We all love our technology but when it breaks down, it can wreck havoc with our business and personal lives. It has been estimated that in the United States alone, 140,000 hard drives crash every week. There are at least 50 million servers on the planet and each one is vulnerable to attack or some other kind of error and problem. Only 30% of cyberattacks can be detected and as it is, experts report between 80 and 90 million incidents involving cybersecurity every year. Every minute there are at least 400 new threats emerging. Having the right IT services company working to protect you and your business is more important than ever.
- Talk to other people in your industry. The best way to find quality goods and services is to get a personal referral or reference. You probably have contacts in your industry who have hired a managed IT services company. How did they find the company they use? What do they think about working with them? While your needs may mean that you do not hire the same firm that was recommended, starting with the people you know can get you started with a list of companies to contact about the IT services they provide.
- Make sure the company understands your industry. The IT services that are needed differ greatly from one industry to another. You want the people who develop and maintain your IT infrastructure to totally understand what you do and what you need. Medical offices have much different IT services needs than clothing manufacturers or agricultural businesses.
- Get references from companies in your industry. When you talk to reputable managed IT service firms, they should be willing to give you references. General references can tell you a lot about what it is generally like to work with the firm, these people can speak to the IT services company’s professionalism, response time and basic work ethic. You need, however, to talk to companies that are in your industry. If you run a medical office, you want to talk to their other clients who work in health related fields, for example. This will give you a better idea of how well they understand what you do and what you will need. They may have testimonials on their website, you should make a point of checking them.
- Make sure you understand your own needs. Before you talk to any IT services provider, you should spend some time thinking about what your actual needs are. You know what you and your company does every day but you may not give much thought to the things you do instinctually. Make a list of your priorities for your IT services. Think about what improvements you would like to see in your technology. If you are not totally sure what you need, you will be unable to effectively communicate your needs with your IT services provider and you will end up unhappy and they will end up unhappy.
- Ask how they normally communicate with their clients. How much information do you want about how your system works? Some people just want it to work without hearing all of the details of what makes it work. Others want to know as much as possible. Think about how much you are going to want to be informed about your computer network and system.
- Ask about the fee structure. Of course you want to know the price of every service you use for your business. The thing is that unlike other services, your IT needs may change from month to month and have different elements. There may be an initial cost for the evaluation of your initial IT situation and then to overhaul and improve it. If you are using IT a consulting company to help move your operations or storage to a cloud services provider, there will be costs associated with that. You may need emergency IT services and should know what the pricing will be for that, is it included in a fee you pay every month?
If you do some work and research, you will find the right IT services firm for your business.