Your IT is essential to the operation of your business.
Whether you are a legal firm, manufacturing company, charity or hair salon you will rely on technology in some way.
If you’re considering outsourcing your IT to make sure that your business has reliable support, then you will need to make sure the provider you choose ticks all the right boxes.
When your IT is out of action your business comes to a standstill.
Your invoices can’t be paid, your customer details become inaccessible and your staff can’t get on with their tasks.
Your choice of IT Support provider becomes critical at this point.
You want to be assured that everything will be back up and running as soon as possible.
In this blog, we’re going to look at what you need to consider when you’re outsourcing your IT.
You might be going through this process for the first time or you may have decided that it’s just time for a change in provider.
Either way, you need to be sure that you are asking the right questions and considering your business' needs across the organisation to be confident you have chosen the right provider to outsource your IT to.
Have they provided IT Support in a similar situation?
You need to check that the providers you are considering have done similar work before.
Every IT company can be a specialist in a range of different areas.
Some may do telecoms, some may do software development, and some may do cyber security forensics.
For example, ACUTEC specialises in IT Support, Cloud Services, Software Development and Security.
There are some areas of IT that we choose not to specialise in simply because we know what we’re good at and like to do things well.
When you’re looking for a provider to outsource your IT to, you need to think about what you want them to deliver and whether they are capable.
Ask them for references and case studies.
Have they dealt with an organisation of your size before?
If you have multiple sites have they worked with other clients that have a similar set up?
You need to make sure the company you choose has the experience to match your needs.
Do they understand your business and what it is trying to achieve?
There’s a difference between outsourcing your IT and having an IT partner.
We recommend the latter. We see a partner as an organisation that will work with you to help you achieve your goals.
A good IT partner will help you by recommending technology that is relevant to your business’ operations.
When you’re considering different companies for outsourcing your IT you should think about whether they have taken the time to get to know you and the business.
They should be interested in both what you do and how technology can help you do it.
How does their IT Support work?
You should always make sure that the companies you choose to work with are a good fit for your business and how you want to operate.
The likelihood is you’re going to be outsourcing your IT to this organisation for at least a year and because of that you will want to make sure you’re happy with how they operate.
We would recommend asking the contenders about the processes they have in place to manage their relationship with you.
Find out about things like how you request service, how an engineer is assigned and how they communicate the status of a job with you.
Ask if they have a service management software package in place.
Asking these types of questions will help you to compare the different providers you are considering outsourcing your IT to.
Do they look at the bigger picture when providing you with IT advice?
Future thinking can be really important.
You don’t want something installed or designed for you that will not be compatible with your growth or future changes.
Make sure that the company that you are outsourcing your IT to considers the changes that may affect your IT in the future.
It might be a good idea to ask them about a technology roadmap.
It may be appropriate for changes to be made to your infrastructure and you don’t plan on it all happening at once.
A technology roadmap will show you that the IT provider both thinks about the future and has strategically planned out their work. Are they qualified?
Do they know what they’re doing?
You want any project your business embarks on to be successful.
You want to know that you are in safe hands. Aside from asking for references and case studies, you can check that the IT Provider’s engineers are trained and qualified.
For example, if you want to migrate your email server to Office 365 you will want to make sure that the company working with you is qualified to do it.
You should check to see if they have Microsoft competencies such as Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions.
Check to see the level of competency as well.
Are they a gold partner? Are they silver?
It takes a lot of hard work to get these competencies so if a company has them you can be assured that they know what they are doing.
If you’re considering outsourcing the IT in your business or if you’re thinking about changing provider, you need to make sure you have as much information as possible before you make a decision.
You shouldn’t hold back on asking questions and finding out what you need to know.
This blog has looked at just 5 things to consider and there are other aspects that might be more important and relevant to your business.
You might process a lot of sensitive data so security might be a major aspect of your decision.
You may have had bad experiences in the past so you may ask questions relevant to that.
Make sure that you go with a provider that you’re comfortable with and that you can trust.
If you would like to speak to ACUTEC about outsourcing your IT then please do call us on 01675 469020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.