As the business world becomes more digitalized, your company's reliance on technology to drive its operations grows. However, because small businesses lack the in-house staff to manage their IT infrastructure, your IT systems may end up collecting dust. Leaving your IT infrastructure can be extremely damaging to your business because it provides an easy entry point for cyber attacks. This is where an IT service provider comes in. Finding the right IT support provider can be a game changer for your company, providing you with the expertise and resources you need to ensure your technology runs smoothly and efficiently. But, with so many options, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Business owners often feel swamped and become deterred from investing in an IT provider. In this blog post, we will go over the key factors to consider when selecting the best IT support provider for your company.
Things to look out for when finding the perfect IT provider:
- View the services they have to offer
- The price
- See what other businesses have to say about them
- They take the time to understand you and your business
- They have a streamlined process
- Look for accreditations
- Bespoke Service
- Proactive vs Reactive support
- Ask for their communication methods
- Do they outsource their support?
- Making security their priority
- Look for scalability
1. What services do they offer?:
Before you do anything, you should identify the solutions your company requires and look for a provider who can provide those solutions. A good way to determine which solutions are best for your company is to consider the IT issues you face on a daily basis. What is the cost of these issues? Are you wasting time attempting to resolve a PC problem? Are you losing money because your overall productivity is low? These questions will assist you in determining what your company requires rather than what it desires.
After you've identified your IT issues, it is then time to figure out the services you need. Call several reputable IT providers and explain your problems and write down the solutions they offer in response. This is an excellent opportunity to assess their overall IT knowledge as well as their customer service.
2. The Price:
Examine your budget. How much money can you realistically spend on IT services each month? This will assist you in narrowing your options and avoiding overspending. After you've determined your budget, request quotes for the services you require. This will serve as a starting point for comparing and selecting IT service providers. Choose a provider who is completely transparent about their pricing, as hidden costs can be disastrous for your business.
IT providers may offer different pricing models, such as hourly rates, monthly retainer fees, or per-project pricing. Compare the pros and cons of each model to find the one that best fits your needs and budget.
Even though price is important, don't focus solely on price. Consider the value that the IT provider can provide your company. In the long run, a provider who provides high-quality services and expertise may be worth the extra cost.:
3. See what other businesses have to say about them:
It is easy for an IT provider to claim to be 'cutting-edge' and 'customer-centric'. Finding legitimate reviews, on the other hand, will help you understand how the provider truly is. While some IT service providers may have reviews on their own website, it's also important to look for reviews on third-party websites like Google Reviews or TrustPilot. Looking at what other companies are saying about them will give you a more realistic picture of how their solutions, products, and customer service are. You will be able to see first-hand experience from other companies. Trends and patterns in what the reviewers say can also help you quickly identify the strengths and weaknesses of each IT provider.
Depending on your business objectives, you may require an IT provider with specific technological expertise. Examine reviews for references to the provider's experience with the technology or systems you use, such as cloud computing or cybersecurity.
Many businesses communicate with their customers via social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter. Examine the IT provider's social media accounts, particularly LinkedIn, to see if they have any customer reviews or feedback. You can also look at their website for testimonials and case studies to see how they've helped other real-world businesses.
4. They take the time to understand you and your business:
Every business is unique. Each with their own set of needs, desires, and issues. If your IT provider does not take the time to understand you and your company's goals, it may be difficult for them to help you find both short-term and long-term solutions. It is critical that you understand that they can support your business goals at all stages. This is because your goals will change as your business grows, and the provider must be willing to scale with you and adapt to your needs.
A good IT Support provider will take the time to learn about your business and use that knowledge to offer solutions that not only meet your objectives, but also your budget. They will also be able to make long-term recommendations and keep your company up to date on the most recent technological developments.
Quick tip: Are you the only one asking the questions? It may be time to look elsewhere.
