Is there anything as troubling as having a computer that is not working or a network that is continuing to malfunction? Not only is it frustrating for you and your employees, but this can force you to needlessly lose money and it can damage your company’s reputation.
This is why businesses align or partner up with a company which provides IT support. Because of the increase in demand for these services there has also been a massive upswing in the number of freelancers and companies which provide this service. Whom you should work with will depend on how the company answers the following questions:
How Big Is Your Company?
Some support companies are a “one-man” show operated by a freelancing entrepreneur. Others will have hundreds of employees situated in numerous parts of the globe, providing twenty-four hour IT technical support and care.
The freelancer may charge a lower rate, but if you want to scale your company, you will need more than one person providing your computers and network with professional IT attention. Generally speaking, the larger the IT service provider, the greater the level of support you will receive, though this depends on the how well they respond to the next question.
Can You Provide Me With References?
The best way to measure a company’s ability to provide the level of service they say they can deliver is to obtain references from them (preferably in the same niche your business is in). A company which does not provide you with references is one which you should almost undoubtedly pass on. If you do receive references, make sure that you contact a handful of those references and ask questions such as:
- Did the IT company deliver what they promised when they promised it? Was the IT company easy to contact and were they responsive/good communicators?
- Did the company stay within the budget you had given them?
- Would you use them again in the future?
What Levels Of Support Do You Offer?
Depending on your industry and business needs, the level of support offered by a company may or may not work with your business. Some of the most common types of support are:
- Pay As You Go: Through this type of support, you will pay an hourly rate or a fixed price. This type of support is usually more expensive, but it may be the ideal solution for start-ups and smaller businesses.
- Break-Fix Support: Typically charged hourly in advance or after the job, this type of service can also be offered at a “fixed price” as part of their contract.
- Managed Service Support: The support company will actively oversee and handle your systems so that the chances of anything going wrong with your IT network are significantly reduced.
Is Your Company Insured?
Mistakes can and do happen, and insurance will make all the difference in these situations. The company should have a professional indemnity package which is at least $1,000,000AUD (although closer to $2,000,000AUD is preferable).
Author: Allien is web designer in E Search Technologies. He also maintain a blog Xcel Soft.