Choosing the right IT support provider can be a challenge. Not only do you need them to provide you with appropriate levels of customer service, but you also need to have the confidence that they have the experience and knowledge to keep your business safe, secure & running smoothly.
Asking the following questions will help you to select the best provider for your business needs:
1. How is helpdesk support delivered?
If something goes wrong with your computer network, you’ll need answers and support quickly. Ask to look at their service agreement to understand the response times and how exactly you go about requesting support.
2. Do they use plain English rather than industry jargon?
Using jargon can lead to confusion and alienation, so it’s really important that your IT services provider communicates with you and your team in a way that you can understand. Make sure that they will be happy to answer any questions you might have and can explain things in clear terms.
3. How will their technicians work with your business?
If you use specific business software or applications, such as Microsoft Office 365 or other cloud-based solutions, ask whether their technicians are able to provide support for them. In addition, if technicians need to visit your office, find out if they will be professionally dressed, will arrive promptly, communicate professionally and keep you updated of their progress and any issues.
4. Are they proactive in improving your service?
Your IT provider should take a pro-active approach in providing you with recommendations, actionable insights and advice that will improve the efficiency and capabilities of your IT systems – including software, hardware and the network that they run on. They should work with you to help you make informed decisions and resolve problems.
5. Will they consistently monitor your network and performance?
Continuous monitoring of your systems will identify any hardware and network problems so that they can be quickly resolved before becoming an issue. Monitoring also allows network security and other software solutions to be kept up-to-date. From this, your IT support provider can provide you with a complete and clear view of your IT infrastructure.
6. What is the backup & disaster recovery process?
It’s important to be reassured that if your business experienced a disaster, there is a clear disaster recovery plan in place – so you need to make sure your IT provider is keeping backups. In addition, check whether cloud-based storage is available, as this will keep your documents backed up and secure for quick recovery in the event of a disaster, whilst also providing easy access to documents on a day-to-day basis.
7. What levels of network security do they provide?
Keeping your business safe, secure and protected from cybercrime and security threats is a crucial element of IT support in order to iron out any network vulnerabilities or inefficiencies. As part of their on-going monitoring, your provider should offer network security and virus protection. Security could also involve monitoring access to printers and scanning to unauthorised locations.
8. Can they support with software & hardware installation and setup?
As well as on-going network support, you may also want a provider who can assist with any updates or changes to your office set-up. This could include installation of hardware (such as servers, data cabling, computers, wireless technologies, mobile devices and phone systems) and setup of software (such as anti-virus protection, email filters, document management solutions, and cloud technology).
In summary, to find the best provider for your business you should ensure that they have experienced, accredited experts who can be on hand whenever you need advice or support – no matter how big or small your requirements. If you feel reassured and confident in their approach, then you’ve found the right provider for your business.