10 Things To Ask Your IT Consultant

You’ve decided that it’s time to call in an IT consultant. Maybe your business has expanded, and this is your first IT firm, or you’ve “outgrown” your current computer repair company, of you just need something different from the IT support that you’re receiving at the moment; whatever the reason, you need to know you’re going down the right path with the new computer support company.

Finding the right business support for you can be difficult – there are so many companies to chose from, and unless you can get concrete word of mouth recommendations, you’re left with the tricky business of sifting through Google.

How To Chose The Best IT Company For Your Business

We love a check list ourselves, so have come up with one for you. The ideas below are based upon questions we have been asked by new customers, so we hope that it will help you to make the right decision for your company.

Are They Human? OK, as of yet we’re unaware of any IT company that is completely run by robots (watch this space…) so yes, they will be human. What we’re alluding to here is do they speak your language? One big drawback to a lot of IT experts is that they find communication difficult without speaking in technical terms. Can your new IT contact communicate with you in ways that don’t leave you bamboozled but instead reaching a greater understanding your technology requirements?

Are They Experienced? This covers a vast area – questions you need to know answers to include have they worked with businesses similar to yours? Do they have experience of working with your market sector, your size of company? Have they experience of the types of software that your business needs to use? It may also be worth finding out how long they have been working with businesses in general.

Are They Available? There are times that you can muddle through with your computer niggles, and then there are times when you need help as soon as possible. Most IT firms will offer you a response time window – how important is that to your business? Will they answer the phone when you call or put you through to an automated ticketing system? Are they available out of hours if needed? Do they provide both remote support and an onsite option?

Are They Affordable? Most IT companies will offer IT packages based on support levels, response times and budgets. If you need to have a guaranteed IT budget, a support package should cover this for you, so you will know exactly how much you are spending on support over each month. But some people don’t want to be tied into a support contract, so if this is you check to see if there is a Pay As You Go option. If you do go for an IT support package, make sure you understand exactly what is, and what isn’t, covered in it.

Are They Biased? What do they recommend for software solutions? Computer systems? Telephones, printers and scanners? And why? Are they in partnership with other companies or suppliers and are recommending because of this relationship or because they genuinely believe that the solutions offered are the right ones for your business needs? Do they use the products and solutions that they are recommending themselves?

Are They Multifaceted? Are they able to provide you with all your IT requirements or only part? What other services can they provide you with? In short, what do they do? Try and get a list of all the services that they can provide. If you have a variety of companies dealing with different aspects of your technology needs you can find yourself trying to liaise with several people and not getting where you need to be without frustration and wasted time. Having a one-stop shop for everything that you need can make your life a lot easier as you only ever need to communicate with one firm, preferably that human one mentioned above.

Are They Single? There are a great many really good computer support guys and gals out there who are sole traders, and this can work for some companies. But ideally you could do with a company who has more than one person, people with other expertise, and cover for when your main contact is on holiday, or poorly, or otherwise unavailable.

Are They Serious? A good IT firm knows that it is their interest that your business succeeds and therefore should have your unique interests as central to any decision made or solution offered. As your business goes from strength to strength, will they be able to keep up with your changing needs? Can they grow alongside you or will you be looking to change your IT support company yet again in a couple of years? Your life will be a lot simpler if you can find an IT support company who is in it for the long haul, working alongside you every step of the way.

Are They Proactive? No, we’re not fans of management speak either, but what we’re hinting at by “proactive” is are they able to give you ideas, products and solutions that you may not have thought about? Will they keep an eye on things for you, for example backups of your systems, software updates, security threats and more? You need more than just a point and shoot IT technician, you need someone who is going to help you think of things that will enable you to work more efficiently.

Are They Loved? The best way of finding help for any aspect of your working or personal life is a first-hand recommendation. If you aren’t in a position to find an IT consultant via your own network, check out IT companies websites and/or their social media. Do others speak highly of them? Have they got any testimonials from companies similar to yours, or from people who have similar problems to you? Ultimately, you need to hire someone you will enjoy working alongside so checking out how “loved” they are by other people should help you get a feel for the type of company they are.

We hope that these 10 ideas will help you in your search and wish you every success in finding the right IT support company for your business.

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