Every business owner strives to run their business operations as effectively as possible. But for many companies (especially small- and mid-sized businesses), it can be difficult to keep up with constantly evolving technology and demanding IT needs.
That’s why having a top-notch managed IT service provider (MSP) by your side is so important.
But not all MSPs are created equal. With so many different companies out there, how do you know which one is right for your business? The best way to know if you’ve found a managed IT company that suits your needs is to ask good questions before signing on the dotted line.
Before hiring a managed IT company, ask these 10 questions to ensure they are the right fit for your business.
1.) Do You Have Experience With Other Businesses in Our Industry?
IT setups can vary greatly from industry to industry. For instance, the technology needs of a law firm will be very different from those of a school. A provider that knows your industry well will be better able to provide services tailored to your needs.
And don’t hesitate to ask for references. A reputable MSP will be happy to provide you with a few companies they have worked with. After all, a successful managed IT company will want to show off their success!
2.) Are You Familiar With the Systems and Equipment We Use?
Similarly, it’s important that your MSP has experience with the products your business uses. A good MSP should be familiar with a wide range of platforms, devices, and systems, and should be able to handle any issues that arise with the expertise and care specific to the products you use.
At AvarTec, we are comfortable working with everything from PCs to Macs to Linux devices…and much more. Regardless of your equipment or platforms, you can rely on us to keep things running smoothly.
3.) Do You Have Experience With Other Companies Our Size? Can You Grow With Us?
The needs of a small- or mid-sized business can be vastly different from the needs of a larger company. You want the MSP you hire to have experience providing tech support in environments similar in size to yours.
And if your company is growing, make sure your managed IT service can grow with you.
The assistance a good MSP provides should help ease growing pains as your business expands. An managed IT company can help you add new users and new workstations, as well as assist with equipment upgrades to help make hiring, adding new clients, or implementing new systems easier.
Your MSP will help make sure you have the equipment and systems you need to handle the growth you want.
4.) Do You Provide 24/7 Monitoring and Remote Support?
Hiring a managed IT company should mean that you have 24/7 access to IT support. You want a MSP who is ready to respond to issues at any time of day or night.
Your MSP should offer remote system monitoring and support as well. IT issues often happen at very inconvenient times, making it difficult to arrange for a technician to come to your office. It’s critical that your technician be able to deliver help remotely to avoid excessive downtime.
5.) How Can We Be Certain Our Data Will Be Secure?
This is possibly the most important question to ask a managed IT company.
Ensuring your data is secure is crucial to your business’ success and reputation. Make sure to ask any potential MSP how they manage data security, system monitoring, and threat identification.
The MSP you hire should have robust security measures in place to protect your company’s sensitive data. You want a managed IT service that provides seamless data backups and reliable restoration, as well as the best security tools and protocols to prevent a data breach.
6.) How Do We Reach You When We Need Support?
A good MSP is one that can be reached quickly and easily at any time.
Your MSP should give you multiple ways to contact them in the event that you have an IT problem. They should provide you with a dedicated phone number and email address for your assigned technician, as well as an online form to fill out.
7.) What Are Your Response Times?
You want to hire a MSP with a track record of responding to and resolving IT problems quickly. (Note that some companies may offer varying response times based on the level of support you purchase.) The less down time you have in the event of an issue, the better.
But what constitutes a fast response time when it comes to responding to and resolving IT problems?
At AvarTec, we pride ourselves on our fast response time (3 minutes average response time, and 15 minutes average resolution time!) because we don’t want you waiting around for IT help when you could be getting back to business.
8.) Will We Have an Assigned Contact Person?
Ideally, the answer to this question will be “yes”.
It’s preferable to have one or two people assigned to your account who will work with you regularly and get to know your unique IT setup, rather than a general pool of IT techs responding to your calls on a rotating basis.
That way, your technician(s) will be experienced in navigating your office space and working with your specific combination of hardware and software…making for more thorough and efficient service.
9.) What Is Your Pricing Structure?
Each MSP will handle pricing and billing differently, so it’s a good idea to discuss pricing structure before signing a contract.
Some managed IT companies offer a flat fee, while others customize pricing for each client. One is not necessarily better than the other, but it’s important to understand how pricing and billing will be handled right from the start, and to find an MSP with a pricing structure that meets your company’s needs.
10.) What Is Included in Your Contracts, and How Often Are They Renewed?
Before you sign a contract with a MSP, ask what they include in their contracts. Specifically, ask the following:
- Do their contracts include peripherals like printers, scanners, and mobile devices? Or do they charge extra to service those devices?
- Will they cover custom software built by another company?
- Is a long-term contract required and is there an option for early termination if necessary?
- Do their agreements include mileage to and from your business where necessary?
- Is remote access included?
Also, make sure to ask how often the contract will be renewed and if it will be renewed automatically. Ultimately, make sure the terms of the contract they offer will suit your company’s needs before signing up for their service.
At AvarTec, our top priority is to create and maintain a beneficial and working relationship with our clients. We do not require long term contracts and unilateral cancellation can be made at any time for any reason.
Are you thinking about hiring a managed IT company for your business? If so, AvarTec would love to be considered! Contact us to learn more about our managed IT services and to discuss how we can keep your IT running smoothly so you can focus on running your business.