Outsourced IT you ask? You have made the decision to get an outsourced IT provider, you have managed to get the right stakeholders onside – But what now?

Check out our list below to reduce the amount of time on the decision making process and ask all the right questions to make sure you find the most suitable outsourced IT service provider for your company.

1. Where is your outsourced IT provider located?

Are they near your office or are on the other side of the city – or even in another state or country? IT companies can access excellent tools to provide remote support and easy maintenance. You’ll find most tasks can be done remotely, fast, and by someone who knows what they’re doing.

If your IT provider needs to access your premises, what’s the response time? How long will it take to have a technician on-site? Can you afford to wait until tomorrow, or do you need someone in the hour?

2. Where is their support team located?

Are they overseas or in your area? Wherever they’re based, are they easy to communicate with? Are they available during the hours you need them and available to work around the clock to help you recover from a disaster, or deliver an urgent project?

3. How cutting-edge are they?

Technology saves money, time, and gives your business a competitive edge. So choose an IT provider that is at the forefront of the industry. Do they suggest the leading, latest tools – or are they still using old technology and recommending old methodologies? Their advice could have a huge impact on how your business operates and your chances of success in the long-term. On the other hand, your business might not be ready to be an early adopter of new technology and tools. So try to find a balance with an outsourced IT provider who works at your pace.

4. Are they experienced?

Have they worked with a business comparable to yours – in both size and industry? Are you within their target size? If you’re a small client for a large-scale service provider, you might find you’re a lower priority and your needs will be overlooked for those of bigger clients.

5. Do you work remotely or at a branch office?

If so, is your preferred provider able to work with your regional or head office IT team? What experience do they have collaborating with such teams?

6. How serious are they about cyber security?

Cyber security must be at the core of your IT services. If it isn’t you are at both reputation and financial risk. Ask how they handle and manage cyber security.

7. Do they suit your budget?

Outsourced IT or managed service providers can provide lower-cost options than most businesses could achieve in-house. Make sure you have considered everything you need.

8. Are they qualified?

Be sure to check their credentials. This is important because your business might be obliged to adhere to certain certifications or security checks. Which vendors are they partnered with?

9. How big is their IT team?

Is the size big enough to meet your needs – and are they well resourced to cover you when someone on their team is away? What happens if they’re working for another client when you need them? Do they have enough flexibility to re-prioritise you when you need urgent help?

10. Do they offer a break fix approach?

The break fix approach might be all you need. This involves working on an hourly basis. You can either buy blocks of time in advance, or call for help and get invoiced at the end of the month for any time used.

Usually, this method doesn’t include proactive activities that are vital to your business – for example, monitoring critical systems, installing the latest updates and service packs, and checking that backups are working.

11. Do I need a managed or proactive IT service?

For some businesses, managed IT services are essential. They provide you with the best possible coverage and protection for your business to minimise risk within your IT Infrastructure.

12. Did they make any effort?

Did the sales team make the effort to visit you? Having your proposed IT partner tour your premises and meet your team before starting the partnership is beneficial for both businesses.

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