4 ways to maximize IT provider benefits
Here are 4 great ways you can ensure your business is getting the most from your outsourced IT support.
With technology at the heart of your business’ operations, there’s no doubt hiring an outsourced IT company can benefit your business.
Doing so will not only cost less than in-house IT support, but you’ll gain access to a greater pool of resources, including expensive technology and an expert team’s worth of knowledge and experience. With these benefits on your side, your business will have the competitive edge it needs to stay ahead of the curve and become a success.
However, there are some key questions to ask your IT support company that should help you receive the best services and technical advantages possible. Asking the right questions before hiring your provider will help you build a strong partnership from the beginning.
Below are 4 great ways you can ensure your business is getting the most from your outsourced IT support.
Treat Them as Partners
A terrific IT provider knows that its role in your business far exceeds providing technical support, and extends to giving strategic business advice as it pertains to technology. While some larger businesses may keep internal IT staff on board to utilize their MSP team for larger-arching strategic goals and plans, all businesses should rely on their IT company to create scalable solutions that will utilize the best of technology to help their business grow.
Don’t Cheap Out
While it may be alluring to see rock-bottom prices available for IT provider services, it’s most likely not indicative of the best provider for your business. After all, with such important tasks related to managing IT on the line, you should be aiming to hire the very best in your area. Don’t forget that you’re already cutting costs by outsourcing!
As more and more MSP companies crop up and competition between them increases, some may use drastically lowered pricing as a strategy. However, just as insourcing your IT support will cost more in the long-run, hiring IT support based on price alone will also likely cost more down the line.
To make sure the company is reputable and will do a fantastic job, ask for references from their existing clients or case studies. Using this tactic will also allow you to learn more about services that will become available to you upon hiring said company.
Learn What Services Are Available to You
There are more ways to learn about this important topic than speaking with previous and current clients of your support company though.
Ask Your IT Support Provider Directly
“Ask and you shall receive” is a popular saying for a reason!
Remember that your provider is truly your partner, and you’re entitled to find out more about what they can do for you. One way to investigate is to ask which services their other clients are receiving lately; another is to schedule regular meetings with your MSP. This way, when new trends in the IT world arise – as they always do – you’ll be alerted and “in the know” sooner rather than later.
This is a vital component of your IT provider’s role: to know the latest ways technology can support businesses and communicate them to you for your own strategic purposes.
What’s in Your Support Package?
Many IT companies offer different packages to their clients that come with different sets of services and software. Most of the time, services include resolving issues with standard hardware and software, and traveling to your office when necessary.
However, some offerings may be considered “extras” by certain MSPs and included by others, like third-party software, smart devices, or replacement hardware parts. It’s good to know what’s included by your provider so you can take advantage of everything available to you.
Know Your Level of Support and What It Means
Because MSP clients have different needs, there are usually different set-ups that are agreed upon when an MSP is hired. It’s important to be aware of which support level you signed up for from the beginning, and maintain continued awareness so that you know what to expect moving forward.
Some businesses opt for pay-as-you-go support only, in which they pay an hourly rate for any IT services. Others use break-fix support, in which issues are resolved on an as-need basis for a set price. At a higher level, managed support includes 24/7 support on-demand for troubleshooting and help, but also active monitoring of systems and security.
Communication and Support
Reliable and Fast Response Time
You should know what to expect when technological issues arise and you must contact your IT provider for on-call support. Of course, as usual when problems occur, they’re often unexpected and may interrupt your workflow or disrupt operations with your customers.
Business management should be aware of how promptly they can anticipate IT support kicking in. A great provider will respond within 15 minutes. They can also offer a target resolution time, depending upon the issue, but provide leeway here because some issues may become more complicated as they are unpacked.
Multiple Contact Methods
How are you able to contact your IT provider when you do need support, either for small technical mishaps, or even for larger tech catastrophes?
Different IT providers offer different modes of communication, and it’s important to know how and when to use them. Generally, you can always email or call your IT provider, but some may even offer a live chat option for on-call support. It’s important to know which mode to use to contact your provider (depending on the current issue), such as resolving a quick technical problem, working through a higher-impact issue, or setting up a meeting for business strategizing.
Do They Offer Remote Support?
While it should be considered “a given” currently, you may still want to ask your provider if remote support is available.
Sure, face-to-face interactions offer a more personable approach to resolving issues and conducting planning meetings, but remote support may be more convenient in certain cases like the current pandemic.
If you’re really in a pinch and need your problem fixed as quickly as possible, it may happen faster if your IT team doesn’t need to travel to you. Also, having access to a remote option can be especially beneficial for companies that have employees who travel. When they’re away from the office, they can still receive IT support wherever they are.
Finally, using remote support means that your IT provider can set up monitoring tactics and will be notified if there are any alerts to, say security issues, for example. More companies than ever are realizing the benefits of remote support due to the recent pandemic.
Maximizing Your IT Provider Benefits
Reap the full benefits of employing an IT company!
Asking questions and keeping their role as your business partner in mind can help you become aware of additional services you may take advantage of, and understand what you can expect from them.
If, after considering the above items, you don’t feel confident that you can receive the best support possible from your current provider, you may want to consider hiring a different company. After all, strategizing your IT setup is crucial to your business’ success and cannot be undervalued.