Digital technology is essential to the operation of most businesses. Without comprehensive IT systems and services, businesses struggle to have sustainable growth, and employees are unable to be as productive as possible. The move to hybrid work has only increased the need for IT services to include timely support, flexibility in solutions available and a focus on security.
Although some businesses manage their IT services internally, it is often easier and more cost effective to rely on the expertise of a third-party IT provider. An IT provider or Managed Service provider can combine all the necessary products, services and systems into one solution that suits each individual business. However, with so many IT providers to choose from it be can difficult to find the perfect one for your business. This article shares 6 things to consider when selecting an IT provider.
How to choose an IT provider
1: Experience with past customers
Each industry has its own IT requirements so it can be beneficial to work with an IT provider that already has experience in your industry. Thankfully, many IT providers have a case studies or testimonial section on their website with first-hand accounts of how they provided a solution for a specific client in an industry. Similarly, many providers will have reviews online that can give examples of other customers’ experiences.
2: Availability and response times
One of the most important aspects to consider when selecting an IT provider is their response times and service availability. Regardless of how comprehensive and well set up an IT solution is, there will be times where there will be an issue and a business will require support. During these times, it is essential that an IT provider can respond quickly and solve the problem without significant downtime.
It is also important to consider what communication channels available, as often it is faster to receive support over the phone, rather than email. Similarly, your IT service provider should be able to provide functional services 24/7. Ideally, an IT provider should monitor these services at all times to ensure that any issues are detected early before resulting in other complications.
3: Value for money
When selecting an IT provider, cheaper is not always better. For something as essential as IT, it is more important that the solution is comprehensive and good value for money. Having a low-cost solution that has a high downtime and poor support can lead to lost revenue from being unable to access data. It may provide a poor experience for a businesses’ customers and may not include appropriate security. In contrast, a cost effective IT service provider will be able to deliver a solution that functions as intended, allowing employees to remain productive and help drive cost efficiencies in your business.
When selecting an IT provider, it is important to consider both where your business is now and where it will be in the future. As your business grows and evolves, your IT requirements will too. When discussing current requirements with a potential IT provider, it may be beneficial to discuss growth potential, if they will be able to accommodate this growth, and how it will affect pricing in the long term.
5: Comprehensive and flexible solutions
No two businesses are the same and this is true for their IT requirements as well. When selecting an IT provider, it is important to ensure they can offer a solution to fit your business’s specific needs. This will provide your business with a better experience and may potentially reduce costs by only including what is necessary. An effective IT provider should also be able to find any gaps in your IT requirements and suggest a comprehensive solution that will ensure longevity of service and keep your business safe from potential cybersecurity threats.
6: Technical expertise
One of the key benefits of outsourcing your business’s IT is that you can rely on the technical expertise of your chosen IT provider. It is vital to select a provider that will be able to fix any technical issues promptly, regardless of the complexity. It can be difficult to vet a provider’s technical expertise without having worked with them previously, however businesses should be able to form an opinion based off reviews, case studies and customer testimonials.
As IT is a fundamental component of a business’s success, it can be a daunting task to select the perfect IT provider. However, selecting the right provider can boost employee productivity and drive business growth. They will also be able to deliver a solution that keeps your business secure and limits downtime, allowing you to focus your time on providing excellent customer experiences.
If you are considering outsourcing your IT, or moving from another IT provider, get in touch today to find out how we can provide a solution to meet all your IT needs.