With so many IT companies out there, finding the right one can feel like a minefield. Fortunately, you can spot some of the worst pretty fast. If a service provider is any of the following, then steer clear.
Companies That Don't Answer Your Query
"Don't worry your heads about that; we'll take care of it."
Hiring an IT support company can make plenty of sense for SMEs, freeing up your teams to work on core business areas. Even so, it's important to have a clear idea of what the provider is doing and why. Companies that can't answer straightforward questions about how they'd manage your IT systems are unlikely to give you sensible responses when things go wrong and the heat is really on. There's no such thing as a stupid question when it comes to IT – but there can be a stupid answer.
Companies With No External Track Record
"Isn't our promise to you good enough evidence?"
Unscrupulous IT companies can easily put up websites that look superficially attractive – but can they back up their fine words with hard facts? Look for evidence of the company's customers, such as detailed case studies. Check for widely recognised industry accreditations, such as Microsoft Gold Partner status. If you can't find anything like that on the website, ask directly. If a company can't give you any details, or seems evasive when questioned, it's time to walk away.
Companies Who Take A Firefighting Approach
"Call us when your whole system is down, and not a minute sooner!"
That's what you don't want to hear from your IT support provider. As in medicine, prevention is better than cure, and waiting until there's a full-blown disaster on your hands can turn a small inconvenience into a major calamity. Good IT support providers won't dismiss a small problem but will do all they can to respond quickly and effectively before the trouble grows and spreads. They'll be there for you all the time, not just when things have reached crisis point.
Companies That Try And Blindside You With jargon
"It's time to detrunk the intra-packet with an agile exoskeleton!"
What does that mean? Nothing; we just made it up. But even in reality, poor IT support companies can make little more sense. Companies that take pride in being as obscure and "techy" as possible aren't likely to do your company much good. As in other spheres of business, clear communications are vital. When you're looking for a managed IT service provider, ask some questions and see whether their replies are in plain English that cuts through the jargon straight away.
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