As your business grows, so does the amount of technology you need. At first, managing a few computers is doable as a business owner, but before you know it you have an office full of technology that you are not able to handle any longer. If something were to go wrong, for example, if a power surge were to occur, you would not know what to do.
At that point is when you know it is time to hire IT support. Downtime is lost money and lost trust from your clients. With all of the things that can happen to technology, the best investment you can make in your company is to make sure your assets are covered- specifically your technology.
Your IT support company should be able to provide many services that will keep your business running smoothly and safely. Things such as security risk assessments, disaster recovery planning, response time and more should be considered when choosing the right IT support for your business. Here are a few important questions to keep in mind when looking for an IT company.
1. Are you available on weekends and after hours? Does that cost more?
An IT company that isn’t available for you 24/7/365 or charges more for work done after business hours. should likely not even be considered. Just because their normal operating hours may be 8 am until 5 pm Monday through Friday, does not mean that your business’ hours of operation have to match that. For example, as an IT firm that has a specialty in the healthcare field, we could never be unavailable for a hospital that needs technical support at 3 am. IT support never stops, even after your business hours.
2. What is your process in handling IT support requests? Do you have a Service Level Agreement (SLA)?
It is important to know the workflow of the company’s tech support. Is their helpdesk efficient, organized, and on top of things? Is there a way to denote how serious and urgent the tech problem is? How do you contact them? These are all questions that should be considered when asking about the process of their operations.
3. Do you specialize in any industries?
Working with an IT support firm that knows your industry is ideal. Everyone from help desk employees to field technicians, to the CEO has to know what makes your industry different. When a IT support firm specializes in your industry, they understand your needs and can likely prove that that can exceed your expectations.
4. How will you secure my technology and data?
Security is a big deal when it comes to technology. There are vulnerabilities you could not even imagine that your sensitive data is susceptible to. You will want to make sure that the company you choose is able to perform security risk assessments, penetration testing, knows regulatory compliance standards for your industry, and can advise the best way to keep your technology secure.
5. What experience do you have with disaster recovery planning and data backups?
Speaking of security, one of the largest components of proper security implementation is planning. What would happen if a natural disaster were to destroy your on-site technology? Can the IT support firm help you make a plan in order to get your business back to where it needs to be in optimal time? Do they offer cloud hosting? These are considerations that make a big difference in the IT provider you choose.
6. Can you explain what type of IT infrastructure you have set up for a business similar to mine?
Although the ins and outs of IT infrastructure may sound like a different language to you, the IT support company should be able to explain it to you in a way that makes sense. An IT consultant should be able to answer this question clearly without confusing you. If the answer leaves you more confused, they are likely talking about something they do not know about. Remember the Einstein quote, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
7. Can you assess my current information systems?
The company you choose to support your IT should be able to assess your current technology infrastructure in order to see if it is functioning the best way possible. What needs to be updated, removed, and added? If your IT support can help you devise a plan within your budget to get your information systems running as efficiently as possible, they are a company you should have at the top of your list.
By asking these questions when interviewing a potential IT support company, you should be able to get a good understanding of the company and if they are a good fit for your business or organization. If you have questions about Keystone IT’s operations and business model, do not hesitate to contact us and set up a meeting to learn more.