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What To Look For In IT Services?

Outsourcing technical problems have become more common over the years. This is due to the fact that a company’s internal team should...

Written by Niel Patel · 3 min read >
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Outsourcing technical problems have become more common over the years. This is due to the fact that a company’s internal team should be focusing on organizational goals, meetings, and other value generation operations instead of fixing technology problems that can take a large chunk of their time. 

This practice is most common in startups and small businesses since they do not have the capital to hire a third-party IT support provider, the person who is the most technically inclined is responsible for fixing the issue. There’s nothing wrong with it but it can prove to be an unsustainable practice in the long run. 

Outsourcing is key in the modern IT world both for small and large enterprises. However, before hiring a service provider there are certain things you need to be aware of and on the lookout for. 

Long-Term Contracts

Many IT companies will force you into a long-term contract of a year, two, or more. This might feel like a good deal at first as you won’t have to look for support providers in the coming future. However, this contract is good for them, not for you. They are receiving a constant supply of money and if you’re unsatisfied with their services, you won’t be able to terminate it before the contract expires. 

Imagine sticking to the same slow Wi-Fi or data provider for two-three years. Now, this can be far worse for your business if you get stuck with a bad IT service provider and you’re locked in a long-term contract with them for years on them. 

You should always have the option to change your IT service provider if you have an issue with them, as not having such an option could lead to potential business losses, network downtime, slow service, and more. 

Instead of signing a multi-year contract, look for an IT service provider that provides month-to-month contracts with an out clause of one to two months at max. 

Proactive Monitoring & Management

Some IT service providers use the old break/fix protocol. This essentially means that nothing is fixed or looked at until and unless they see a problem with it. So, solutions will only be applied once the system or network has been affected. 

Now, there is nothing wrong with this method, it has been working for years and a lot of companies still use it. However, waiting for a system to fail is not a very smart move. Some IT companies provide proactive monitoring of the network to ensure nothing suspicious is mixed in with the traffic. This will drastically reduce the number of malfunctioning or affected systems. 

A good service provider will go above and beyond just proactive monitoring, they need to be familiar with your industry, and environment. Managed IT services in central florida can help you to choose the right tools that will help in running your business more efficiently while also increasing productivity.

Good Record, Experience & Certifications

Ensure that the IT support provider you choose is experienced in the type of system you have and are not learning & using them for the first time on your money. Certifications are a very good way to measure the level of experience among support providers. 

Certification programs are offered by various technology vendors like Microsoft. However, these are individual certification programs, so before deciding on your provider it is important to ask them what certifications their employees hold and how often they are renewed. 

The IT world is constantly evolving and every single year there are new technologies, software, and other things to learn. On-going training among employees is necessary to cope with the latest technology. 

Enquire the IT support provider if they have a specific budget for their employees set aside to be dedicated on training and whether it is being used. Some other questions you need to ask your potential provider are if the employees are trained in a different system, and how comfortable they are in handling different systems. 

Data Security & Network Protection

Data & cyber security are no longer optional. It is required by every single company as cyber-attacks and data thefts have become increasingly more common in previous years. Hackers often target small businesses and startups because they know that do not have the required capital to hire a dedicated security team.

 It is important to look for an IT support provider that has expertise in data and network protection. Good IT service providers will tailor security plan to fit your organizational goals that also meets your budget. On-going training is even more important in data security as cyber security threats are evolving every single year and if the support provider is not keeping up to speed, they won’t be able to protect your data or your network. 

Another important thing to remember is that no data protection method is 100% reliable, there will be gaps in every single method. Any company that promises you won’t receive a single data threat or privacy concern is lying and you should stay away from them. 

Response Times

Since you’re outsourcing IT services to third-party providers, they must have fast response times. This is because if a problem arises, you need to be able to connect with the as soon as possible and rectify the problem. The response time is usually mentioned within the SLA (Service Level Agreement) which details what can be expected out of the service provider. Additionally, the contract should also be mentioned what happens if the provider does not meet the SLA. 

It is imperative to opt for a service provider that has an SLA, as IT problems can take a while to rectify and this can be troublesome if you’re dealing with a vendor without an SLA. 

Conclusion

Transparency is key while opting for an IT support provider. You should know exactly what they’re offering and what can be expected out of them. The five points mentioned above are a good starting point, any good IT service provider should provide these facilities. 

Keep in mind that an IT service provider will have access to your data and your network at all times. So it is important to make sure you opt for the best provider that fits within your budget. Considering all the above factors we recommend http://novustek.net/

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