IT Support Services: How To Choose The BEST Company

Posted in: Resources 01/06/22

how to choose an IT support services company

So you’ve decided your organisation has reached the limits of your existing support resource and it’s time to investigate letting a specialist manage your needs. It’s time to outsource some (or all) of your IT support to a managed IT service provider. It’s time to choose an IT support company…

Next comes the tricky part – how do you choose an IT support company that’s going to offer you great service and great value?

In this post, the IT Ambulance team shares their top tips on what to consider when choosing an IT support company.

Let’s take a look at the checklist below;

Do they have relevant IT experience?

Case studies are a great place to start to see whether an IT support company has the experience you need, so look out for a range of experience managing IT support across a wide range of sectors.

Some industries have very specific IT support needs, so look to see if the IT support company you are talking to has clients within your industry. Particularly if your organisation is in a regulated industry then this experience is critical.

Finally, we’d recommend checking out testimonials from their clients. Always ask for references. Talk to their existing customers.

Do they offer a tailored approach?

One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to managed IT services, so in your discussions, make sure the companies you contact are putting forward a couple of different recommendations relevant to your requirements or work with them to build a tailored fit to your needs and budget.

It’s also important to list out your goals for IT; what do you want to achieve, and are there any specific projects in the pipeline? Eg a Cloud migration, digital transformation exercise, or improvements to support your home workers collaboration

These are key things you can factor into your discussions to see how each company proposes to handle them.

What tools do they use to support you?

We think it’s vitally important that you find an IT company that uses the right tools – for example remote monitoring and management tools.

These tools will ensure your IT infrastructure receives attention 24/7, so if there is ever an issue, it will be spotted immediately and resolved with minimal downtime. Without these you are really just a break/fix client.

Any downtime can massively damage a business – internally and externally – with staff not being able to work and customers forming a negative view of your operation. Its an expense far more than just the impact on productivity.

Out of Hours Support?

Even if you don’t work 24/7 you’ll need to find an IT support provider that does. Your systems maintenance needs to be done when it creates the least impact on your team.

Can issues be resolved outside normal office hours? Do they have a dedicated phone line? Is there a ticketing system available?

With home based staff working more flexibly, remote or overseas offices and hybrid working practices, business is much less 9-5 than ever before, so if something goes wrong, it’s important that your IT support company has your back, whenever that fits your needs.

Is there a documented process for handling support requests?

Support requests need to be handled in an methodical manner so they are managed efficiently and predictably..

You’ll want to make sure that your IT company clearly explains the best method for raising support requests.

A clearly defined process saves time and means you or your staff know exactly what to do if something goes wrong. Ultimately it will get your back up and running much quicker.

Look out for companies that display ISO9001 Logos. These companies have committed time and money to a documented quality approach. This means consistency in your dealings, a process for handling and learning from mistakes and a process for continuous improvement of service.

Will your relationship be actively managed?

This is a hugely important consideration, as you want to look for a proactive partner.

You don’t want to be firefighting issues all the time, let alone the same ones – instead you need to find IT support that is proactive, spotting issues ahead of time and putting plans and procedures in place to prevent them happening in the first place.

When you speak to an IT support company about their clients, ask for examples of proactive support. Were there times when they were able to prevent problems before they came to light?

Are their accreditations earned (not brought)?

Another thing to look out for and to discuss when choosing an IT support company are their accreditations.

What accreditations do they have and what did they have to do in order to get them?

Some accreditations can look great on the surface, but it can transpire that a yearly fee is all that was required to obtain them.

Accreditations like ISO 9001:2015, IS0 27001:2013 and Cyber Essentials, on the other hand, take a huge amount of effort to be obtained and to maintain, with companies being regularly audited and inspected to ensure they are still working to those high standards.

Do they take their own IT security seriously?

You probably wouldn’t hire a builder whose own house was crumbling down and needed some TLC – the same goes for IT support.

Talk to the IT providers your shortlist about their own IT security procedures, because If they don’t take cyber security seriously for their own business, then your business is at risk too.

Ask them about the measures they take to protect themselves from cyber threats. Look for companies with ISO27001 in particular. This is the gold standard for IT security and it means they know what they have to do to protect data. They should be able to support your organisation to Cyber Essentials standards and this should be built in, not an extra cost.

Penetration tests, vulnerability scans, phishing simulations, employee training, and other proactive security methods are all solid signs that you’re working with a mature IT firm.

How do they onboard new clients?

Finally, if you do become a new client, is there an onboarding process in place?

A well documented onboarding procedure will allow a company to swiftly obtain the knowledge they need to support your firm efficiently.

After all, you wouldn’t have switched providers if you didn’t have any concerns, so onboarding will be balanced with addressing your immediate IT support needs. Ask the organisations you’re interviewing about their plans to satisfy those demands up front.

Like any new relationship it takes a while to get to know each other and the way you like to work, so a clearly defined onboarding process will speed this process up and mean you can start benefiting from managed IT support much quicker with fewer teething problems.

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Whilst you are on our website, please do feel free to book a consultation with one of our experts. We’d be delighted to find out more about your specific IT support requirements and how we can help get you to where you want to be.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does an IT support company do?

An IT company that operates as a Managed Service Provider maintains all of your IT systems so that they are run smoothly with minimal downtime, so you can focus on your operations desired outcomes. If an issue does arise, they are available to fix the issue with an agreed service level. They will also actively manage your operations data security and disaster recovery approach. They will help you to ensure you have a strategic roadmap for your systems so that money is not wasted from your IT budget.

What should I look for in an IT support company?

Look for technology experts that speak your language. Ask for examples that demonstrate success in organisations like yours. Consider, 24/7 access, dedicated telephone numbers and different levels of support to suit your needs and budget. Look for external verifications of quality such as ISO9001 and know how specific endorsements such as ISO27001 (data security)

What are the different types of IT support?

IT support covers a wide range of services supporting your Business as Usual, Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery. This may include supporting your routine maintenance, back up strategy, network management, software services, ad-hoc support, hardware support, cloud services management and much more.

Which industries need IT support?

The Data Protection Act 2018 imposes a demand on all organisations that hold Personally Identifiable Information to maintain industry best practice for data security. This includes patching and managing access to that data. IT support should be a consideration for all businesses, regardless of the sector they operate within. If you don’t have an in-house expertise in this then outsourced IT support services can function as an extension of your own team. A good support partner will keep your systems running sweetly, minimise downtime and save you from compliance fines.

Can we help?

Book a no obligation phone consultation with one of our management team to discuss your IT support requirements.


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