Don’t Hire a New IT Support Partner Before Asking These 4 Questions
Selecting the right IT services partner for your business is fraught with concerns: what if you choose the wrong partner and regret it in a matter of months? Taking your time as you get to know your potential partners is important, especially if you hope to have a long-term relationship with your support team. It’s rarely easy to change IT services providers once you have been working with a group for some time, which is why you need to do your due diligence upfront to provide the best start to your relationship. Don’t hire a new IT support team without asking them these 4 critical questions — and getting the answers that you expected to hear.
1. Is Your Business Using the Same Technology You Provide to Clients?
In the IT world, this is known as “eating your own dog food” — you need to know that your IT services provider is running their business with the same software and security platforms that they’ll leverage for yours. This helps ensure that the platforms will continually be kept up-to-date and that your potential partner will maintain an adequate level of knowledge and support about the platform both now and in the future.
2. What Happens If/When My Infrastructure Fails or Falls?
Unfortunately for most businesses, it’s more a matter of “when” your infrastructure will fall. Cyberattacks are on the rise, with millions of active attacks hammering away at organizations on a daily basis. Whether your infrastructure falls due to a direct attack, a random power outage due to weather or because of ransomware, your IT services professionals should have a strategy in place that will get you back online quickly and allow you to restore vital business operations. If your potential partner can’t provide detailed guidance for business recovery, it may be prudent to keep looking until you find a partner that could confidently support getting you online again — fast.
3. What is NOT Part of My Contract?
Just as in every contract, the devil is in the details. Ask for clarification about what is specifically not included in the contract and be sure you document this thoroughly. The last thing you want is a massive, unexpected support bill in the event of an incident. A proactive IT services partner will already have this information outlined in their contract, but it doesn’t hurt to ask for additional details to be sure you fully understand what is covered in monthly support and what will fall outside of your contracted support. Some contracts include business strategy time on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis while others consider that an added consultation cost.
4. Will Your Helpdesk Coverage Meet My Business Needs?
Every business is different, which means their Helpdesk support needs also differ. While one business may find it perfectly acceptable to have a service level agreement (SLA) that denotes 1-2 hours for a Level 1 response time, other businesses might require answers to important support needs in only a few moments. There are no wrong answers here, but be sure that the support level that your business requires is fully supported by your potential partner.
When potential IT managed services partners take the time to answer your questions and get to know your company, you have a greater possibility of success with that partner. At ECW Network & IT Solutions, our team works to ensure that we relate closely to our clients and provide the highest possible level of service at all times. Your IT systems are the underpinning of your business, and we appreciate the many businesses in the South Florida area that have trusted us as their partners. Contact our knowledgeable professionals at ECW Network & IT Solutions today at (561) 306-2284 to learn more or register for your free assessment online today.