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Vital questions to consider when choosing IT support for your small business


If you’re considering looking for IT support for your small business outsourcing a service provider proves highly beneficial for your business. It can cut costs, aid you in streamlining your business, and many more.

Asking the right questions when browsing through your options significantly helps you in finding an IT service provider that will suitably fit your needs.  However, note that you should know the answers to these questions before selecting your service provider


  1. What is your response time?

When experiencing an IT issue, knowing how long you may have to wait for the company to tend to the issue is an important factor to note when selecting a service provider. It is expected that your chosen support company offers a feasible response time in instances of an issue with your IT network. An IT support service should only provide a guaranteed first response time. Response times of IT companies vary according to the issue, the support needed to resolve it, and the level of support you are willing to pay for, so be tentative of any guarantees about response times.


  1. Will you provide a dedicated account manager?

It’s beneficial to have a high-profile individual point of contact within the IT support company. They will be able to get to know your business inside and out as well as your business plans, and therefore will work with you to ensure that your service provider meets your needs. It would be reasonable to expect one or two permanent contacts with which you can communicate and escalate things to.


  1. Are you able to provide references from other companies?

It is quite well known that the best measure of a company’s ability to deliver is via referrals. Before officially signing off on a company, read testimonials and references from past clients. Furthermore, observe whether or not the provider is willing to put you in contact with one of their previous or existing clients. By doing so, you will get a better understanding of whether or not the IT company has lived up to its expectations.

Here are a few potential questions to ask:

  • Can they deliver what’s promised?
  • Are they responsive and easy to make contact with?
  • Do they have adequate communication skills?
  • Can they remain within the calculated budget?
  • Would you use their services again?


  1. Do you supply hardware along with support?

Even if your computer equipment is purchased from a different supplier, it serves well to know that your support company can replace any impaired parts themselves.

When the time does come to replace your hardware, you will take great solace in knowing the people supporting it have recommended, supplied, and installed it for you thereby giving you one point of contact if something goes awry, including handling hardware warranty issues.


  1. Do you provide remote management and monitoring?

Most IT support companies continue to operate an on-site break-fix service. By offering little concerning remote management and monitoring, whereas others provide 24/7 monitoring and proactively take action. This is usually done remotely, specifically for the prevention of problems that can cause major issues to your business.

For instance, they could discover that a disk drive is close to failure and therefore will be able to back up the data before it goes. Remote management also reduces the time it takes to resolve the issue and cut most, if not all, travel-related costs.


  1. What exactly does your contract support, and does it include peripherals such as monitors, speakers, etc.?

The majority of IT support companies cover labour charges on any incident related to specified software or hardware. If an on-site visit is required some providers also include mileage and travel time to and from your premises.  Although, support for custom software built by another company has a lower chance of being included so be cautious of any support company claiming that they “support it all” – do they? Furthermore, devices connected to the main computers such as printers, scanners, mobiles, etc. are charged extra.


What’s the takeaway?

Hiring an IT service provider for your small business can prove highly beneficial. Asking these questions ensures that you select a business that will properly meet your specified needs.

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