IT is the pillar of most businesses. Without the right infrastructure and systems, they cannot operate.
In the post-pandemic, post-GDPR era, business IT is more complicated that ever. You need support that can tackle the new challenges. It’s no longer just a case of “turn it off and on again”. Good IT support should allow employees to work efficiently at home or in the office. it should also keep your data protected and enable daily tasks to get done.
Many organisations choose to work with an external company to ensure that their IT setup is robust. For long-term success, you need to select the right partner.
We’ve put together a list of factors to consider when choosing the best IT support company to work with your organisation.
Why do you need IT support?
If something goes wrong with IT across an entire organisation, it’s never ideal. Even a short outage can wreck productivity and leave employees feeling frustrated. Some scenarios are even more extreme, like causing you to become non-compliant, leaving you unable to operate for extensive period of times, or compromising customer data.
Because of the consequences if it goes wrong, managing IT well is paramount. It’s also a significant job that requires specific skills. If you don’t have the capacity or ability in-house, your systems will become impossible to maintain, leading to costly mistakes and poor processes.
By working with a reputable IT support company, the strain is taken off your organisation. You can leverage their expertise and rely on them any time you need assistance. They can help you get the right foundation in place for continual performance. It’s also more efficient and cost-effective than managing it in-house.
What to consider when choosing your IT support partner_
1. Contract flexibility_
The IT needs of every organisation is different. It’ll be affected by what you do, where your staff work, what access they need and many other factors. Plus, depending on the IT resource you have in-house, you may need varying levels of support.
When seeking an IT support company, aim for one that offers contracts to suit your requirements. That may include offering remote or hybrid working assistance, or an on-site presence. Similarly, check how many hours of support is offered under the contract and if that covers your IT needs.
By finding a contract that suits you, you’ll be able to get the care you need within your budget.
Some industries and sectors have niche IT requirements that cover specific systems, the data they store and the processes they need to follow. If they neglect them, it can lead to compliance problems.
If this applies to you, you’ll need a partner that has proven experience working with similar businesses.
Find IT support companies who have worked in your industry or sector. It’s also worth explaining your needs early in the procurement process to see if they can provide the answers you need.
3. Service desk response_
An IT issue can happen at any time – and it’s never the right one. So, it’s crucial to have access to support whenever you need it.
When comparing IT support companies, check their service desk hours. Most will offer 24/7 assistance, meaning you can help for the most inconveniently timed emergencies. if it’s not 24-hour, you’ll at least want it to be available during your business’s working hours.
Check their response times too – the faster the better! Plus, ask if they can come on site to solve problems or respond to emergencies if that’s needed.
4. Account manager_
Your account manager is your first port of call. by having a dedicated contact at the IT support company, communication will be much easier.
Your account manager should deeply understand your needs and proactively arrange the resource needed to deliver the service. They’ll also manage ad hoc requests or issues that emerge.
Aim to meet your account manager early in the process. Ideally you want a good rapport with them as you’ll work closely together.
5. Onboarding process_
Onboarding is where you prepare for what should be a long and rewarding partnership with your IT support partner.
There can be a fair amount of paperwork in this stage, but being thorough will save stress later. It should start with a detailed scoping session to discuss requirements as this will lay out the rest of the project.
Ask for a timeline of the onboarding process. This’ll show you the steps involved to help your own planning. Plus, you can check they’ve considered everything to serve your organisation properly.
Outstanding security across your IT network is vital. In 2021, the Government’s Cyber Security Breaches survey found 39% of small UK businesses had experienced some form of cyber attack. Email scams, phishing attacks, hackings and other threats are unfortunately commonplace. If you don’t protect yourself, you are vulnerable to outages, system corruption, data leaks and financial losses.
Any IT support company you work with should offer the utmost security. Ask any potential partner about their security practices (including any certifications they have) and how they can help you better protect your business.
Most businesses will pursue growth, either now or in the future. You want an IT support company that can evolve with you. This includes scaling existing systems, improving infrastructure for enhanced capabilities or supporting more users.
If you have growth goals, make this clear to your IT partner up front and discuss how they can assist. This’ll save you having to switch suppliers later.
8. Range of services_
Vet potential IT support providers to verify that they offer the services you need. It will make sure they’re a perfect fit for your needs.
There may also be specific systems you use – from Microsoft to MacBook. You’ll want to check your supplier is confident with these so they can actively help you.
You want to sign your IT supplier contract with confidence. It’s only natural to want assurance that the company you select is reliable and trustworthy.
The best way to check this is to look at their reviews and testimonials to determine how established they are. Look for specific reference to companies like yours – such as in the same industry and facing familiar challenges.
Some IT providers may even have awards or certification which further prove their expertise, so don’t be afraid to ask about these.
10. Tools and solutions used_
Another good question to ask is what systems and tools your potential IT partner uses to provide their support. If there are specific systems you prefer, you’ll likely want to choose someone who can work with these same solutions.
If not, ask how easily they can integrate with your existing processes and what the benefits of their chosen toolkit are. You want to ensure their approach matches yours for a smooth collaboration.
Once you start scoping out IT support companies, you’ll be able to tell if they’re compatible with your own organisation. If your people don’t know loads about IT, you need people who can explain it simply. If everyone’s technically minded, you’ll want someone can share your love for jargon.
If you’re not feeling the connection, they’re probably not a match for your company – and that’s fine!
Instead, choose a company you feel you can communicate and work well with. If all works out, you could be working with them for years to come – so it’s important to get along!
Choosing the right IT support company
Given the importance of IT and how impactful reliable support can be, you’ll want to pick the best possible partner.
By considering all the factors above, you will find someone who fulfils your needs, protects you against risk and keeps everything ticking along.
With the right IT foundations and support when you need it, there’ll be no stopping your organisation.
Since 2001, Infinity Group has provided award-winning IT support to thousands of companies. With dedicated customer care, rapid response times and Microsoft expertise, we can help you build a future-proofed IT strategy.
We are ISO 27001, 9001 and 14001 certified for total compliance – meaning you decrease risk while boosting productivity.