So you have decided to outsource IT Support for the business and need to know the type of help based on your business requirements and budget. OK, where to start?
Listed in order of increasing SLA and business size, a general approach would be:
- 1-5 User business - Speak to your friends, family and peers and ask if they know anyone who is competent in IT for a very small business with basic and minimal requirements and is happy with ad-hoc response as it does not really affect the business.
- TOP TIP: Peers will usually be the best route here as they will be able to provide feedback and it removes the friends and family personal tie which can make things difficult if you encounter problems with the ad-hoc service.
- 1-10 User business - Outsource to a low-quality-SLA business. This is for the more cost-conscious business and is a level above the ad-hoc “son of a friend” as IT services help is all the company will do. This may be a one-man company but you know that IT Support is their main business focus.
- 1-10,000 User business - Outsource to a high-quality-SLA IT Support company. This could be cost-effective for businesses of many sizes. The big difference is you will receive a published response time, fix time and more. They will have a team of professional support staff and should “tool up” to service your contract with spare parts, knowledge of your site and business processes.
- TOP TIP: If you are currently in a contract and are looking to change provider, make sure you get all knowledge back from the existing provider such as passwords, maintenance agreements that you have paid for with hardware and software vendors.
Of course, every business is different regarding budget, staff, customers and IT facilities so the above list is very generic to demonstrate the different levels of IT Support suppliers.