If you are one of these business owners, you are no doubt looking to cut costs and increase efficiency to be able to survive the current economic conditions.
Maintaining a small amount of staff while retaining the same quality of products and services is a challenge.
Have you considered delegating your IT needs to an external company? If you are looking for managed IT in Houston, what do you need to keep in mind?
Why not read all about it in our in-depth article below.
1 - Scaleable Services
One of the major advantages of managed IT services is that they basically conform to any shape that you want.
If you are looking for minimal helpdesk support, they can likely provide it. However, if you are thinking positively and are looking to build a larger infrastructure including a larger network, bespoke software, and added security for remote workers, ask if they can scale up their service to meet your needs.
2. Specific Available Skillsets
Maintaining in-house IT staff is more problematic than many people think. Not only do you have to manage each one's payroll and taxes, but you are responsible for their technical development. This takes time and planning.
Managed IT services bring these skills and tools to your business without the burden of staff maintenance. What skills will your business need in the next 2-3 years? Determine the answers to these questions and then ask if the IT company can provide these skills.
3. Growing Knowledgebase
Your IT is only as powerful as their experience. While this is likely growing, a small newly founded company may not have an IT team with years of experience and broad knowledgebase.
Whether you are looking into building a freelancer team
, shoring up defenses against ransomware attacks, or simply training employees, experience is crucial. Ask any potential managed IT service company if they can provide this from day one.
A successful IT company will be able to provide a mature portfolio of happy customers that you can take and research. From this, you will learn much about the IT company. What type of businesses have they worked with? Do their other clients have needs that are similar to yours?
Also, remember that should you select that company, you will be one of the references in that portfolio. The company will look to give you the best service possible knowing that their reputation is at stake.
5. What Other Services Are Available?
You should start by asking the IT company what other managed services they can provide. This is a trick question. If a company offers IT, administration, payroll, bookkeeping, human resources, and other services, you may want to keep looking.
The more services that a company provides, the more difficult it is for them to specialize and excel in one particular area. If you want the best IT support, hire an IT only specialist.
6. Investment in Your Business
When you meet with a prospective IT management company, you should not be the only ones who are asking questions. If the company is serious about providing reliable support, they will no doubt have questions for you. They may want to know your business plan, what your projected needs are for the next years, how many staff, and other technical matters.
You could then ask the IT company for initial suggestions and solutions for current issues. This could include anything from increased network speed to productivity tools for homeworkers
. They should be enthusiastic to help you.
7. Constant Availability
Whether your business is national or international, it needs around-the-clock support. You never know when a department will need to pull an overnight shift to meet demand. In time you may grow to have offices and clients abroad. You will need an IT service that can keep you connected to your team regardless of their timezone.
A professional IT service will provide around the clock availability 365 days per year. Why not ask a prospective company how comprehensive their watch-care is.
8. Transparent Outsourcing Policy
There is a number of tricks that an IT management company can pull when promising their services. One of these is outsourcing.
While offering you a service, they may actually be planning to re-contract your needs to a smaller company, even one in a faraway country.
Regardless of the location of the contracted team, the IT management team you sign up with should be able to provide onsite services when needed. They should also be completely honest about the location of their talent.
9. Clear Pricing
As you research managed IT service providers you will likely see that there is a range of pricing options available. One of these is an hourly rate. Does this sound appealing to you? If you don't use their services, you don't pay, right?
This could, however, work against you. Flat rate pricing for tasks encourages workers to get the job done right the first time. If they know that they will not get more money for spending time on the job, they will likely not spend a second more on the problem than necessary. This often equates to more efficient services and lower costs.