A Guide To Choosing The Best Outsourced IT Support Services
Businesses have always needed to be dynamic and forward-thinking. Yet, as the digital landscape has evolved, staying ahead of the curve has become more challenging. This situation has been further exacerbated by our reliance on technology. Without the help of outsourced IT support services, your operations may be at risk of data loss or even downtime.
In the digital age, the need for in-house technical support has become universal. Information technology is no longer the responsibility of tech-based businesses. The realities of the modern business world have made technology an essential component. Without it, most businesses would simply grind to a halt.
Partnering with an IT support company can be a daunting process. With a number of different factors to consider, such as ensuring the IT company has the right accreditations and expertise, it’s crucial you do your due diligence when choosing your IT partner. It’s also important to make sure your chosen partner is reliable and reputable with a swift response time. You need to be confident in your professional relationship going forward, and that the values of your chosen company align with your own business.
Should I hire outsourced IT support services for my business?
Every business exists to fill a niche in the market. However, very few have the in-house expertise to stay ahead of the modern tech curve. This is where outsourced IT support services really shine.
On a basic level, IT support is a broad term encompassing any form of support related to technology. It comes in all different shapes and sizes, from updating new security software to helping an employee recover a password. However, to a larger extent, IT support is much more than the provision of technical solutions. It provides businesses with the resources and support they need to quickly resolve technical issues, cement continuity and ultimately give back the time they may be losing day-to-day due to unforeseen IT problems.
So if you’re asking yourself whether or not your business would benefit from partnering with an IT support company, the answer is a resounding yes. When it comes to meeting modern business demands, IT support can be a great way of tending to your digital needs and helping your business achieve its long-term goals. Depending on your level of service, support can also be requested at any time, from anywhere. As a result, your employees can count on a quick, reliable resolution. This can ultimately improve productivity, job satisfaction and engagement.
There are two primary types of IT support – outsourced and in-house. Outsourced IT support services are external to your business. This is in contrast to having an in-house specialist, team or department. Also known as a managed service provider (MSP), an outsourced IT company will assist with anything technical. This could include your network security or the installation of new IT infrastructure. They’ll also ensure your network is functioning as it should and remains secure. Outsourced services can be provided both onsite and remotely, although this usually depends on the task at hand.
How can outsourcing improve your business operations?
When it comes to ensuring your business is optimised, productive and efficient, outsourced IT services really are the driving force. Outsourcing your IT services provides your business with an efficient way of keeping up to date as technology evolves. As IT support companies work with a broad base of clients, they can also use their size and scale to invest in the latest infrastructure and upgrade outdated technologies. This means you can focus on what matters – growing your business and working towards success.
How do I choose an outsourced IT support service?
The IT needs of every business will differ. This is why it’s important to align the values and goals of your own company with your IT partner. Essentially, you must consider whether your chosen IT partner can meet the needs of your business.
For example, does your chosen IT partner have experience with your operating system? This is especially relevant if your business has custom applications and specialised software. If your IT company cannot support your network, your continuity may suffer further down the line.
So how should you choose an IT partner?
When it comes to choosing an IT support partner, it may be tempting to opt for a new, up-and-coming company. However, for something so important, it’s vital you choose a well-established business. A reputable, established business will have plenty of experience.
You might also like to look for a company with specific expertise in your industry. Many companies will specialise in specific sectors such as insurance, healthcare or finance.
You might like the idea of partnering with a London-based IT company. After all, the best and brightest are in the big city, right? Think again!
Sure, there are many IT companies in London that no doubt would do a great job supporting your business. Certainly, if your business is near London, then hiring a company based there would make sense. However, what about businesses in the South West? Or even the Midlands?
In the long run, it makes more sense to partner with a local company. Even if you think you’ll never need onsite support, there will come a point when your IT company will need to visit.
Remote support is possible. Yet, in many scenarios, your business may need onsite support from specialist engineers. You might meet with your partner to discuss network performance. There are also repairs, maintenance and installations to consider.
This is why regardless of whether you think you need it, it’s important to choose a partner local to your business.
It doesn’t matter how amazing your IT support company is. At some point, your business is going to experience a technical issue.
