What to look for in a new IT service provider

A significant percentage of new customers come to us having previously outsourced their IT to another service provider. One of the main reasons for making the move is that the organisation requires greater coverage or a service expansion, and the incumbent IT service provider is unable to offer the services required.

Maybe your current IT provider only offers coverage during core business hours and your organisation needs 24/7. Or perhaps you’re expanding overseas and need global coverage with an IT provider who can negate any time zone challenges. Or your current provider only offers 1st line IT support and you need access to a wider range of technical skills and an outsource partner that can handle 2nd and 3rd line tickets as well.

Download our checklist to benchmark different providers. Based on the Service Desk Institute’s 4 * star accreditation, this will help you determine the quality of service you will receive. 5 things to look for when choosing a new IT service provider

#1: Track record

If you’re looking for a long term solution you’ll want to ensure the company you select is likely to stay the course. How long have they been around for? What’s their client retention rate? Do they provide services for similar organisations to yours? Have they grown during the time they’ve been in business? These are all valid questions for gauging how robust the business is, and any IT service provider with a solid track record will be happy to provide the answers.

#2: Customer focus

The service an IT outsourcing provider delivers has a direct impact on your business. For that reason you should partner with a company that’s invested in your success. By making your IT function more efficient, minimising downtime, helping your business innovate and driving cost savings, your organisation should be more productive and successful. Can they demonstrate how they’ve helped customers to be more successful?

#3: Do you want them to be part of your team?

Quality IT service providers become an extension of your team. Their service desk analysts speak to your users, their skills and expertise are at your disposal, the service they deliver reflects on your organisation operationally and reputationally. Are the people within the business, people you want on your team? Do they share your values, work ethic and understand your culture? As well as technical skills and capabilities these factors are important too.

#4: Custom solutions

Some IT service providers sell one-size-fits-all services and products, others will customise their solutions to fit your needs. Some will have a comprehensive range of IT services, effectively they can run your entire IT requirement for you, others specialise in cloud, service desk or cyber security. No solution is right or wrong, you just need to know what is best for your organisation. Not just today, but also in the future. Look for an IT service provider that is keen to understand your requirements and make recommendations based on your actual needs, rather than one who attempts to squeeze your IT requirement into their service model.

#5. Added value

What else can the service provider do for your organisation? Ask this question and see what the companies you shortlist have to say. IT providers deliver services and products to facilitate business operations, but they can also be a strategic partner helping your organisation achieve strategic goals and growth plans.

With so many IT service providers out there, offering such a range of different services and products, it can be a challenge to find the company with the best fit for your organisation. I hope the 5 pointers above will help you narrow down your shortlist.

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