With technological capabilities that are rapidly expanding and disrupting the business world, it is often difficult for businesses to keep pace and make the necessary changes to their operations. In the modern world, information technology is a more central feature in all businesses, and IT policies are more closely linked to business policies. Business leaders need to make sure that the workforce is sufficient to meet the rising demand for IT services, but all too often it is not.
IT support is something that most businesses will turn to at least once, even when IT is their core focus. This is often to deal with bottlenecks in times of high demand, or a shortage of in-house staff. But there are many considerations to make when choosing an IT support company, to ensure they can meet your specific needs.
Even though many IT services can now be provided remotely, for issues related to hardware, consultancy or training, the physical presence of IT support will most likely be required. So, if your offices are in London, you should be looking for IT support services in London that can offer to be on site when it is required of them. This will avoid any travel time and expenses that could otherwise be incurred.
Businesses should know what to expect from their IT support in terms of response to issues. This is sometimes laid out in terms of priority levels, to which the IT support company will need to guarantee a fast response to the highest priority level; for example, within 15 minutes. It is also necessary to differentiate between times of response and resolution. IT companies can later be held to account for response times that they were not able to deliver.
IT services can be widely varied, so it may be a good idea to check that any potential IT support companies are familiar with your field of business. Be clear about what the support will include for the quoted prices, and be sure to check to see if there are any limitations with the packages on offer. Support packages may be unlimited with a contract, pay as you go with a contract, or ad hoc by an hourly rate.
In order to deliver a high-quality service, a certain amount of experience should be a minimum requirement. Reliable tech support will be able to draw from past successes, and talk about ways it has approached areas of difficulty and delivered results. For this reason, it is common for IT companies to post testimonials or reviews on their website, and refer new clients to them. By reading reviews it is possible to see if the support they have provided in the past is similar to that which you require.
It is necessary to do some investigation on an IT support company before you engage them in employment. Reputable companies should hold certifications in certain areas. Typically, this would include partnerships with large computing manufacturers such as Dell, Microsoft, HP or Apple. In addition to this, individual staff members should have their own certifications and qualifications. Make sure that you ask for evidence of certifications before engaging an IT support company.
In order to develop a close relationship with an IT support company that will deliver a valued service, sometimes that personal touch is needed. Businesses will like to know that they will have a dedicated account manager, and one or two points of contact. With this it is possible to build a long-term relationship that will save time and build trust. It is also more convenient to be assigned a dedicated engineer, although technical staff may have different areas of expertise so this may depend on the project.
It is important to first ascertain whether an IT support company can support the hardware and software of your business. You will need to check that they are about to work with the operating systems that your servers and workstations run on – for example, Linux, Windows or OSX. IT support should also be well acquainted with the software and applications that the business runs, and they should be able to triage and troubleshoot any problems.
IT support is not only just the technical service delivered. When outsourcing is undertaken with this approach, the impact on business operations can be detrimental. IT support needs to have a thorough understanding of what it is you are trying to achieve as a business. They should respond to your needs by demonstrating that they are onboard and can align with your business objectives. The next thing that they will need to show you they can provide is communication. Technicians need to avoid the use of too much technical language, as in the world of IT soft skills are essential.
Engaging an IT support company is a task that needs to be carried out carefully, ensuring that all points on the checklist are covered. This may seem like an extra workload in stressful times, but the consequences of choosing a company too hastily can potentially be more damaging in terms of time and financial expenses.