From the internet to the hardware we use, most modern businesses are wholly reliant on IT. Fortunately, with the right IT company, solutions are often readily available.
Your chosen IT partner should be reliable with efficient response times. This is why before you sign anything, it’s important to ask how quickly your chosen company will respond to any technical challenges. Ideally, they should be able to provide you with a service level agreement. This means your IT company will be contractually obligated to provide you with assistance within a specific time frame.
It’s also important to ask plenty of questions…
- How fast do they typically respond when problems occur?
- Will the issue be resolved quickly once it’s known to you?
- How long will it take for the issue to be resolved if you require onsite support?
The responsiveness of an IT company will differ depending on the issue. However, there is nothing worse than finding out it takes 24 hours for your provider to respond to unexpected downtime.
Most outsourced IT support services will offer multiple levels of services – but the services your business needs will vary from the needs of other companies. Fortunately, most IT support companies offer bespoke packages, meaning your services and solutions will be tailored to the needs of your business.
The level of technical support you choose should support your business fully. This means in times of crisis, your business shouldn’t have to pay extra to get the support you need. This is also why it’s important to consider the size of your business in comparison to your IT support company. How many engineers and technicians do they have readily available to assist you? Will they be able to scale up to meet your needs as your business grows?
Doing your due diligence will ensure your IT support partner has the means to support you and your team. Other questions you should ask include…
Will I have a dedicated account manager?
If your business is partnered with an IT support company, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been working with them – you should have a dedicated account manager. It’s important they have a representative at their company you can approach for both support and any general queries you may have. Your account manager should also be aware of your long-term goals. Ensuring your IT partner will provide you with a dedicated account manager will ensure you have someone to call in times of crisis who knows your business, your operations and your values like the back of their hand and can provide you with the support you need.
How much will it cost?
IT support is often billed per user, per month, but before signing your contract, make sure you double-check there are no hidden costs or fees. A reputable IT support company will be upfront about how much they will be charging you.
Do you offer 24/7 support?
Regardless of your operating hours, you might want to consider 24/7 support. Ensuring your IT support provider offers 24/7 support will mean your business benefits from round-the-clock management and maintenance. It also means they’ll be able to spot issues with your network and resolve any potential issues before they escalate.
Will you audit my network?
It’s crucial your IT support company offer regular audits, including an initial IT audit. This will ensure your IT support company not only know and understand your IT infrastructure thoroughly but can also identify any areas that require attention. An audit should include evaluating your current setup and whether or not it requires updating. In doing so, your managed IT support will be able to strategise accordingly and create a bespoke IT roadmap that supports your technology and helps achieve the long-term goals of your business.
Do you have any reviews I can read?
Although searching for your company online and reading reviews is an option, nothing beats a review from a real client. Talking in person or over email is the best possible testimony you could receive. It can also reveal the reality of working with your IT support company. A company with happy customers and clients should be comfortable with you contacting those clients and discussing their experiences.
It’s equally important to watch for an IT company’s reaction when asking this question. If your company gets defensive, then you might like to investigate further before signing anything.
Outsourced IT support services at Acronyms
In the business world, there has always existed a need to be innovative and dynamic. However, as the digital landscape has evolved and grown, it’s become increasingly difficult to stay ahead of the curve. This has been further exacerbated by our reliance on technology, which continues to put modern businesses at risk of downtime and data loss.
The demand for IT support has increased significantly in the digital era – and it’s not hard to see why. After all, it’s senseless to invest in the latest technology without hiring a digital caretaker to manage and maintain it. These days, tech-based companies are no longer solely responsible for the provision, management and upkeep of information technology. Today, IT infrastructure is a necessary element due to the realities of the modern corporate environment. Without it, most businesses would simply grind to a standstill.
From increased productivity to happier employees, your business can only stand to gain from hiring an IT support company. Fortunately, when your organisation needs a swift response to a technical issue, Acronyms are here to help.
Acronyms have been delivering a range of outsourced IT support services to businesses across the South West since 2003. Specialising in hassle-free, effective IT solutions, we deliver some of the very best IT solutions the region has to offer with a guaranteed response time of fewer than four hours.
If you have any questions about our IT support services or are ready to book your initial consultation, get in touch with the team at Acronyms today.
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