Good, reliable IT support is at the heart of every business. Its most visible role is to deal with problems as they arise, but it can and should be much more than that. A good IT support company should not only be a safety net when problems arise, it should also give added value to your business, helping you to improve systems, streamline operations and increase the overall efficiency of your company. It should be able to help you with everything from network planning, installation and management to server upgrades and migration, as well as disaster recovery solutions. With such a wide ranging influence your IT support team is an integral part of almost anything your company does. Choosing the right support is therefore very important. Here are a few things to remember when you are making this big decision.
1. Know your Needs
Every business is different, so no one IT solution is right for everybody. You need to find an IT company that is flexible and will work with you to meet the specific needs of your business. To make this possible you must first identify what those needs are. This should be your first step, before trying to make a decision about which company to use. It is wise not only to think about what you need right now, but also to consider how your needs are likely to change. What plans do you have for your business over the coming months and years? How will these impact on your IT requirements? See what services are available and decide which are relevant to your business, now and in the future. This sort of background planning will increase the chances of choosing the right support first time and reduce the likelihood that you will need change in the future.
2. Value experience
You need an IT support unit you can depend on, so you should not underestimate the importance of experience. Find out how long the company has been in business and what types of client it services. If possible, talk to some of its customers and find out how good it really is.
IT support should be about more than just the technical. As well as managing and maintaining your computer systems, a good support unit will be able to provide training for your staff. Many IT systems fall down at the user stage, as employees do not know how to make the most of them. Investing in knowledge of how to use an IT system is just as important as investing in the system itself. Having the system without the knowledge to use it is a waste of money. Enquire about training and if it is not something the company does, then perhaps you should look elsewhere.
4. Look for flexibility
Your support provider doesn't just need to be right for you now. It needs to be able to grow and adapt as your business changes. Look for evidence that your chosen provider has processes in place to monitor your IT needs? If they actively seek out new requirements it is a good indication that they will be ready to adapt. This will help you find a partner you can work with long term.
5. Don't confuse cost with value
There are many business IT support providers out there, so the market is quite competitive. Be sure to compare the price of a number of options, but remember that the cheapest is not necessarily the best value. You don't want to pay over the odds, but compare the levels of service and make sure that the provider you opt for gives you everything you need.
6. Stay local
Your IT support unit will be your first port of call in case of a system failure and so you need to know that if necessary an engineer can be onsite quickly. It pays therefore to use a provider from your local area. With the wealth of options available that should not be too much of a problem.
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Join date : 2010-11-18
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