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12 Questions You Should Ask Your Managed IT Support Before Hiring Them
Are you planning to outsource your IT affairs to a managed IT support company? Stop and think. Do you expect all your IT problems to disappear? Do you hope for 24/7 monitoring and support?
Do you want to enjoy peace of mind without worrying about security threats? Most company owners expect magic from managed IT support companies.
Meanwhile, their services and expertise vary tremendously. From the level of professionalism to the difference in payment plans, you need to make careful research. The best way to get a full picture of what you are getting is to ask the right questions.
A company may appear stellar on the outside, but the fine print is always there. We’ve come up with the most important questions to ask your potential IT support provider before hiring.
1. Can we visit your office?
It’s important to pay close attention to where the company is located. Even though managed IT support service provider doesn’t need a top-notch office, it must have a physical location.
Companies that don’t bother setting up an office are likely to have specialists working out of their homes or unequipped warehouses. This says something about the possible quality of services.
2. How many specialists work for you?
The number of employees can give you an idea of how quickly they can respond to your needs. A company with a large staff is likely to have a quicker response time.
According to experts from Ottawa managed IT Support company, Firewall Technical, while the size of the staff doesn’t determine the quality of services, the larger it is, the better. Especially, if your company has numerous IT requirements.
However, if the managed IT support company is too large while yours is small, beware. They may not be as interested in working with you, as they are with larger companies.
3. Who are your partners?
While a large company can do all the IT-related tasks on its own due to a varied staff, smaller managed IT support companies partner with others. There isn’t anything wrong with such partnerships.
However, if they do exist, you need to check how reliable they are. Ask your provider about its partners and check their reviews and credentials.
4. Can you give us any references?
References are highly important for choosing the right company. A respectable provider is ready to offer references happily. While a company with a less-than-stellar reputation may try to avoid sharing them.
Getting contact details of the company’s previous or existing clients is the best way to check the references and find out about the provider’s true capabilities.
5. Have you worked with similar businesses before?
The best managed IT service provider for your company is the one that handled similar businesses before. If the company is focusing on retail stores, it may be slow adapting its methods to healthcare providers. Ask the company for the list of similar clients they have worked with before you.
6. What services do you offer?
This is the most important question you can ask. Don’t hope for all your whims to be catered to if you fail to read the list of services. Not all managed IT providers are created equal.
Some are ready to run to your rescue in a few seconds. Others may need an hour or two to regroup.
Some do software development and cloud migration while others focus on technical issues, such as cabling, software installation, upgrades, etc.
7. What are your pricing plans?
After you are satisfied with the list of services, find out how much they could cost you.
While many companies would prefer the “all-inclusive” service model, which includes all services, 24/7 monitoring, and more, the price tag for it may be hefty.
Be careful when talking about the pricing. Each company has its own fine print. Sometimes it’s cheaper to pay “per device” or “per visit” than to choose the “all-inclusive” option.
8. What can’t you do?
One of the best ways to avoid disappointment is to find out what a company can’t do. It’s a straightforward question, which should lead to a quick answer.
According to software development experts at Miropoint, managed IT support companies often outsource software development issues to partners.
This usually surprises the client, who is sure that the company does everything on its own.
9. How do you automate your processes?
Today, doing routine tasks without the right tools can slow down IT support projects tremendously. Numerous programs exist to automate security features, monitor your systems, do timely upgrades, etc.
Ask the company how they go about automating their support.
10. Can you help us improve our services?
One of the most demanded services offered by IT support providers is suggestions for improvements. With new technologies appearing at the speed of light, an IT team should help you take full advantage of them.
If you want the company to offer proactive support, ask if it’s ready to do it.
11. What is your biggest challenge?
The answer to this question can help you understand how well the company knows its problems and challenges. If the representatives say that challenges don’t exist then they aren’t looking hard enough.
If you hear a detailed answer about challenges AND attempts to overcome them, the company is worth your attention.
12. How can you cut our costs?
One of the reasons you are hiring an IT service provider is to cut costs. Do they have a good idea of how to go about it?
At this point, you’ll see how well the company has done its homework studying your business.
In order to give the best services, managed IT support company must know the ins and outs of the way your business works. Is the company interested enough in the partnership to study your business?
Even if all the answers seem satisfactory but you feel as if something is off, consider another company. You’ll have to spend your time working side-by-side with these specialists.
Personal comfort is among the most important factors to consider when hiring a managed IT support company.
About the authorMaria has been writing articles for 5 years. She specializes in business and marketing. In her free time, she loves to read and go to the park with her dog.
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