Computing has become an integral part of our daily lives. Whether working from home or at the office, a sudden breakdown of your computer equipment can cause you to significantly fall behind, while adding to your stress levels. This does not even take into account the potential consequences that such a breakdown may entail in terms of customer complaints, potentially even resulting in lost customer accounts or legal action on behalf of your customers.
How to choose an IT provider is a critical decision for your business. First, you need to determine whether you’re a good fit for managed IT services. Do you lack internal staff to manage all your IT devices, including both hardware and software platforms, despite the rapid growth of your professional activities? Do you find yourself spending way too much of your valuable time trying to resolve software, hardware or infrastructure-related issues on a regular basis? Are you handling sensitive information? If so, then this is where IT support comes into play!
Outsourcing the following IT Maintenance services will allow you to focus on what you do best:
- IT managed services
- Emergency support
- IT security
- Data recovery
This applies to all computer products: desktops, laptops, mobile devices, and professional software.
How is IT support implemented?
A company specializing in IT maintenance and support is usually contacted in the event of an IT incident or following difficulties encountered by a user. Its role? To help you resume your activities as quickly as possible, offering you a proper setup designed to mitigate any potential future inconveniences or interruptions to your operations.
IT support includes:
- Technical assistance.
- Infrastructure Diagnostic, either remotely or on site.
- Implementing solutions.
- Advising and proposing solutions to ensure corrective, preventive and curative maintenance of IT tools.
- Training employees in the use of different tools.
- Helping users master new technologies and equipment.
This rapid, professional and tailor-made intervention is made possible thanks to the mastery of many technical skills by the intervention teams. This includes the ability to adapt to new technologies, to implement corrective (reactive) and preventive (proactive) actions, as well as incident resolution, allowing you to resume your activities in peace, without fear of a security breach or malfunction.
Reasons to use an external company specializing in IT maintenance
Outsourcing IT maintenance consists of many advantages for your company:
1. Benefit from the proven expertise of an IT maintenance company
IT maintenance needs vary from one organization to another. The best way to obtain a service that meets your IT performance needs, is to sign up for a service contract that provides personalized advice and support.
2. An IT maintenance company limits your expenses
Outsourcing your IT maintenance allows you to optimize your budget since the expenditure corresponds with the size of your IT fleet.
3. An IT maintenance company provides a qualitative service
Choosing to work with a professional IT maintenance company allows your organization to benefit from quality service, time-savings, improved morale, years of experience, and technical skills.
How to Choose an IT service provider
The world of computing is constantly changing. You must therefore ensure that the provider you choose is at the forefront of information technology, pertaining to their particular expertise or niche. You can consult the web to find out about a given provider’s credibility. For example, you can visit the website of the service provider, and collect some opinions regarding its interventions. One important consideration is how many users will require software and hardware. There are certain IT companies that serve businesses of a certain size, and some that specialize in particular industries. You can also talk to people who have recently used an IT provider, to get a solid referral. However, it is generally recommended to physically meet the service provider. This exchange will allow you to gauge their responsiveness, listening skills, and professionalism. Finally, you can also request professional references and certifications.
Choose an IT provider in your geographic area
In the event of computer failure, one of your first concerns will be responsiveness. The response time of your IT partner may depend on their availability and geographic location, so you should choose to work with a nearby IT maintenance company. In addition, you should have a specific point of contact responsible for your account, or access to an online ticketing system where your need can be labeled as “urgent” if required, which will be put into the queue and treated accordingly. Some issues can be resolved remotely, but a network fault, for example, requires very quick intervention by a field engineer. If you require 24/7 support and instant reaction time, this is certainly something you should consider discussing with your prospective IT solutions providers.
Consider more than just rates
Although everyone may appreciate a bargain; the old adage that you get what you pay for certainly carries some weight in regards to IT support companies. A small business or home IT help desk may offer you service at lower prices, but what kind of service can you expect?
Choosing the company that advertises the lowest rates, is not necessarily advisable, because pricing can point to the level or quality of service that you may receive. There are very few exceptions to this rule. If you compare the hourly rate charged by a computer company, with the amount you lose on an hourly basis when your computers are down, you can obtain an overview of the consequences that such a choice may potentially entail. Consider the cost of hiring an expert as insurance.
Once you consider the following benefits, it becomes clear that the right IT partner is priceless:
- Long-term cost savings
- Protect sensitive client and business information
- Focus on core business activities
- Uninterrupted uptime
- Happy team, better morale
Verify technician qualifications and competencies
Above all, you should check their references in the form of customer testimonials and reviews, both online, and by requesting to speak with a few of their clients. Once you have settled on your provider of choice, it is recommended to build a long-term relationship with them.
Collaborating with the same IT provider over the course of time, has many advantages. For example, a familiar technician knows your network, your overall priorities, desired access privileges, and your software configuration, and can in many cases help you more quickly than a new technician, thus reducing your IT support costs.
It is not, however, always possible for the same technician to help you. He or she may be occupied with another customer when you require assistance. Let’s say you’re using a small IT company with one or two technicians. What will happen if your regular technician is busy? What if he’s all the way across the city, and remote desktop just won’t cut it? Or; what if he is simply unresponsive?
In most cases, you will have to be patient and wait for assistance, perhaps until the next day. But if you call upon a particular IT help desk that includes technicians with specific skills and competencies, and ideally a ticketing system, there is a high probability that you will get the help you require when needed.
In general, it is necessary to be well informed regarding the recruitment of a technician for your business. If the IT company addresses availability, delays or response time on its website, bingo! You may be well on your way to finding the right IT partner for your organization.