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Partnering with the right IT support company can make the difference between workflow efficiency and sluggish internal processes. Let’s explore what to look for in an IT Services company.
You already know that having a sub-standard IT support partner slows down productivity and has a negative impact on your employees. What you may not know is that if you and your team are feeling the impact of poor IT support, your underlying technology may be being neglected, and your data may be left unsecured. It’s a bad situation that only compounds as time goes by.
Here are the questions you should be asking to ensure that you have the right IT services company to support your workflow, secure your IT operations, and answer your employees’ day-to-day questions.
Outside of technology degrees from colleges and universities, IT certifications are generally governed by the individual IT solutions provider. For example, Microsoft or Cisco will test and certify technicians and IT engineers on specific IT solutions. So, it’s helpful if the IT services company that you are considering has employees that are certified in the software or hardware that are already implemented within your IT environment. The IT solutions companies that the technicians and IT engineers have certifications through are usually also the strategic partners of that IT services company, which allows them to provide more comprehensive and speedy service in those solutions.
In general, there are three IT support models on the market today.
Companies often start out with hours-plus-materials IT support partners, but as their operations mature, the organizations move to a Managed IT Services model because they cannot afford shutdowns, slowdowns, downtime, and cybersecurity vulnerability.
While remote IT support is often the best and most effective way to solve computer, server, and application issues, there are times when it is critical that a company has the capacity and the willingness to dispatch a technician to your facility. Some IT support teams use out-of-state or offshore IT technicians and do not have the local resources to provide you with on-site support for troubleshooting, consulting, projects, and hardware/software implementation. Knowing this ahead of time will help you make the decision that is best for your company.
Knowing the hours, the number of available technicians, and who is answering the phones (or isn’t answering the phones) at the office of the IT support partner that you are considering will help you decide whether or not they are a good fit for your organization. Do they answer calls and handle your IT questions/issues in-house, or do they outsource some or all of the calls and work to a third party? Do they have engineers on staff, so they can escalate more difficult IT issues to their attention? What are their “emergency IT support hours” and the costs involved?
Not all SLAs are created equal. While having an SLA may give you the feeling of a “guarantee,” it all comes down to what is actually identified within the SLA. Going a step further, it’s important to ask whether or not the IT services firm monitors and supplies regular ongoing reporting on their SLA compliance.
If you’d like to know more about what to look for in an IT support partner, the ClearPath IT Solutions team would be happy to talk with you about what IT support model and features would be right for a business of your size, maturity, and IT systems complexity.