5 Questions When Outsourcing IT Support

Educate yourself before hiring an IT company to safeguard your hardware, software and data.

Do you need a new IT outsource provider to help you maintain your hardware and software, and protect your company data?

Well there are plenty out there, but before hiring just any agency for what is a highly sensitive job, you want to know that they can be trusted, and that they are competent.

Here is a list of five questions that IT companies should be able to answer confidently without breaking a sweat. If there’s any kind of time-wasting deliberation, you need to look further. These are the questions the IT experts believe will separate the competent from the incompetent.

Do you offer remote monitoring management?

Remote monitoring and support is critical to isolating and responding to problems rapidly, using remote control, allowing you to avoid small problems turning into huge issues. If an IT company is still offering onsite repairs only during office hours, you may want to reconsider using their services. You may find yourself waiting for assistance leading to decreased productivity and frustrated staff. You want a company that offers a range of managed services such as firewall reporting, disaster recovery, and 24/7 remote support.  Furthermore ask them how they secure access to the remote management systems.  If they do not utilize One Time Passwords (OTP) then be cautious as their systems could be vulnerable to attack.

What does your support contract NOT cover?

It’s easy enough to look at a contract and marvel at the many benefits and features on offer, however, these will often have bells and whistles that distract you from what they don’t offer. It’s easier to ask a tendering company what they don’t provide because then you have a full and transparent idea of what you will be charged for outside of your contract.

What are your levels of support?

Naturally, you want an IT company that offers tailored solutions to meet your budget and digital requirements. There should be various options available, one of which is bound to suit your needs.  Ask about contract-based managed service support, or fixed-price charges for sporadic IT assistance. The company rep needs to be able to advise you comfortably on all these charges and any potential hidden costs that could come into play, as well as the various levels of support and what those platforms include.

Do you have client references?

A company’s services and workmanship are measured through previous client experiences and references. Ask the rep for client references, which will give you a good idea of how they deal with their customers, what they do to go above and beyond their service call, and if they maintain a high level of service.

What is your response time?

A reasonable response time depends largely on the support contract you are on. However, even on the most basic package, you are still a client and expect good service. If a company guarantees a resolution time within a certain period, more often than not, you will be unpleasantly surprised. You want a company that will honestly tell you that it depends on what the problem is. The root problem could be difficult to uncover, which means the time factor could change dramatically. Promising to fix a problem before you even know what it is, is not a professional promise. It’s a vacant promise.