4 Questions to Ask Your Outsourced IT Support
Outsourcing your technical support is a solid way to ensure your technology is always being supported by experts without the additional costs associated with having an employee. In fact, the best providers will work closely with you as if they are a part of your own team.
Questions to Ask Your IT Provider
Wondering what exactly is outsourcing your IT? The answer is simple. Instead of having an internal IT staff with hourly wages or salary, benefits, and additional costs, you simply pay—usually on a monthly basis—to have your IT monitored, optimized, and secured by expert providers.
This arrangement typically comes from a managed service provider (MSP) who specializes in all things IT. Outside of just the raw costs, outsourcing your IT to an MSP is a good way to focus solely on your organization’s mission and delegate your technology support elsewhere.
Whether you already have a provider or are looking to hire a new one, there are some key questions that you should ask. We’ve included four of the most important here.
1. Do you have experience with organizations like ours, our equipment, and our mission?
Not all technology support companies are the same. That may seem obvious, but it means it’s important for you to talk with your current or prospective IT solutions provider if they have worked with companies like yours in the past. Your size, business objectives, or in-house equipment might align well or poorly with any given provider’s expertise. It’s important to note what kind of training their staff has received. This includes industry and manufacturer certifications, ongoing education standards, and more.
If you’ve purchased a certain software package and the original developer can’t help you support it with your other systems, it will come down to your IT provider’s experience level. Expertise with a range of hardware and software platforms can make all the difference when it comes to your daily operations.
2. What type of services should I expect?
Before you sign on the dotted line (some providers enforce contracts while others operate on a month-to-month basis), make sure you understand exactly what types of services you are purchasing. The service agreement should be clear and should outline each service or service category. These may include 24/7 monitoring, hardware procurement, cloud backup, or other services. Transparency is key, and this step should be a good guidepost for what level of services you should expect.
3. How much cyber security expertise do you have?
Outside of system installations and integrations, networking, and other typical services, cyber security is the bedrock of what an IT solution company provides. It shouldn’t be difficult for your provider to offer proof of their track record of keeping their clients safe from cyber threats. Do they offer training and internal policy guidelines? Firewalls and anti-virus technology? Can they set you up with multi-factor authentication for your critical systems? These are all crucial questions that should receive quick answers.
4. What is your history with past clients? Do you consider your clients to be partners?
Familiarity with your particular system is a huge benefit when it comes to cyber security and IT support in general. Therefore, working with the same provider for years on end is the optimal solution, as long as they are providing quality services. Ask about their previous clients. What does client retention look like? For those who have left, why? Knowing if your prospective provider prefers to work with customers for the long haul can make all the difference.
We’re Happy to Answer Your Questions
Virtual Technologies Group is on the cutting edge of IT support, so it wouldn’t be difficult for us to answer any of these questions. If you are considering a new IT service provider and have any additional questions, we’d love to connect!