You know that managed IT services can help to streamline your business, improve office productivity, and ensure your most important data is secure.
What you're not quite as certain about?
The things you should take into consideration when you're ready to hire professional IT services.
This post is here to help make it easier. In it, we'll tell you things you shouldn't compromise on when you're in the market for IT services.
We'll also let you know where you can go to get the highest quality of managed IT services on the market today.
Ask About Availability
The first thing you need to look for when you're ready to find managed IT services?
One that's able to offer you 24/7 site monitoring and assistance.
While responding to more minor issues like trouble with Internet access or software bugs should happen quickly, expediency is a serious issue if your company has suffered from a hack.
You shouldn't have to wait around -- while your clients' sensitive data is made public -- for your IT services provider to help you make things right.
Remember that, when your site goes offline, you're also losing the ability to make a profit, have clients schedule appointments, or let people learn more about your business. Especially when these visitors see that your site is offline, they're not likely to return.
You also need to ask about the sort of guaranteed uptime -- the time that your website remains up and running -- the IT service company offers. In general, look for one that offers a minimum of 99%.
Understand the Services They Offer
Next, make sure you understand what the IT provider is able to offer you.
If you're interested in outsourcing managed IT services, can they make that happen? Do they offer onsite IT training and staffing? If you have a special project that requires a short-term IT professional, are they able to work with you? Can they help you to recruit IT talent if you'd like to grow your in-house team?
Also, take a look at the specific managed IT services the company offers to its clients.
Can they help with data backup and migration? What about disaster recovery, firewall protection, site monitoring, and other security measures?
Are they able to offer Mac and PC repairs if needed? What about mobile device management or even assistance with your business phone?
Perhaps you're interested in moving your storage to the cloud. Make sure that you're working with a firm that has the experience you need to make that happen.
Understand how they evaluate your IT needs. Ask about what they do to make sure they always stay a step ahead of the latest IT trends and even hacking threats.
Finally, also ask about the kinds of tools and software the firm will use to protect your data and keep your system up and running. Are they, if needed, able to create customized software or applications to help your IT process run smoothly?
Knowing what to ask -- and which services you can't live without -- will save you from serious headaches down the line.
Ask About Industry Experience
When you're in the market for managed IT services, you also need to ensure you're working with a company that has experience within your industry.
Ask about how they've worked with companies with similar markets, security issues, and overall IT needs to your own. You need to make certain that they truly have the resources available to give you what you need.
Ask how many clients they currently have, and what size of company they prefer to work with.
Finally, get a feel for how they feel about scalability.
You might be a small business now, but we're willing to bet you don't have plans to stay that way forever. You need to ensure that your IT provider can grow with you, and manage things as you expand.
Check Past References
The best way to get to know the real story about an IT provider?
Speak with some of their past or current clients.
Yes, 97% of consumers say they read online reviews about a company or a product before making any final buying decisions.
But the truth is that relying on what people say about an IT company online isn't enough to give you the whole picture. You also need to connect with at least three references in person or over the telephone.
Ask about the overall billing structure. Were there any hidden fees or surprise charges? Ask how long it usually takes the provider to solve an issue. Make sure you inquire as to how well the IT staff can actually explain how to work new software or handle smaller problems.
Above all, ask if the reference plans to continue to work with this IT provider in the future. If the IT company doesn't seem to want to give you any references?
You have your answer about whether or not you should work with them.
Looking for the Best in Managed IT Services?
We hope that this post has helped you to get a better understanding of some of the most important things to be on the lookout for when you're ready to hire managed IT services.
No matter your current -- or future -- IT needs, we want to have the chance to work with you.
We offer a wide variety of services, from managed IT and cloud services to IT consulting and even IT staffing.
Are you ready to take your IT department to the next level?
If so, then reach out to us to learn more about how we can make it happen.