5. They have a streamlined on boarding process:
The last thing you want to deal with is worrying about how to integrate your systems with the IT provider. This is why it is essential to inquire about their onboarding process and how everything will work. A simplified procedure can help to provide complete peace of mind. Looking for an IT provider who will handle everything for you will allow you to save time and money while also ensuring that your IT is in good hands.
6. Look for accreditations and partnerships:
Accreditations and partnerships can be used as a quality indicator and to distinguish the best IT providers from the good ones. To achieve these partnerships, IT providers must typically undergo extensive training and have several years of experience. When an IT provider has a reputable partnership, such as Microsoft Gold Partner, you will have access to the highest quality technical support as well as the opportunity to explore the most cutting-edge technologies.
7. Bespoke Service:
Every business, as previously stated, is unique. This is why a one-size-fits-all solution does not exist. Bespoke IT services are completely customised for your company and are extremely adaptable to your changing business needs. Although customised IT services may appear to be more expensive at first glance, they can be more cost-effective in the long run. They are designed to address specific challenges, so they can assist businesses in avoiding unnecessary expenses and saving money in the long run. Bespoke IT services can also be designed to seamlessly integrate with your existing systems and software, reducing the time required to learn the new systems.
8. Proactive VS Reactive support:
Reactive support refers to addressing IT issues or problems after they have occurred. Whereas, proactive support involves anticipating customer needs and issues before they arise, preventing the issue before they have an impact on your business. Choosing an IT provider that takes on a more reactive approach will ensure your business is running as efficiently as possible, as well as leading to minimal downtime. You can receive the peace of mind that your business network is always up and running. During the initial audit process, a reactive IT provider will be able to identify potential weaknesses in your infrastructure and find solutions before they impact your business. They should have a process in place to monitor and optimise your systems.
9. Ask for their communication methods:
Communication is essential when working with an IT provider. Established communication can transform the way you interact with your future IT provider and the relationship you have. This is why, if you have an IT problem, you should ask for their communication methods and how their communication process works. Typically, IT providers will want you to submit a ticket and will rarely take phone calls. If your company values knowing who their technicians are and wants to have a thorough conversation about your infrastructure and systems, it's critical that you're aware of the various communication methods available from the provider. Make certain that the provider you select is easy to communicate with and responds to your inquiries promptly.
10. Do they outsource their support?
Do they outsource their customer service? We at Edmondson's IT Services believe this is one of the most serious red flags in the IT industry. It not only reduces your control over your network, but it also poses a third-party security risk. When an IT provider outsources support, an outside company gains access to your company's sensitive data. If the third-party does not have robust security measures in place, this can increase the risk of data breaches, cyberattacks, and other security incidents. You are not getting the help you were promised when you outsource your support, resulting in a poor return on investment. You may potentially receive inadequate advice owing to a lack of data and communication as a result of your
11. Making security their priority:
When a service provider prioritises security for your company, you know you're in good hands. When looking for an IT provider based on security, make sure they have a developed and tried and tested approach. This includes putting in place strategies and disaster recovery plans that will guide your company to a much safer digital world. To ensure that your business is always protected from external threats, ensure that they have certified professionals as well as the appropriate security software in place. If your support provider isn't concerned about your security, you're putting your company at risk.
12. Look for scalability:
Your IT support provider should grow with your company and be able to support you as it expands. During times of rapid growth, the demands of your business can consume the majority of your time and effort. This is why it is critical to look for a provider who can help you both short and long term. Look for a provider who has a track record of assisting businesses in scaling. They should have prior experience working with businesses of various sizes, as well as a thorough understanding of the technology and infrastructure required for growth.
Why choose us as your trusted IT provider?
We offer a comprehensive range of IT support tailored to your business. We refuse to be the standard IT provider by integrating ourselves into your business at every step of the way. We recognise the importance of reliability in your IT infrastructure, which is why we're always recommending future-proof solutions to help you diversify your IT network. We don't want you to be hindered by your systems, which is why we work closely with you understand your requirements and provide impartial advice. Want to take your IT to the next level? Get in touch today!