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IT Support Decision Guide: Key Questions to Assess Potential Partners

In the foreground, an IT Support Professional smiles as she works on a tablet. The background includes a group of male and female coworkers converse around a table in a modern office.

Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, IT is probably one of the biggest expenses in your enterprise. In some cases, you might need to cough up nearly $3,000 per month for every employee, which can dent your budget in the long run. It’s up to you to control the expenditure, and the best way to do so is to hire an IT support provider. By doing so, you outsource your entire IT architecture to a third-party company, eliminating the need for intense employee training and improving efficiency. To help you book the right team, this article will list the 5 key questions you should ask an IT support provider before hiring them.

What Is IT Support?

An IT support company performs all information technology and various technical aspects of your enterprise on your behalf. They offer ready-made software or create proprietary solutions to address the most common business challenges, such as low data security, customer support, and cloud storage.

Here are some of the services your IT specialist can render:

How to Hire the Right Team

There are many IT service providers out there, but some are more reliable than others. Ask each candidate the following questions during your recruitment to determine if they fit your enterprise:

Question No. 1 – How Long Have You Been in the Business?

The last thing you want is to outsource your IT infrastructure to someone who doesn’t know what to do with it. If an IT provider entered the industry only a few months ago, chances are they don’t know how to respond to a wide range of difficulties you may face in your day-to-day operations.

So, the first thing you should determine is how long they’ve been in the IT realm. Ask each candidate to present an official document that proves when the organization was created. Only if a business has been around for at least a couple of years should you consider a long-term commitment with them.

Question No. 2 – Can You Provide Any Referrals?

Once you’ve narrowed down the list to several experienced prospects, it’s time to further shortlist the candidates. To do so, you need to understand that not every experience is appropriate experience. You want to hire someone who’s performed industry-specific operations that are relevant to your organization.

A great way to see if that’s the case is to go through a provider’s referrals. They should be willing to present various case studies and other documents that showcase their expertise in a particular area. Furthermore, this information should tell you how long they worked for a certain client, all the services they offered, and tangible results (e.g., cost comparison before and after the cooperation).

If a company doesn’t want to provide testimonials, look for a different partner.

Question No. 3 – What Programs Are You Proficient In?

The further you progress in your selection, the more specific your questions should be. And it hardly gets any more specific than asking the company about the programs it can install and maintain.

Why? Because this might be the main reason you’re even considering IT support. You either can’t afford to train your employees to use particular software or don’t want to distract them from their primary duties.

Therefore, zero in on the platforms an IT support provider is well-versed in. Besides standard offerings (Office 365, Adobe, etc.), you may also need a team that specializes in a leading solution that focuses on the following:

  • Virtualization Tool – This software allows your IT provider to simulate and control the operating system on your computers. As such, it’s ideal for diagnosing and isolating issues without requiring on-site intervention.
  • Remote Utility – Similar to the virtualization tool, this utility permits your IT personnel to access your computers remotely. It boasts features such as recovering deleted files, repairing disks, and troubleshooting partitions.
  • Documentation Management Platform – When an IT technician introduces a new program, it comes with thorough documentation. Depending on the scale of your business and the contract's duration, this documentation can accumulate. Misplacing even one document can jeopardize compliance. However, this platform ensures that your IT professionals can store every document in a well-organized interface, enhancing data security.
  • Bug Tracking System – Should your partner manage custom software, they need tools to quickly identify and rectify bugs. This system helps in tracking bugs and generating detailed reports to hasten troubleshooting and minimize downtime.
  • Feedback Collection Tool – It's essential for your IT service provider to gather your thoughts on the software crafted for you. This tool is adept at collecting and categorizing feedback, assisting the IT team in prioritizing issues and refining the software.

Question No. 4 – What’s Your Response Time?

Having a versatile partner who’s skilled at various programs is critical, but their speed is just as important. When a bug is detected, the provider should be available 24/7 to help decrease downtime.

Hence, ask about a company’s response time and go through reviews of previous customers to see if their claims match. Whether the partner offers remote or on-site support, it should be fast, reliable, and efficient.

Question No. 5 – What Are Your Rates?

The final question is crucial budget-wise. After all, you should ensure that hiring an IT support provider pays off. Once you determine a company’s rates, compare the price to the cost of running your IT infrastructure on your own. It should be far lower.

And don’t be alarmed by high rates. They might sound daunting at first, but if the organization has a proven track record, expertise in numerous programs, and fast response times, the investment should pay dividends.

Want to Speed Up the Search? Hire a Qualified IT Support Specialist Today

If you find the right IT provider, they’ll make all the difference for your enterprise. By streamlining your operations with ready-made or on-demand solutions, they can boost customer satisfaction and allow your non-technical staff to focus on their main duties.

Not every company meets the above criteria, but JD Young does. We are a seasoned IT firm that can deliver top-quality, tailor-made tech solutions for your Tulsa business. Contact us today to see how we can transform your enterprise.

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