9 Questions to ask when considering an IT services provider.
In making your final decision regarding the appointment of an IT services provider to manage your IT environment, we suggest considering the following questions, & consider the impact the answers will make on the value of the service provided, & ultimately the value added to your business.
1. How & when will I be charged?
Fixed monthly amount or per incident? Fixed price is a better option for budgeting purposes. Per incident options can lead to confusion & disputes. This can also be made to look like a fixed-price agreement by selling a fixed amount of hours.
However, this may exclude things like work on-site or certain work hours only, thus charging you extra for these services.
TIP: Check that the pricing is transparent & watch out for any hidden extras.
2. What is the primary factor to take into account when deciding on an IT service provider?
You should identify exactly what it is that you are looking for.
TIP: Go for a one-stop shop that offers hardware, software, networking & support. This will avoid the need for multiple suppliers & often the blame shifting that occurs between them.
3. Does bigger mean better?
Many larger companies do not offer the personalized service SME businesses require, you are mostly just another “number” to them. Their support processes are often over complicated, increasing time for problem resolution. You end up talking to a different support agent every time, many times starting the entire troubleshooting process from scratch. In contrast, small support businesses with one or two employees, often a business where only one person offers support, are usually much cheaper & lacks the skills & reliability of larger companies.
TIP: Go for a small - medium-sized supplier that offers breadth & depth of skills as well as personalized service with familiar points of contact.
4. Is a service-level agreement (SLA) important?
There should be an SLA, & it should clearly state the deliverables which are expected from both parties. For instance, response times for problem management & resolution. Some service providers may not react to a problem as quickly as they could because their SLA states they have 24 hours in which to respond.
5. What contract length should I go for?
There is no reason at all why you should get pushed into a long-term contract. However, if you prefer a longer timeframe, ask what benefits will come from signing a longer contract, such as a price reduction.
TIP: Go for a service provider that is looking to build long-term relationships instead of long term contracts.
6. What about dedicated account managers?
These are important, as you need someone that understands your business & knows what you are aiming for in terms of growth plans & company direction.
TIP: Having an account manager will provide a familiar single point of contact.
7. Is the service provider proactive?
The key to good IT support is preventing problems before they arise. However, the supplier is not only there to stop problems & should also plan for IT changes in advance. A good provider will regularly visit their clients to help identify how they currently utilize their IT infrastructure & what improvements can be made.
TIP: Avoid the "fixer." They will only offer problem fixing, rather than trying to avoid them in the first place.
8. Does the provider offer remote management & monitoring?
This is a fundamental part. With today's remote management tools, service providers should be monitoring all of your PCs & servers, & installing upgrades & packages remotely.
TIP: Remote management & monitoring offer you support without impacting your productivity or disrupting the business.
9. What is the customer retention rate over the last 7 years?
How long has the service providers average client stayed with them, especially over the past 7 years. The bottom line is, if the IT Support company that you are considering is really good, their customers will stay with them. Of course there are always issues & problems with any computer network, but if the company is good, they will resolve these issues in a timely manner & within a reasonable time frame.
Advantages of using CJN IT Solutions to support your IT infrastructure:
- Maintenance of your entire IT infrastructure.
- Continuous improvement of your computing systems.
- Minimal downtime by providing telephonic, on-site & remote support.
- Enhancements to current IT infrastructure.
- Economical solutions for your working environment.
- Guaranteed same day response with fast turnaround times.
- Proactive system maintenance & problem prevention.
- Test backups to prevent disasters.
- Fixed cost IT support.
CJN IT Solutions easy 3 step process:
* Analysis of computer infrastructure.
* Provide feedback.
* Take action.
Contact us today at 087 809 3516 / firstname.lastname@example.org for a free IT assessment.