6 Key Questions to ask an IT Support provider
Business IT Support is the most critical service you will outsource but where do you start and what do you need to know ?
6 questions to ask the IT Services provider:
- How long have they been in business?
- Have the Directors got a history of boom-and-bust of multiple companies over the years (you can find this information on a service such as CreditSafe)
- Are they of good financial standing? (If you have paid upfront for a 1 or 3-year service, how safe will that money be?)
- How many staff do they have? And of these, how many are dedicated to technical service delivery? Top Tip: some will count two roles delivered by one person as two staff members to make themselves look bigger
- What are their opening hours for logging calls and triggering an SLA?
- What happens if you log a call at 4.59pm, triggering an SLA with a 4-hour response/fix?
The first place to start for most people is a search engine. You will ultimately want service provision from a company who can fulfil the SLA (e.g. you are based in Newcastle and decide to award your IT Support Contract to a company based in Sheffield. This would seriously hamper the service provided and the distance would most likely be reflected in the fees you are being charged.)
You should always speak to other business owners to ask for recommendations as they will have first-hand experience of what an IT company is doing for them.
Don’t automatically trust the testimonials on the website – These are nearly worthless as they will only publish testimonials they consider “safe clients” and all the testimonials will only focus on the positives – you have no way of balancing this with the unseen negatives.
Also, don’t automatically trust the 5-star reviews on ratings websites – friends and family may have awarded the rating. Professional Services B2B transactions don’t usually end up on consumer ratings websites.
Real Life Example: an IT Services Provider in the North East who has a Google rating of 5* from 1 person – The only Director and Shareholder of that company.
One size does NOT fit all when it comes to IT Service and IT Support Providers engaging with organisations of different sizes and requirements.
Get our guide to choosing and working with an IT Services provider, which will provide the background information you need in order to avoid the pitfalls of SLA, costs, contracts and more