Subcontracting your information technology work to a local company can save your small business money, but the company you hire can make a big difference in how effective this type of outsourcing is. The following are a few things to consider when shopping for IT support services.
What is the smallest network they will service?
The reason why this is an important question is that there are many local companies that are simply desktop and laptop repair companies. They will fix your business's computers and remove malware or a virus, perhaps even install virus protection software, but they will not offer the range of services that a true IT support company will offer. A professional IT services and support company will usually have a minimum network of computers that they will offer their services for.
Are they familiar with your software?
It is imperative that a company understand how your software works, so they will be able to troubleshoot network issues, install new software, expand the number of computers and peripherals on your network as well as various other work that may be dependent upon knowledge of your company's network software. In addition, they should be familiar with your data storage system and your method of backing up data.
Are they familiar with all of your hardware?
Your computers are usually not as big of an issue as your server or servers that your company uses. This can present a problem for some IT companies, especially if it is old compared to the latest servers on the market. However, a company that has been in business for several years will be familiar with older equipment, and an experienced IT services company is what you want regardless of the hardware you have.
Do they offer cloud migration services?
At some point in the future, you may want to take your network and make it cloud based. There are tremendous advantages to doing this, but it takes a professional to help you migrate. A good IT services company can help with this transition. Of course, you will be still using an IT company for many other things, but not your software. Cloud-based computing is many things, but fundamentally it begins with using software as a service. Your cloud service provider will support the software, but you will still be using a local company for much of the rest of your IT needs after the migration is complete.
Along with the questions listed above, you want to make sure you hire a company that you can communicate with. Some technicians will talk in a language that only another IT professional can understand, but that doesn't help you at all. You should easily understand the services they are offering your business.