One of the biggest struggles for growing businesses is finding a trustworthy and reliable IT service provider. Finding the best IT service provider is something you'll need to take very seriously, since most businesses rely on technology to expedite their internal processes.
What should you look for in an IT service provider? In this guide, we'll chronicle some of the questions you can ask a prospective IT service provider.
Service Level Agreements
Service level agreements, better known as SLAs, have been a fixture in the tech industry for years. It's a simple promise that a service provider makes to its customers. If your managed service provider is unable to meet the minimum thresholds in your SLA, you often do not have to pay full price for services.
Get intimately acquainted with any prospective IT service's SLA. When you speak with a sales representative, you'll want to translate terms like "99.99% Network Uptime" into real world scenarios so that you aren't signing an agreement without knowing the exact level of service that your business will receive.
Some IT service providers have exclusivity contracts with specific providers so that they will only deploy certain types of system architecture. These agreements can actually favor your business because IT service providers can sometimes get exclusive deals on hardware and software that can't be found anywhere else.
Ask about what vendor products your IT service provider uses. For example, they may only work with Dell servers or Cisco networking equipment. If you currently have HP servers and HP networking gear, you might want to find an IT service provider that specializes in HP products.
Many IT service providers are certified to deploy and service multiple architectures; it is important to find an IT managed service that fully understands and supports your infrastructure.
Finding an IT service provider that speaks your language is important. You might want to seek out a managed service provider that knows your business model. For example, if you are a logistics company, you might want to find an IT service provider that has experience with logistics hardware and software.
If you are a legal business or a firm that does government work, you might want to ask your prospective service provider if they can meet your rigorous internal auditing standards. Many industries are subject to technology audits such as PCI-DSS, HIPAA or SOX; Specifically ask your service provider about their experiences and how they can meet and exceed these standards.
Some businesses might be weighing the pros and cons of remote IT support. The location of your IT service provider could prove to be a gamechanger when your business needs critical support.
Consider the consequences of a disaster recovery scenario. Would you want to wait for your out of town IT service provider to help you? What if you need immediate onsite help?
The location of your IT service provider can prove to be a critical part of your internal recovery point objective. In fact, local IT service providers can often provide custom plans that meet your IT department's budget. Since local providers area able to offer rapid help during critical technology incidents, many businesses choose local IT consulting forms over those based in other places.
Creating a Plan
The most important thing an IT service provider can offer your business is a technology roadmap. This document will serve as a general guide and it will give your business insight on upcoming projects. It will also cover all of the support contracts that your organization will have in place.
This plan can help your business implement vital IT services such as technical support, system upgrades and network administration. Your IT service provider can provide expert consultation services that will assist your business in achieving its business technology goals.
Why Partner with Wolf?
From our local office in Greenville, SC, Wolf Technology Group offers an expert tech support team at your fingertips. With our affordable managed IT support plans, you can have access to an entire IT department for less than the cost of one full-time employee!
When you outsource to Wolf, you can enjoy:
- A customized network environment with exactly the capabilities you need and superior uptime
- Scalable IT solutions that can grow with your business
- State-of-the-art systems to protect and encrypt your data, which can secure everything from employee computers to email servers to mobile devices
- Peace of mind: if disaster does strike, our team can have your business back up and running within a matter of hours
Don’t leave the success of your company’s technology environment up to chance. Call the Southeast’s IT experts at (833) 482-6435 or click below to schedule a consultation.
If you enjoyed this IT Support article, please check out other posts on our blog and join us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ to see how else we can help your Greenville, SC or Atlanta, GA area business succeed!