In the ever-evolving world of technology, there is the potential to innovate and develop opportunities beyond our wildest dreams. Unfortunately, with every positive comes a negative. That rapidly changing technology can place small businesses at a disadvantage if they cannot manage their services and protect their businesses from hackers. Rather than attempting to manage one’s IT services alone or taking on the cost of hiring an in-house IT team, small businesses can benefit significantly from outsourcing to an IT services provider. How does one find the right provider who will meet their unique needs? Today, we share the five steps to choosing the ideal IT services provider for your business. 

5 Steps to Choose the Right IT Services Provider for Your Business

#1: Research IT Services Provider Companies Who Work with Similar Businesses

As with hiring anyone to be a part of your team, it is vital to thoroughly research a potential company before initiating communication. We suggest looking for an IT services provider who serves companies similar to your own. Aspects we recommend considering include the basics of industry type and company size, but you will also want to consider the working environment, such as remote, hybrid, or traditional office spaces. 

#2: Review Credentials, Certifications, & Ongoing Education Practices

After you have compiled a list of potential options, it is time to check their credentials. We suggest reviewing their experience, certifications, licenses, and ongoing education practices to ensure they are up-to-date with industry standards and are continually learning to keep up with the ever-changing digital landscape. 

#3: Meet with Potential IT Services Provider Companies Tri Cities IT Service Provider working on a client

After you have identified a variety of IT services provider options, we recommend meeting, virtually or in person, with each one for an in-depth interview. If you have minimal technical experience, we suggest bringing your company’s current IT specialist to sit in on the meeting to act as a “translator” if need be. During the meeting, we recommend speaking with your potential hire about the following topics:

How Do They Formulate the Right Strategy for a Business

Everyone company is unique, which requires a customizable approach to an IT services provider plan. In addition to asking questions about their disaster recovery plan and back-up procedures, we recommend investigating how they develop their IT strategy, adapt to business changes, and communicate with department leaders to ensure quality service. 

A critical aspect to note during a meeting is how they approach you. You want your potential IT services provider to be asking lots of questions as well: about your business, your future plans, your current procedures and systems, your IT needs, and more. You want them to be just as curious and invested in your business as you are in theirs. 

Identify Companies Who Offer Packages

While billing by the hour may seem like a reasonable request, we suggest avoiding companies that use this billing method. Why? When hiring an IT services provider, you want them to get the job done right the first time without needing to go back in to add things or “fix” things, as that is them racking up more hours. When you have a package approach, they get a flat fee no matter what, so they typically provide the highest-quality service the first time. 

Inquire about Alternative Services They Provide OR If They Outsource

Another warning sign is when an IT services provider offers alternative services. While jack-of-all-trade companies have their place, you don’t want this from this industry. If their attention is split among different task types, they are not fully invested in being a top-tier IT services provider. 

A final tip when meeting with potential hires is to investigate whether they hire contractors or outsource their services. Again, you want your hire to be fully invested in you, not piecing out services to other random individuals whose qualifications you cannot verify. An IT services provider should be 100% in-house. 

#4: Request a Variety of References & Follow Up

After you have had a good chat with your potential IT services provider applicants and they have passed all the topics above, it is time to do some additional investigation. First, you will want to request and follow up on a selection of references, at least three! While some spokespeople can spin pretty words, the proof is in the pudding. We recommend calling these references and verifying that the IT services provider’s work is worthwhile and effective. 

#5: Carefully Read Through Service Agreements

Before making that final hire decision, we recommend carefully reviewing your service agreement. Again, if you do not have a ton of technical experience, you may want to bring in a specialist to go over the jargon with you in layman’s terms. The service agreement should have clear expectations and services listed, as well as the consequences to hold the provider accountable should they fail to provide the performance they promised. 

IT Haven – An IT Services Provider You Can Trust

IT service provider IT Haven working for a client

At the end of the day, you want to rest assured that your technology is safe and serving you well. At IT Haven in Tri-Cities, our tailored, customized technology solutions, along with our IT support, will enhance the success of your business or organization! IT Haven provides Complete Network Infrastructure Solutions, including anti-virus and anti-malware, DNS filtering, encrypted email, dark web monitoring, HIPAA compliance, and even more. 

To make your small business a more efficient and secure organization, you can get started by booking a free consultation with us. We look forward to answering your questions and learning more about your company.