Whether you’re a start-up or an established business, it goes without saying that the vast majority of modern businesses are fully dependent on their IT systems and when their computers, servers or networks shut down, business operations can grind to a halt.
The vast majority of start-up businesses are on what can only be referred to as a “middle ground” – dependent on their IT systems and big enough to have invested substantially in them, but not of a large enough organisation to justify employing and maintaining full-time, in-house IT staff with the inevitable burden on overheads. This is the situation we found ourselves in recently, and thinking about it, choosing an IT company is a lot like choosing an SEO company. Here’s why…
Many business owners are increasingly finding it logical to concentrate on running the business rather than spreading themselves them too thin and outsource their IT needs to a friendly and competent IT Support firm to handle that aspect of the business.
The one problem with this approach is that, like SEO, there are hundreds of IT Support companies out there, and it’s difficult to separate the good from the bad.
Here are our top tips on how to choose a company that will suit your business.
The first and perhaps most obvious considerations to ask any potential IT partner is their competence.
Do they possess the experience, accreditations and professionalism to fully take care of your IT Systems?
An important point to take note of is; don’t be afraid to ask searching questions. IT is a world full of jargon that can easily confuse the average businessman/woman.
What type of questions should one be asking? Here’s a few:
You may be surprised how many IT companies will fail at least one of these questions.
Key questions you need answering:-
Different IT companies offer widely varying operational procedures and charging:-
One of the most important reasons for employing a third party IT Company is to fix things when they break.
So a critical question is “How do I get help when I need it?”
Prevention is cheaper than the cure and nothing is truer than that in today’s IT world where IT companies offer the facility to monitor your IT systems 24/7 – 365 days a year with remote software.
When the software spots a potential problem, the IT Company is immediately informed by SMS or email and is able to act swiftly to resolve the issue, all of which links in to a managed service contract.
The IT Company monitors all your systems and provides all your support for one monthly fee. While this may initially seem expensive, it’s worth shopping around.
IT projects are invariably on-going – software upgrades, new premises or the installation of a new server.
If you already use a company for IT support, it makes perfect sense to turn to it at the time of a project. But you should be satisfied that any IT support company you hire:
The more important your IT systems are to the running of your business, the more important it is you select the right IT Company. When something breaks (and it will!) it will be your business that depends on them. Monday morning on the busiest time of your year when your server goes down isn’t the time to realise your IT company hasn’t got what it takes.
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