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Five Tips for Choosing Your IT Support Provider

Expert IT support guidance: Deliver exceptional services with valuable tips and tricks for IT support providers.

IT Support Provider

Whether you’re looking for full service IT support provider or simply need to boost the capabilities of your in-house team; choosing the right company to assist with your IT needs is a decision that needs careful consideration.

Managed IT support provided by a third party supplier can take many forms and might be a long term solution or exist on a project by project basis.

You might require assistance with setting up a regular and reliable offsite backup service for your data and digital assets or you may need the reassurance that comes with 24/7 help desk support for day-to-day queries.

It’s a really good idea to think about your current IT set-up and future business goals and make a list of everything you have in place and where you’d like to be in five years time.

This initial evaluative process will give you the outline of a roadmap that can form the basis of your conversations with prospective IT support companies, also known as Managed Service Providers or MSPs.

The majority of established and reputable IT support companies will offer you a variety of packages and options designed to meet your specific needs; so communication and research will be key in the process of finding and employing the organisation that best suits your company.

There are thousands of companies out there, all offering very similar sounding services, so how can you be sure that the one you choose is right for your business and your needs?

Below you’ll find some ideas and guidance to help you consider your shortlist from all angles. Ultimately the choice is yours and you need to feel confident that the company you bring in to support and assist with your IT needs is capable of providing all the services and solutions you need.

That’s why it is really important to take your time, do your research and consider the following five tips for choosing your perfect IT support provider.

Tips for Choosing Your IT Support Provider

Tips for IT Support Provider

#1. Recommendations & Credibility

Ask around and take note of any feedback. As the head of an organisation it’s likely that you’ll be part of a wider community within your own business sector, part of a commercial business park with other companies or even a member of a corporate networking group.

Use these links to do research on other people’s experiences with IT support providers, asking for recommendations and also details on potential pitfalls to avoid. On the whole people are keen to talk about their businesses and their experiences and many want to pass on guidance that will help others to succeed.

You should be able to accumulate a wide selection of feedback on local and national IT support companies and be able to create a shortlist based on your own findings and recommendations from others.

A personal link or connection is often a great opener when contacting a new company and any IT business would be thrilled to know that new business has come via a recommendation and positive feedback.

#2. Dedicated Account Manager & Service Options

When you start talking to your shortlist of IT support companies and inviting them to pitch and provide costs, pay attention to the variety of options available to you and especially whether you will have a dedicated account manager allocated to your business.

Having someone within the MSP who knows you, your business and your staff is a huge benefit. It will give you an added sense of security and confidence that there is someone on the other end of the phone or email who will advocate on your behalf and prioritise your business the way you do.

A comprehensive range of services, solutions and pricing structures is also a must. You need flexibility to scale up and down as needed and with a guaranteed price for a set level of service per month, you’ll be able to budget accurately knowing that your day-to-day IT needs are met.

#3. Onsite and/or Remote Support – Availability & Access

Can the MSP you are considering to employ offer you IT support in person AND remotely and will they be available 24/7? If not, then you might want to think again about their suitability.

IT issues don’t always respect the 9-5 working day and some problems can’t be solved over the phone, by email or through remote access.

Your IT support provider needs to be able to offer you the flexibility of immediate assistance via a 24/7 help desk as well as the option of solving issues on-site or remotely, depending on the problem and its scale.

#4. Proactive Service

Solving problems as and when they occur is one thing, proactive monitoring and issue mitigation is quite another. You’ll need to look at whether the IT support company you’re thinking of using offers regular monitoring of your network and systems to spot potential issues before they escalate.

They may also schedule yearly software and hardware checks to make sure that every aspect of your IT infrastructure is optimised and running smoothly.

Proactive system monitoring may add a little more to your IT support budget, but in the long run it will save you time and money by minimising costly issues and unexpected digital downtime.

#5. Culture and Flexibility

Does the IT support company you are looking at ‘get’ you? Do they understand your business, your team and your future goals? Are they an organisation whose culture and mission statement align with yours?

Do they offer flexibility in the way you do business together, allowing you to adapt your IT needs to meet the changing parameters of your business and industry sector?

These may not seem like the most vital points to consider but finding an experienced, professional IT support company with a similar ethos and work culture as your own organisation can go a long way towards creating a dynamic and productive business partnership.

Ultimately the IT support partner you decide on will depend on the unique needs of your business, but these five pointers will help you to narrow down your options to a shortlist.

To start your search, try an easy option via your preferred search engine. Type in IT support and your location i.e. IT Support Exeter or IT Support South West and you’ll find a selection of companies to look at and contact.

Remember to choose a company that meets your own business values and goals and ask them for client case studies and testimonials from recent work.

Outsourcing your IT support to a specialist provider is an efficient and cost-effective way of ensuring your organisation benefits from up-to-date knowledge and technology, leaving you and your team free to focus on growing your business.

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