As a business owner, there may be times when you will not be able to handle a technology issue in your network. In this case, you will most likely need to call for outside help. Outsourced IT support providers are life-savers in these instances because they help get your business back up and running and making money. Their expertise in all things technical from phone systems to data backups helps to fill in the gaps when something needs to be done, but no one around the office is quite sure how to proceed.
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There are 5 things you want to be sure you understand before hiring an outsourced IT provider. After all, you are going to be entrusting all your data and private information to a computer technician. Here’s how to ensure you are making the right outsourcing decision.
One thing you want to know from an IT provider is whether or not they have experience with small businesses specifically within your field. It is best to only deal with companies that work specifically with small businesses as they have unique needs and situations which are very different from large organizations.
Understanding your field or industry is also important because there are certain solutions like software applications or platforms that are tailored to some industries. They more experience they have in dealing with specialized equipment and systems will help to save time and money.
The next thing you want to know is whether or not the company you are considering will still be able to service your business 5 years from now. Definitely, ask about the clients they work with and how long they have been in business. Which partners have they been with the longest? Select IT support companies that have an eye on the future and are interested in having long-term clients. Find companies like Mustard IT who are willing to list not only their clients but also testimonials and their success rating, right on their website.
The third thing to make clear in the beginning is the scope of the work that is anticipated. Businesses and IT support services should be up front with each other about expectations. What are some of the issues that have come up repeatedly in the past? Explain all your assets and like systems and number of user and don’t try to work the system with shared passwords or hiding information. On the support side, they should be very clear about which tasks are included with service packages. You don’t want any surprises in the middle of a technology crisis.
The fourth and one of the most important concerns to rectify before hiring an IT support provider is how they will handle the security of your data. Ask about encryption and plans for a data breach. How will they handle your files and passwords? What will they do if you suspect data is not secure?
Finally, you want to know what their response times are when issues arise. If the phone system crashes, or your server won’t turn on, what will the response look like? They should offer remote support and onsite support with guarantees of limited downtime.