Small businesses often allow anyone on their team who has a working knowledge of tech issues to handle technical problems. This practice can work for a while but will not hold up over time. Your business will be better off outsourcing your IT while you concentrate your efforts on achieving organizational goals.
There are a number of issues that should be taken into consideration to ensure you choose the right IT team for your business.
The IT support company you choose should possess previous experience with the system type used by your company. This will ensure the company you choose will earn their keep and possess the capability to keep your system in working order. A great way to determine this level of experience is to check the certifications that have been earned by the company. Technology vendors usually provide professionals who service their products with certifications. These certifications are for individuals so you will need to ask prospective IT companies about the certifications held by their employees.
You should feel confident that any technical problems you face will be addressed by your IT company in a reasonable amount of time. This is necessary to guarantee there are no prolonged delays in business operations while you are waiting on a fix for a tech problem. You should get a clear understanding of the response time you can expect from prospective IT services. But remember, the response time only determines how long it will take for a company to begin working on a tech issue. This time does not include the amount of time it will take to fix the problem. Also, 24/7 IT services provide support during emergencies, which are always unplanned and tend to occur at the most inopportune times.
No Long Contracts
IT companies will sometimes try to lock you into contracts that last for two to three years. This agreement is great for the company but might not be so good for your business. You probably know a lot of people who are not exactly happy with a phone or cable service they have made an agreement with. You will not want to repeat this situation with your IT company. Many IT companies offer month to month contracts, along with 30 to 60 day out clauses. This agreement is favorable to the long-term contract model.
Expertise with Data Security
There was a time when data security was optional. This is no longer the case. Securing your company's sensitive data is important for every aspect of your business but is especially important in your tech department. You should find a company that understands the industry in which you do business and can design a plan that specifically fits your needs. Cyberthreats are constantly changing. Because of this, you should look for an IT company that provides ongoing training to employees for data security issues. Otherwise, the company you choose will not be able to keep your data secure.
Proactive Maintenance and Management
A lot of IT companies work in a reactive manner and will fix hardware and other problems when they arise. And while this is great for the majority of tech problems your business will experience, a good IT support team will take a more proactive approach and reduce the number of tech malfunctions your company experiences. The company you choose should do more than just monitor your system. Your IT support team should be familiar with the potential problems you can encounter and suggest tools that will allow your business to increase productivity and eliminate downtime. A good IT company will meet these expectations and communicate with you regularly regarding your business goals. They will also work with you to craft a technology plan that will help you meet these goals.
IT support companies are prime targets for computer hackers. When one of these companies is compromised, a hacker can gain immediate access to the passwords for all of the company's clients. You should not choose an IT support company until you are certain they have a protocol in place for keeping passwords and other sensitive data safe. When evaluating a company, ask them how they handle their internal passwords. You should consider it a red flag if the company does not mention multifactor authentication. Many companies make the mistake of storing the passwords of customers on Excel spreadsheets that provide no encryption security.
Human error is often the cause of security breaches. For this reason, you should ask potential IT support companies how they train the employees that work for them to guard against cybersecurity threats. You can count it as a good sign if you are told that all employees are trained to avoid phishing attempts. It is also important that this training takes place regularly to match pace with new tactics used by cybercriminals. If an employee who works for your IT company clicks on the wrong link or opens the wrong email, it can mean disastrous consequences for your business.
What Are the Prerequisites
Some IT companies require a certain number of users before it will work with a company. There are others who will want you to change the infrastructure of your IT to fit the uniform standards they possess. You will need to determine whether you are a good fit for the IT company you are considering.
Can Their Company Handle the Size of Yours?
Make sure any IT company you consider can handle both the current size and growth of your company. Ask the company how many engineers they employ and what number of departments they are spread across. Also, get an in-depth understanding of the support process offered by the company.
The IT support company you choose can have a great impact on the success of your business. Anytime your system is not working at full capacity, it means less efficiency for your business. Make sure you choose an IT support company that will minimize your downtime and keep you operating at optimum levels.
Here’s another article you might like: 4 Ways to Strengthen Your Business' IT Network Today