Both small and large businesses these days rely on their computing systems for their businesses to run smoothly. Therefore its never been as important to hire an IT support service.
Staying ahead of the competition in business is what keeps your business profitable, but it’s increasingly difficult to do these days. With the help of technology, you can get a slight advantage if you are using it to its potential. With that said without continued maintenance and monitoring your digital systems can negatively affect your business causing downtime and productivity issues.
If you have considered IT support for your business you will have realised that there are many things to consider including contract types, the types of IT support, maintenance agreements and so much more. Not only that you also need to see if the IT support company you work with would be a good fit for your business too.
What is an IT Support service?
An IT support service is usually an outsourced company that looks after your infrastructure including your hardware, software, network and security. They can provide support both in-house and remotely via the cloud.
An IT Support service can either monitor your system looking for potential bottle knecks or they can wait till a problem occurs to fix it.
Proactive vs reactive IT Support
When choosing an IT support service for your business you can choose a proactive or reactive service. Proactive means that your IT support team will look for any problems before they occur and try to fix them, while a reactive IT support team will wait till something breaks and then fix it afterwards.
Both have their benefits and disadvantages, it all depends on your current situation. Generally, reactive IT support is cheaper as the IT support team isn’t actively monitoring your system. However, you can expect more downtime from a service like this which could end up costing you more money in the long run.
A proactive IT support team will look to fix problems before they occur. This is more expensive as the IT support team will be looking at your network and systems, monitoring them for any problems.
When choosing an IT support service for your business you should think about what’s more important to you, either minimising downtime or saving money upfront. From here you should be able to see which support model is better for your business.
How to choose the best IT support service for your business
There are many IT support companies to choose from, for example here in Ottawa if you searched for “IT Support Ottawa” on Google you would get pages and pages of results back. This makes it difficult to know who to work with.
Firstly, look at the companies reputation. You can see past reviews on their Google listings or Facebook pages or even third-party review websites. Read through them and see if it’s a company you think you could work with.
Secondly, get in touch with the companies that sound like they could be a good fit and ask them questions. A good IT support company will take the time to answer questions to make sure you are a good fit.
For example, ask them if they have worked with your business size before, ask them if they work with your hardware or software. A company that specialises in Mac computers wouldn’t be a good fit if you only used Windows or Linux computers. In general most IT support companies will have experience in both but it’s worth asking.
When you have asked all the questions you can think of, see if the IT support service offer an on-site audit, most companies will. From here the IT support team can look at your systems to see if they can provide you with support.
Depending on the size of your business, you could lose thousands of dollars if your systems are down for an hour, so you should take into consideration the response times for fixes when hiring an IT support team.
This is why you should ask many questions during the initial contact with the IT support company. Ask them questions such as how long does it take for you to respond to query? How long does it take you to provide support in an emergency? How long does it take for you to get a technician out on an on-site visit?
All of these questions will help you if you do need help and it’s better to find out response times before an emergency happens and you learn that it takes over 24 hours for on-site support to arrive.
Dedicated account managers
When it comes to IT support or any support there’s nothing worse than having to speak to different people every time. Not only is it difficult to explain your problem to different people but it’s also time-consuming.
Having a dedicated account manager will quicken up the process and it will also allow them to learn your system and the common problems that usually occur. When hiring an IT support service you should ask if you will have a dedicated account manager if you think that would be important to your business.
The costs of IT support
When choosing the best IT support for your business you will need to consider costs. The most expensive service for your business may have too many bells and whistles that you don’t need and the cheapest may not provide everything you need in the time of an emergency.
Hiring an IT support team should take some research on your part so be sure to get quotes from multiple companies and then compare what is included. From here you can get the best value IT support for your business while sticking to your budget.
Choosing the best IT support company for your business is a difficult process. Above are some of the things to look out for. The most important thing to consider is what you are getting before signing up. This can be done by asking questions and speaking to the IT support company before signing any contracts.