The truth is that 62% of SMBs don’t have the in-house skills to manage cybersecurity. That’s why most businesses choose to outsource their IT support and services to a managed services provider (MSP).
IT support and services are something your small business needs to keep working. If you’re looking to outsource your IT services, continue reading for a few tips on finding the right provider.
What Questions to Ask?
The process of finding a vendor for any service involves interviewing several potential companies. Finding out critical information will help as you begin to shortlist providers until you have a few from where you’ll make your final selection.
Here are a few questions that you can ask to start narrowing the field:
Where Are You Based?
While the MSP you’re interviewing can be based anywhere, it’s essential to know where the data centers are, especially if you’re going to be using VoIP or cloud-based services. If their data center is remote, it can impact the quality of service.
What Areas Do You Cover?
Regardless of where the MSP is headquartered, it’s essential to know that they can support you locally in the event of moving to new offices. No matter where you are transferring or expanding your business, domestically or abroad.
Do You Offer Different Levels of Support?
Some companies have packaged services to accommodate different budgets and needs. Some of these can include ad-hoc support, pay-as-you-go, break-fix services, or support for managed services.
What’s Supported in Your Contract?
Always find out what details are supported as per your contract. It’s wise not to trust a company that says “everything.” From the beginning, be clear on what you are getting, and get it in writing.
Is There a Guaranteed Response Time?
If something goes awry, you need to know when it will be taken care of, and the right company will guarantee it’s response time. The precise time may depend on what you’ve paid for in your contract. Also, it may depend on the priority assigned to the issue you’re experiencing.
A qualified small business IT services provider will guarantee the time they will take to respond to the problem, and this isn’t usually a resolution time. If they’re ensuring a resolution time, be a bit wary of it.
Is Remote Management and Monitoring Provided?
Look for a company that provides 24/7 monitoring and works proactively to ensure a problem doesn’t happen. Preventing a problem is always better than having to fix a problem.
When Will We Be Charged and How?
Terms that the IT services company has for payment and frequency can differ. If your contract is pay-as-you-go or ad-hoc, the conditions are typically 15-30 days. Contracted work depends on your provider’s terms.
The Final Selection of an IT Support and Services Provider
There is one final factor to consider when considering an IT support and services provider. It’s essential to understand the qualifications of the team you’re selecting. If you’re better qualified than they are, keep looking.
If you’ve found an excellent firm that can speak to you in clear and concise terms and is goal-oriented at the end of this process, that’s when you know you are in good hands.
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