Fuse is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, based in Northampton. We help organisations of all sizes to maximise IT efficiencies through the use of Microsoft cloud computing solutions.
5 Essential Questions to Ask a Managed IT Service Provider (Before You Sign A Contract!)
When you’re shopping around for a new IT support company, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting value for money. Although most are trustworthy, some might not be the right choice for your business. Providers specialise in diverse areas and often have differing support models, strategies, and approaches. There’s also the issue of setup and ongoing costs to consider when planning your managed IT budget. Here are five useful questions to ask before you commit to a service contract.
1) Can You Show Me Customer Reviews and Examples Of Your Past Work?
One of the best ways to determine whether a company will live up to their advertising is to ask them for concrete proof of quality. If your provider has been trading for more than a few months, they should be able to show you a portfolio of successful projects, implementations, and ongoing client services. If not, why not? You can also use third-party review sites to get a general feel for their reputation but beware of placing your trust in online reviews alone. It would help if you balanced these against testimonials and case studies provided by the business.
2) What Security Measures Do You Have In Place For Clients?
How will your provider protect your cloud data and remotely-managed internal networks? Are they fully GDPR compliant in how they handle user data? What apps do they use to encrypt, scan, and lock down your vital systems? Are they accredited by any third-parties (e.g. Microsoft)? These are critical issues, as it’s simply not worth taking any risks with your IT security.
3) What Will You Do To Minimise Downtime?
What strategies does the business have to ensure service continuity if they experience downtime on their side? For instance, how will they deal with sudden outages, peak traffic, off-peak periods (e.g. weekends, holidays), and glitches? Do they have any alternate sites, extra capacity, and rapid response plans in place? What happens if any data loss occurs?
4) How Can You Continue To Improve On What You Offer?
As technology changes and evolves, so should the advice, machines, and software maintenance provided by the support business. Your managed IT provider should always be able to talk you through how they keep client machines up to date, how they provide upgrades and onboarding, and any new services they’re planning to introduce.
5) Do You Outsource Any Of Your Services?
Sometimes, your provider will use contractors or partner businesses to get things done. This isn’t necessarily an issue, but your candidate should make their operative model clear before money changes hands, in the interest of transparency. Your provider should also be able to give you full references for the companies they use.
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