Selecting an IT service provider to support your computer technology needs is cornerstone of business continuity. Small and medium-sized businesses should be focused on providing value to their customers and generating revenue, not ever-changing, complex IT systems. Downtime reduction, tech support, cybercrime risk mitigation, consulting, and other benefits — at predictable and budget-friendly costs — are qualities of a good IT service provider. There are facets of a high-quality service that should be considered, especially as it pertains to technology.
It’s best to ask a prospective IT support services team the following questions before you sign a service agreement with them.
How Many Employees Do They Have?
Certainly, choosing a service provider with adequate staff is important. When presented with a contract for appealing services, there should be confidence the service can be delivered. It could halt business operations if there is a network outage and high-priority service is not available — because one or two of their employees call in sick.
How Many Clients Do They Have?
If the service provider has relatively few clients, it could be a flag the service quality is subpar. At one time there might have been several clients who eventually cut ties, or that the service’s quality was never acceptable, to begin with. On the other hand, having a fair number of clients they have been working with for several years or more is a flag of success and customer satisfaction.
What is the Experience and Expertise of the Company?
Be sure the level of expertise provided by the IT support services provider is based on real experience. Does most of their staff include people that have been working in IT services for at least several or more? Unless you want personnel handling IT maintenance whose only experience has been reading pseudo-expert articles on the internet, it’s an important question.
How Much E & O Insurance Do They Have?
E & O is errors and omissions insurance and is a financial safety net for damage caused by an improperly completed or incomplete service. Be sure to ask a prospective IT services partner about this. Make sure the insurance they carry is sufficient for potential damage.
Are There Third-Party Partners?
Each business has different goals and requires different computer programs and support items to maintain their systems. An organization subscribed to Microsoft Office 365, for example, would be smart to confirm that the IT service provider is partnered with Microsoft. It’s a win-win for all parties — the business gets the support they need, and the service provider has priority access to any needed support from Microsoft.
What Certifications Do They Possess?
When an IT support service possesses relevant certifications, clients can be assured technicians have completed training and testing. If your network infrastructure is comprised mostly of Apple products, it would be beneficial to obtain the services of technicians who possess Apple certifications. If a business consists of computers with Microsoft Windows installed, it would be smart to ask about Microsoft certifications.
How Knowledgeable Is the Service About Cybersecurity?
While it’s beneficial to have support when computers break down, experts are needed to set up networks in a way that optimizes security. Data loss and system outages can occur when least expected if security is not properly configured. Phishing scams, malware attacks, ransomware, and various forms of cyberattacks can be guarded against by security experts.
What Pricing Models Are Available?
Pricing models can vary significantly. IT service providers make pricing models available depending on what works best for them and the clients they support.
Plans ranging from monitoring services to high-priority support can be found. Fixed-fee models are often preferred since the only other costs incurred are from new projects.
How Will an IT Support Service Improve Your Business?
In addition to the ability to focus on what matters most — production and profit — happy employees naturally follow. When the burden of IT maintenance is removed from businesses, stress is greatly reduced. This means both management and employees can focus on what they need to do.
GSDSolutions provides a wide range of IT services for different types of businesses. We provide a proactive approach to supporting the needs of each client. If you’re looking for Managed IT services in the Bay area or the Central Valley, make sure you ask the right questions to know what they provide and how they provide it — they’re not all the same.
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