If you’re sick of spending time fixing IT problems and not on growing your business, you might want to hire a third party service provider.
Choosing the right service provider can be tricky, however.
Thankfully, there are some tips you can use to help you make the best decision.
In fact, if you keep reading, you’ll learn exactly what you can do to find the best third party service provider for your IT needs.
Assess Your Needs
The first thing you need to do is gain some clarity on what your needs are.
If you are dealing with complex software installations, you might need to speak to a firm that has experience in your field.
If you work with a company that has no experience in your field, they might not know how to troubleshoot such software. This can lead to increased costs and wasted time, as they try to figure out what they need to do to fix a problem.
You also need to check if you are using any specialist pieces of hardware, that is linked to your IT system.
If the provider sends over a technician, you want to make sure that the technician knows how to handle such a piece of kit. You do not want them to ‘tinker’ with the specialist hardware. In doing so, they might create more problems.
You should also consider the number of ‘desks’ that you will need support for. This will make it easier for the service provider to estimate how much everything is going to cost you. You should also think about the hours you will need support. If you are going to need 24-hour support, you will likely need to pay a premium.
Think about whether you will need any support outside of the basic IT support provided by a service provider. You might need them to supply you with specialist pieces of software. You might even need them to provide you with hardware.
You might even need them to provide you with a backup service. Some companies will provide a storage solution that helps you keep files secure in the service providers’ ‘own private cloud.’
If you are going to need a company that will be able to provide ‘onsite’ support, you will need to work with someone local. If you’d like to see an example of a company that provides IT support, for a specific area, you can read more here.
Have a Thorough Initial Consultation Meeting
It is important you have a thorough consultation meeting, before paying anything.
This meeting is important as it will allow you to figure out many things. For one, it will let you clarify if they have the ability to handle your support needs.
You need to make sure the company has enough capacity to meet your requirements. Otherwise, you could experience significant delays whenever there are going to be problems.
It is important you consider how you feel when taking this meeting. You need to think about how well the company is answering your questions.
If you have any doubts about working with the provider in question, it’s important you don’t ignore your feelings. You do not want to end up working with a company that has overpromised, thereby leaving you in a tricky situation when you need help.
Seek Testimonials From a Third Party Service Provider
If you can, you should aim to seek testimonials from a company before working with them. Ideally, these testimonials will need to come from someone who runs a similar business/has similar needs to your own. This will give you a true sense as to how skilled the service provider is.
In some cases, the service provider might be willing to provide you with some references you can call upon. You can use these references to verify any of the claims that are being made by the service provider.
Be Cautious about Pricing
If you run a business it makes sense that you would want to keep your costs low. But, you need to be cautious about this mindset, when working with a service provider.
If you find a service provider that is exceptionally cheaper than other companies, be cautious. You can never be truly certain why they are able to charge so low. Odds are they might be cutting corners somewhere. They might be using cheap staff that have not been trained properly, for instance.
A lot of companies come to a standstill if the IT side of things isn’t working properly. This can be very expensive. Because the IT side of a business is so important, it doesn’t make sense to cut corners here. Doing so, will likely just lead to a lot of problems when something goes wrong.
If you are worried about being overcharged, try to get quotes from at least three companies. You will then be able to get a sense of what is a fair and reasonable price. Keep in mind that specialist IT firms, which cater specifically to certain industries, might be more expensive.
The right third party service provider can make you feel as though your IT systems are invincible. Finding a good service provider, however, can be a struggle.
In this post, we’ve taken a look at some of the things you can do to find the right IT service provider for you.
Before you do anything, you need to gain some clarity on your needs. If you find a promising IT service provider, make sure you have a thorough meeting with them. This will help you work out if they can actually service your needs.
You also need to be careful about paying too little. Make sure you don’t go for the cheapest possible option when selecting an IT service provider. Doing so will cost you more money than you save when your IT system decides to give you a headache.
Want to read more business-related content? Check out our business resources section to see our latest posts.