hardware and software you need, not just the brands they have relationships with.
Another great resource, if you're looking for a good way to make sure your IT systems are running well on a monthly basis, is our Monthly IT Health Checklist. It's completely free and a great tool for business leaders who just want to make sure they are doing things the right way and that their systems are covered. It's also a great accountability tool for you to use each month once you do find the right IT partner.