6 Essential Questions to Ask Your IT Services Provider
Communication is a critical aspect of any successful business. It is therefore imperative to choose the right IT service provider as going for anything less than the best will undoubtedly be disastrous.
The question then stands, how do you identify the best IT service provider in your area? To simplify searching, here are vital Questions you must ask each service provider you’re considering.
The answers to these questions will help you know whether a provider has the ability to meet your unique needs and gauge their reliability.
1. Who and what experience level do the technicians allocated to me have?
Understanding the expertise levels of the IT providers assigned to your organization is crucial. Seek to know how their experience and training align with your particular industry’s challenges and most importantly, whether they understand your company’s expectations and goals.
In some cases, an IT provider will initially introduce you to their best technician, only to switch up on you when the papers are signed. To prevent settling for an entirely different team, ask to meet the specific team members assigned to you before signing the agreement. Are you comfortable working with them? What are their qualifications?
2. Does the service provider outsource their Customer Support, or is it onsite?
IT Service Providers with onsite helpdesk are better equipped to answer your questions and offer a high standard experience promptly.
Service providers who outsource their customer care support won’t make it obvious from the beginning, so it’s in your best interest to inquire.
3. How will the provider ensure uninterrupted continuity of functions in case a failure occurs?
Data loss due to IT outages can be detrimental to any business. According to a National Archives and Records Administration report, over 90% of companies that lost access to their data center for over 10 days went bankrupt in less than a year.
IT issues should be the last reason for your company’s downtime. Therefore, ensure to inquire about their model for high availability.
4. What type of Remote Monitoring and Management are they using?
Any service provider you consider partnering with should be able to offer round the clock automated monitoring. Lack of RMM will mean a longer downtime as your provider checks their system to figure out what caused a hitch.
Ask the provider if they offer round the clock remote monitoring. RMMs help identify any problems as they occur. Anything short will mean a potential waste of time and costs.
5. How many internet service providers do the service providers have?
To be safe, you need your service provider to have more than one internet connection.
With a single ISP, you run the risk of losing access to your company’s data should they experience an outage—the more Internet Service connections, the better as they streamline smooth operations.
6. Does the Service Provider Outsource Cloud Computing services to a third party, or are they proprietary?
In general, IT service providers offer cloud solutions. It is therefore important to know whether your potential IT service provider outsources storage to a third-party cloud computing vendor or handles it themselves.
You run a security risk with a potential service provider who outsources their cloud services.
If indeed they outsource, ask about the agreement’s third party terms and ensure you trust the same.
Your IT providers may promise to adhere to high-security standards, but what about the third party vendor? Find out who should be held accountable in case of storage failure? Do the service provider employees have access to customer’s data?
Will your IT providers, as well as the third-party vendor destroy your data when your contract ends, or will they keep and sell it?
All the above questions point to reliability, privacy, storage, and internet backup. Asking these questions will inform your decision as you embark on choosing the ideal Internet Service Provider.
Michael is the President and owner of tech42 LLC. He has more than 20 years of cross-discipline experience in the information technology industry, and has worked both as a network engineer and software developer. He is a passionate student of the interaction between technology and business and leveraging that knowledge to help tech42’s clients achieve both technology and business success.