10 Questions To Ask Before You Hire Your Next IT Company
So you’ve found an IT company that you want to work with.
Are you sure they’re going to deliver everything you need?
While it’s certainly frustrating to have to do some homework before you sign an agreement, it’s vital that you make sure all your needs will be addressed before you make it official.
Even though you may have a contract that states and governs the managed services, your contract may still lack significant details – it’s better to check now and consider moving on, instead of finding out you’re not covered after you’ve locked into an agreement.
Ask These 10 Questions Before You Sign For IT Services
Take a careful look at the agreement before you sign and double-check your coverage by asking the following questions…
1. Will You Keep Me Secure?
An important part of any IT service is proper digital security, such as:
- Firewall settings
- Intrusion detection
- Intrusion prevention
- Encryption at the file level
- How those services are carried out
2. Will You Provide Infrastructure Maintenance And Administration?
You need an IT company that can support the foundation of your IT – the infrastructure:
- Basic server maintenance
- Network administration
- Storage maintenance
3. How Does Your Helpdesk Work?
The Helpdesk is a key part of IT services – it’s where you and your staff will go with any and all issues they encounter using IT.
That’s why you need to determine how their support process works…
- Is it by phone only?
- Is it limited to business hours? Or around the clock?
- Can you track tickets in an online portal?
4. Will You Monitor My Network?
If you’re paying for fully managed services from an IT company, then you want to make sure they’re taking care of your entire system – that includes the network:
- Mobile devices
- Virtual machines
- Remote users
5. Are Your Services Scalable?
Ideally, your organization and staff are growing.
What will happen if you need to add five new computers? IT services should grow as you do. You don’t need to understand all the intricacies of cost optimization, cloud services, and scalability, but you should know what it will cost in terms of money and time when your company begins to grow.
Be sure to ask questions about colocation and virtual infrastructures.
6. Will You Keep My Data Backed Up?
Data loss is a reality in the modern business world, which is why a viable data backup solution is so important. Be sure to find out:
- How secure is the cloud backup solution?
- Is the backup hosted on a public or private cloud server?
- If it’s a public cloud, will they consider using a private cloud for your backups?
- If your data won’t get backed up in the cloud, where are the backups getting stored?
7. Do You Offer New Technologies?
You don’t want to miss out on the latest and greatest in IT innovations. The IT company will be able to give you the advantages that come with the most recent applications of cloud technology.
Cloud technology, when properly implemented and supported, will allow you to minimize your hardware, scale easily, and gain access to your data when and where you need to.
8. Do They Provide Strategic Consulting?
You need to be able to provide your full attention to the work you’re doing, not your IT. IT consulting services should give you expert guidance and ensure you’re always making the best investments and decisions to guarantee a long and successful future for your operations.
9. How Do You Handle Renewal/Termination Of Service?
Find out how the renewal/termination process will work ahead of time:
- Should the managed services contract terminate, does it require a monthly or annual renewal?
- Will you incur any penalties for ending your service before the expiration date?
- What is considered acceptable, in the contract, for the IT company to cancel the agreement on their end?
10. What Are Your Standards of Quality?
Make sure you find out about their staff’s qualifications and certifications.
The right IT company should be able to provide you with information regarding the certifications held by their staff and relay how these will meet your needs. Similarly, check which Partner Certifications and Technical Specialties do they hold. Ask, for example, if they are certified on Apple devices or Microsoft solutions if that’s what you use. Also, ask if they can provide you with the latest hardware and software products at the best price.
Overall, be sure to ask your IT company to explain how each service component will be delivered to your organization – this process is all about eliminating variables. The more you know, the less likely you’ll be surprised or disappointed.
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