When you own a business, your personal reputation is on the line with every decision you make. That’s why it’s so important to choose the right partners when it comes to your company’s IT support. An IT department can make or break your business, and that’s why it’s essential to find the right one before you invest any time or money in them. There are many factors to consider when deciding on an IT partner, including their reputation, their ability to meet deadlines and their costs. It can seem like an overwhelming task at first, but by reading this article you will learn what questions you should ask and what red flags to look out for when searching for the right IT partner for your business.
What To Look For In An IT Company
There are a few key things to keep in mind when choosing an IT support company partner that will help you find the right company for your business.
- Reputation – Before investing in any company, it’s important to do your research and see what other people have to say about them. You can do this by checking online reviews, reading testimonials and speaking with people who have worked with the company in the past. There are a few ways to find reviews online. The first way is to Google the company and see what comes up. The second way is to use the “Search” tab on Yelp, where you can search for reviews on specific companies.
- Ability to Meet Deadlines – When you’re building and managing an IT infrastructure, there are always going to be deadlines and milestones that your IT department will need to hit. When selecting an IT company, make sure they have a proven track record of meeting deadlines so you don’t end up falling behind in your projects and missing key business deadlines.
- Costs – There are a few factors that go into calculating your IT costs, so it’s important to make sure you’re looking at the big picture before making a decision. You’ll want to take a look at the total cost of ownership (TCO) for each company you’re looking at hiring. This includes the initial setup and implementation of your IT solution, ongoing maintenance and any staffing costs associated with your IT department.
Ask the Right Questions
When interviewing potential candidates for your company’s IT support, make sure you ask the right questions to get an accurate picture of how each company operates.
- What is Your Process? – When you ask a company what their process is, you’re essentially asking them to walk you through their day-to-day operations. This is a great way to get a behind-the-scenes look at how each company works. If a company is hesitant to walk you through its day-to-day operations, there could be a red flag. You want to make sure that you have a complete understanding of how the company operates so you can make an informed decision.
- What is Your IT Support Philosophy? – Your IT support philosophy is essentially the driving force behind your company’s values. You’re going to want to make sure that your IT partner shares your company’s values and philosophy. If a company’s values don’t align with yours, there will likely be some conflict and miscommunication down the road.
- What is Your Service Level Agreement? – A service level agreement (SLA) is essentially a contract between you and your IT partner that outlines the expectations of both parties. You’ll want to make sure that your IT partner has an SLA in place, and that you’re both aware of what the terms are.
Red Flags to Watch Out For
While there are many benefits to hiring an IT company, it’s important to look out for red flags that could indicate a problem. Here are a few things to keep an eye out for when interviewing potential partners.
- The Company Was Inconsistent With Their Communication – If a company is inconsistent with its communication, you can expect that to carry over into its work. Make sure that a company is consistent with its communication so you can expect consistent results.
- The Company’s Employees Didn’t Stay Long Enough – You want to make sure that your company’s employees are happy and enjoying their work. Working in the IT industry can be challenging, so it’s important to look out for red flags like high turnover rates.
- The Company Missed Deadlines – When assessing a company’s ability to meet deadlines, it’s important to look at more than just its past performance. Make sure that you are clear on the deadlines you’ll be facing with your IT team, and that they are realistic.
It’s so important to choose the right partners when it comes to your company’s IT support. There are several factors to consider, but taking the time to follow these steps will help towards finding an experienced and reliable IT partner.