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Our Top 5 Questions to Ask a Managed IT Services Provider
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Our Top 5 Questions to Ask a Managed IT Services Provider

When you outsource your IT support, repair, and network management to a partner business, you'll want to get the best quality of service for your budget. Reviews, word-of-mouth, and adverts can tell you a lot when choosing a provider. However, they won't always paint a complete, clear picture of the 'real' company. Even if you're dealing with a universally-acclaimed, five-star business, they might not be an exact fit for you and your companies' needs - IT support companies specialise in different areas, such as hardware support, server network administration, or collaboration tools. Here are five questions to use as starting points when chatting to prospective managed IT providers.

Guide To Choosing An IT Support Company

1. Can You Provide Us With a Portfolio And References? 

One of the best ways to quickly find out the quality, competence, and track record of your IT support and services provider is to ask for a full dossier of completed work, good client feedback, and evidence of ongoing customer contracts. 

Every decent supplier that's been trading for over a year should be able to show you how they implement their support, how it works in practice, and how they've met the needs and enhanced the productivity of other SMEs. Make sure to keep a close lookout for 'selective' presentations of work and gaps in the trading history they chose to show to you, too.

2. What Aspects Of IT Infrastructre And Service Skills Do You Prioritise? 

It's crucial to match the IT skills of the company's staff to what your business needs. Your chosen service provider should be competent in dealing with your software, hardware, and trading practices. If your business relies on Microsoft software, for example, you’ll want a business with up to date, vendor-accredited training for the platforms you use, and certified partner status if possible. 

3. How Far Can Your Support Scale Up Or Down? 

Paying for services that don't match the level of IT support you need is a common mistake many SMEs make when taking out managed IT support for the first time. An excellent IT support company should be able to advise you on what you'll need and put together custom, targeted packages that match the level of support required, the scale of your work, and your estimated budget, with the flexibility to adjust your provision in line with your changing needs. 

4. Do You Outsource Or Automate Anything? 

Increasingly, IT support companies rely on miniature supply chains to deliver all the services modern, tech-powered businesses will need day-to-day. The rise of cloud technology is popularising off-site, automatic handling of core processes, apps, and data archiving. This can improve the efficiency and depth of your service, so long as the chain of accountability is maintained. 

5. Do You Offer Company Planning, Steamlining, Or Systems Optimisation? 

There's a big divide between IT companies that offer daily support and maintenance, and IT consultants that aim to optimise your IT investments and align your IT infrastructure with your business goals. Both elements of IT support are valuable. Some businesses offer both, but many specialise primarily in one or the other.

It should be clear on day one whether you're bringing in your provider to ensure your existing systems keep running smoothly - or to solve problems, upgrade tech, and build working solutions. TMB can provide both.

Managed IT Services And Support From TMB

At TMB, we specialise in supplying market-leading managed IT solutions to SMEs throughout the South of England. Contact us today to find out more.

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