As your company uses more and increasing varied technology—including desktop PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones, servers, storage, network infrastructure, on-premise applications, cloud applications, and more—the way you manage all that technology becomes more critical.
An exponentially increasing number of businesses are engaging with IT service providers to help them achieve their technology-related objectives. However, choosing the right IT service provider isn’t easy, and many businesses make a mistake the first time they choose an outsourced IT partner.
There are five main areas you need to understand before making your IT service choice. Below is a snapshot of the first area to tackle, “Clarifying Your Needs”. You can find all five in our guide, A Businessperson’s Guide to IT Service Providers.
Clarifying Your Needs
Before shopping for an IT service provider, it’s a good idea to clarify the needs of your business. Every business has different needs—but, generally speaking, your requirements will likely fit into one or more of the following categories:
- Help desk/User support
In today’s high-pressure, round-the-clock business environment, many businesses are finding that maintaining an internal help desk is a losing battle. Since few businesses can afford to staff a three-shift internal help desk, the demand for a true 24×7 help desk has made outsourcing IT help desk/user support increasingly popular.
A few of the factors to consider when looking for help desk/user support (full list of factors are available in the main guide):
- How important is it that your service provider will be on site when needed?
- What kind of response times do you expect for helpdesk calls?
- Infrastructure monitoring and management
These services focus on ensuring the health of your servers, storage and networking equipment. Your partner should monitor this equipment on a 24×7 basis and take immediate corrective action if a problem occurs. You also want a partner that can make recommendations about upgrading or evolving your infrastructure as your business grows.
A few of the factors to consider when looking for infrastructure monitoring and management include (full list available in main guide):
- Will the service provider complement internal IT staff or take full responsibility for the health of your IT infrastructure?
- If the latter, what is the technical depth of their engineers? Does the service provider have key man dependency of their own in certain technologies?
- Fixed-term IT projects
Businesses often need outside help with specific fixed-term projects. These can include infrastructure transformations such as cloud migrations, moving to virtual servers, deployment of new applications and databases, security overhauls, office moves, etc.
Factors to consider when choosing a partner to assist with fixed-term IT projects include:
- Is your service provider competent in the areas in which you need help? Can you speak with multiple references for similar projects?
- What is their track record for successful project completions?
Click here for the full guide to choosing the right outsourced IT partner for your company.