When shopping around for outsourced IT support, you want to make sure you can narrow the field significantly in singling-out your top candidate. There are actually quite a few issues to address with your prospective business IT provider, so that’s why we’ve provided 5 remarkable questions to ask when outsourcing business IT services.
Keep in mind that before you trust your company’s critical data to an outsider, you need to make sure the provider will consistently deliver quality service and protect your business assets. Here are five questions you should ask all potential service providers to determine if they’re a good fit for your small business:
- Do you have experience serving a small business in my industry? Only contract with a service provider that has experience with small businesses. They’ll better understand your company’s challenges and goals, and will be well versed in the technologies purpose-built for small businesses. Also, find out if the would-be outsourced business IT provider specializes in your industry because that level of knowledge makes a difference.
- Can I count on your business to be around long-term? Once you’re set on outsourcing a business IT services provider that understands your business, you want to know that they’ll be around for as long as you need their services. Don’t be afraid to ask about their business history, the clients they serve, or any other details that give you confidence in choosing them. After all, working with a business IT service provider is a partnership, and you deserve to know just as much about them as you would anyone else with whom you might partner.
- What security measures will you take to ensure my business data is fully protected? This is probably the most important technical question you’ll ask. If the provider’s security isn’t airtight, nothing else matters. Ask them if data transferred over the Internet is encrypted if they have a certified secure network, and what security measures they have installed on their networks and might install on yours. Also, find out if the provider permanently deletes files when they’re no longer in use.
Just as important when vetting outsourcing business IT services is the provider’s response plan if a security breach happens. You need to know how they will react if your data is compromised, what procedures they have in place to handle a security incident, and how they will rectify any data or financial losses related to a security breach.
- What can I expect in the way of customer support? Things can go wrong at the most inconvenient times, and you need to know if your provider will be there to support you when you need help; for example, if your website goes down, your server crashes, or you can’t make a call on your phone system. To ensure your technology problems are quickly resolved, look for business IT service providers that offer support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Also, ask whether you can contact them via phone, email, and live chat, and if their website includes an online support community with forums and FAQs.
Delivering solid customer service also means that the provider’s contracts are clear and comprehensive. For instance, if you’re contracting with a VoIP (voice over IP) provider, your contract should have clearly stated service level agreements (SLAs) that guarantee a certain availability and quality of service. You should know how a provider will support your business through any unscheduled downtime or service outages.
- How difficult is it to move my data from your service to a different provider or to an in-house system? In Cisco’s recent surveyof small businesses using cloud computing, 20 percent of respondents were concerned about flexibility and wanted the ability to move to a different solution easily. In other words, they were concerned about vendor lock-in–and, you should be concerned about it also. Ask any potential provider about the minimum length contract you can sign if you’re at all concerned that you might want to change providers or eventually perform the IT task in-house.
Some outsourced business IT service providers, such as those who offer cloud computing services, offer monthly contracts, while some will charge only for the services you use on a pay-as-you-go model. Other providers may require that you sign an annual contract but offer discounts if you commit to two years or more.
When seeking out a new business IT services provider, also ask them if they can do (or provide) the following:
- Innovative Cloud Solutions – The cloud has changed the way businesses work. Migrating to the cloud allows us to provide you with a number of customized solutions, including Microsoft Office 365, business continuity and off-site data storage, hosted firewall, and many other tools.
- Act as a Trusted IT Advisor – Benefit from strategic planning and guidance with Phoenix Technology as your trusted IT advisor. You always have the advantage of our experience and expertise, as we can act as your advisor, guiding you through important technology-related decisions, special projects, and whatever else you may need.
- Deliver Comprehensive Security Tools – Security is critical in business today in order to protect your valuable data and resources and ensure you adhering to any industry regulations. We provide you all of the security measures you need to ensure your information and systems are properly protected.
- Reliable Around-the-Clock Support – Never be held back by a problem. We fully support all of our services and solutions ensuring you have quick access to the assistance you need. With our reliable support services, you can feel confident knowing you are working at your best, and so is your technology.
- Managed Services – With our managed services offerings you are able to focus on the important work you do and not your technology because you know we are taking care of it for you. Our managed services ensure your entire IT infrastructure is well-maintained and looked after.
Phoenix Technology provides the best answers to these questions for those looking for outsourced business IT support in Vancouver WA, Portland OR and surrounding areas. Come experience the difference a truly game-changing IT company can make in your business evolution and goal fulfillment!
Outsourcing Business IT Services with Phoenix Technology Can Change Your World for the Better
Let us show you just how positively world-changing outsourcing business IT services can be by contacting a Phoenix Technology representative today by phone at (360) 433-6930, or by email at email@example.com to get started right away.