If your business has made the decision to contract with an IT services company for IT support, you’ve made the right choice. However, you’re not done yet. You still need to choose the IT services company that’s best for your business. In most markets, you’ll have choices — maybe too many choices. Use these criteria for how to find the right IT services company to narrow down your search.
1. Size Matters
IT services firms come in all shapes and sizes, from boutique outfits with just a few employees to massive firms with multiple physical locations. Make sure you evaluate the size of an IT services company compared to the size and needs of your business. The right IT services company will be transparent about how many employees they have in various roles or departments, and it will have sufficient capacity to meet your needs.
2. The Right Competencies
IT services companies are generally quite competent. If not, they go out of business pretty fast. So “Are they competent?” is the wrong question. The right question to ask is whether they have the right competencies. Create a comprehensive list of your business’s hardware and software use. Don’t just ask whether the company can support what you’re using. Ask for proof that they have already successfully done so with other businesses.
3. Industry Familiarity
Along the same lines, ideally, you want an IT services company that already understands your industry. Throwing industry jargon at your IT vendor is unavoidable, so it’s important that they understand that jargon. Ask how many companies in your industry the firm has worked with previously. The more, the better.
4. Location, Location, Location
In general, we recommend giving preference to local firms. If you need on-site service, local firms can handle this directly. A distant IT support company has to find a local vendor and hope for good availability.
Finding a provider close by isn’t always possible, and it’s not feasible if you’re a multi-site organization. Still, smaller companies will benefit from choosing a local provider.
5. Service Providers Have Rules, Too
Many IT services companies have their own rules about which businesses they will take on. Before a company makes it onto your short list, make sure your business is actually qualified. For example, some service providers have upper or lower limits for the number of workstations supported, meaning if your business is too large or too small, they won’t serve you. Others may refuse to support specific hardware or software types, or they may narrow their field of clients to specific industries.
These are a handful of the areas you should consider when choosing the right IT services firm. If you want to ask us these or other questions, let’s get a conversation going.
Mike Bowe | Published on August 28, 2019