25 Aug Key Questions To Ask Before Outsourcing Your IT Support
Outsourcing can be a smart business decision, because it allows your company to stay focused on primary functions and save on the costs of in-house personnel and equipment. Many different functions can be commonly outsourced to external businesses, including HR, accounting, customer service, and of course, IT support.
Why outsource your IT support?
IT support is a popular service to outsource, as technology changes at a rapid pace and many businesses find it hard to keep up.
Outsourcing to a managed IT services provider means that you have greater control of how much you spend on IT support, while also ensuring that you are receiving expert recommendations and advice.
When searching for a reliable technical support provider, you need to do your due diligence to ensure that your chosen IT provider will be able to meet all of your business requirements. Aside from financial evaluations, there are several important questions to ask any potential IT support companies to ensure they will be the best fit for your company.
The following five questions to ask your outsourced IT support provider will help get you started:
1. Do you have experience providing IT support for my type of business?
Some support companies only have experience with large companies, or exclusively smaller companies. Additionally, they may have experience only working in certain industries. Different industries can have vastly different IT set-ups and so you will need to ensure your chosen IT provider will know how to deal with any issues that may arise with yours.
2. What IT services do you specialise in?
Many IT support providers have particular areas of expertise and you need to ensure that this will align with your business pals. At a minimum, you will need to make sure that they have extensive experience in general IT support and other essential requirements including IT strategy, data management and backup, and cyber security. Additional areas that your business may need to focus on can include things like procurement for additional IT equipment and your business may need help in adopting new technologies like the cloud.
3. What does the Service Level Agreement (SLA) cover?
Your service level agreement, or SLA should include a specific description of the services to be provided and expected service levels, and the duties and responsibilities of each party. Your SLA helps to set the standard response times and procedures for things like equipment downtime, system failures and asset management. It should also detail who your primary contact person is and any relevant escalation processes. It is also worth finding out if there are any specific things that your SLA does NOT cover so you can ensure that you have any required plans in place for those situations.
4. What is your approach to security?
The backbone of any IT system is data and ensuring that it remains secure and uncorrupted. The risk of data loss, theft or corruption due to lacking IT security is only getting worse. According to Gartner, industry research confirms that the pandemic encouraged cybercriminals to increase their use of proven attack strategies.
Your chosen IT support provider should have experience and a proven track record in safeguarding their clients’ data. They should also be able to provide plans and procedures in case of cyber attacks or data breaches, for worst case scenarios.
The 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report from Verizon states that during 2020, human error played a part in 85% of all breaches recorded, so with that in mind, it is also advisable to partner with an IT supplier who is able to provide education around these issues for your team, in order to help reduce any security issues in the future.
5. Do you have any references or testimonials?
A reputable IT support company will be happy to provide you with testimonials and references from some of their satisfied clients. It is well worth speaking to some of the past and current customers if possible so you can determine whether the IT support provider lives up to their promises.
At Total Computer Technology our specialist team will act as your very own IT department. No matter your requirement, our team of experience IT providers will be able to provide you with expert advice, tailored for your unique business needs. Call us on (02) 8113 4400 for IT support Sydney, (03) 8637 7500 for IT support Melbourne, or (03) 5382 5511 for IT support Horsham, or click here to send us an enquiry.