In every small business, it is common for technical issues to be handled by a person who has had a lot of knowledge about technology. It can work for minor technical problems, but with significant issues that can affect the whole operation of the company, it is not advisable. Not only that, it is not a sustainable proactive for the business.
The team needs to be more focused on reaching your company goals and not dealing with any technical issues. Outsourcing your Information Technology needs can be a big help in alleviating the burden so the team can get back to what they do best, meeting company goals. Listed below are some things you need to look for when finding the best IT support company that suits your needs.
No long-term, dragging contracts
Some IT firms will lock their clients into a two to a three-year contract, sometimes longer. It is suitable for an IT firm and bad for the clients. Think about a company dealing with an inefficient IT support company and can’t get out because they are locked into a contract for a couple of years. Imagine how much money, time and energy will be wasted.
A lot of people are not exactly excited with their mobile phone or cable providers. Do you want to experience that same situation with the company you hire when your operation is crippled by a down server or some technical issues with your computer? If you are not happy with a seller, or you want to have a change of pace in your company and need to re-evaluate your sellers, you need to be able to tweak or get out of the contract at any given time.
Look for a firm that allows a month-to-month or project-to-project contracts with a clause that will let you get out of it and a 30 to 60 days trial period. Most modern Information Technology companies are starting to use this model, but you will still see firms that still use long-term contracts to lock their clients in.
Some IT firms just work on fix service or reactive break tickets, just like fixing a broken printer or troubleshooting an email problem. There is nothing inappropriate with these types of tickets, and it will make up a big chunk of your Information Technology support will need, no matter what support firm you hire and what types of tools they use.
The right IT firm can minimize the amount of the fix or break tickets by proactively managing the network. At the minimum, it usually involves monitoring the system for any outages. In some cases, these firms can know if there is an outage happening before you do.
Proactive administration should do a lot of things, not just monitor the work happening in the company. Your IT firm needs to be familiar with the environment of your business or the industry in general and help you choose the right tools to make the team more productive, as well as to minimize the downtime.
The best Information Technology firms will do these kinds of things on a regular basis. Not only that, they will meet with everyone that is involved in the operation of your business to discuss the goals, what is happening on their end and form the right plan to help meet those goals.
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Certification, on-going training and experience
Your support company needs to be experienced in any system related to your business – not learn the system that you are currently using. The best way to get a check on the firm’s experience level is through their certifications. Most, if not all technology sellers, including Cisco and Microsoft, offer different types of certifications to IT services and other experts in this line of work who buys their products.
You need to ask the firm you are hiring what kind of training and certifications their workers attended or hold and if they renew these certifications on a regular basis. Workers should regularly get trained to stay sharp and up to date with the latest advancements in technology used in their industry.
Ask them what types of training they attended. Does the service provider have a money set aside to get their employees the right training? Are they trained to handle different kinds of systems? An IT support expert with certifications in backup systems is good, but it is useless if they do not know about the applications or the systems that your company uses in your operations.
Data security experts
Reliable data security is always a must and not an option in today’s digital age. It should always be wrapped in every part of every business – especially if you are dealing with technology. Look for a service provider that has a data security expert under their payroll who can design a security plan that fit your needs, especially your budget.
If you are in a regulated business, they need to know and understand that the industry you are in is susceptible, and they should know how to help you adaptable and compliant. Data security is a part of the industry where you need to be always up-to-date; that is why regular training is necessary.
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Cyber security problems are always evolving. If your IT service provider is not keeping up with what is happening in the industry, they are not going to be able to keep you protected. You need to remember that even with the best tools or training available in the market today, there is still a small chance that there will be problems with your data security.
In this industry, there is no 100% guarantee. Any firms that promise you that their services will help you avoid data breach 100%, they are either lying in their teeth or does not know what they’re talking about.
Transparency is the key – when looking or an Information Technology service provider, it the company will not give you a direct answer, on any of these topics, think twice. Do not listen to people who hide things for the sake of “trade secrets.” The IT company you are hiring will have full access to your data and your system. They need to be transparent about their services and what they are doing.