Choosing an IT Service Provider can be a difficult task and the process can be grueling. From technology upgrades to data migration to cyber security, IT Service Providers support businesses’ technology needs while constantly changing their services and offerings due to technology’s ever-changing nature. Determining the technology services your business needs proves a challenging task, especially with new technology trends arising so frequently.
The following questions will help to breakdown what you should look for when choosing an IT Service Provider:
- What are you looking for in an IT Service Provider? First and foremost, you need to determine what you are looking for in an IT Service Provider. Does your firm have specific needs that must be addressed? (i.e. remote locations, database administration, proprietary software, etc.)
A good first step when choosing an IT Service Provider is to form a list of your wants and needs, and more importantly, your business’s current pain points. Any reputable IT Service Provider will take the consultative approach in collectively addressing your business’s concerns as well as presenting you with a technology roadmap for your firm.
- How often and when will I be billed? When choosing an IT Service Provider (or any provider for that matter), you must determine the nature and frequency of their billing cycle. Will you incur overages every month or does the service provider bill on a flat-rate model? What is the hourly rate for projects? What is the hourly rate for VCTO services? Does the hourly rate you will pay coincide with the level of service and level of expertise you will receive?
- Does the IT Service Provider work exclusively within your industry? When a service provider works exclusively within one specific industry, they possess accumulated knowledge of the business technology needs for firms in that industry. The IT Service Provider will be able to inform you as to what your peers are doing; more importantly, what works and what does not work. Hence, the IT Service Provider is well-versed and ready to address your needs and concerns.
- Does the IT Service Provider specialize in a certain service or product? Are you looking for cyber security planning and services? Cloud computing? Disaster recovery planning? Data center transformation? Does the IT Service Provider have a knowledge base that will translate well to your current infrastructure? Do they possess the technical know-how to plan for future growth? Make sure you do enough research to ensure you are getting the best services for what you need.
Don’t make a decision based on references! I have yet to meet a sales representative that will provide a bad reference. Do some research: If an IT Service Provider works within your specific industry then ask your peers, research online and most importantly, visit the IT Service Provider’s office and speak directly with the employees that will be working on your account. Choosing an IT Service Provider, if done correctly, should only have to be done once.
By: Ryan York