Finding the Ideal IT Support Partner: Tips and Best Practices

June 23, 2020 0 Comments

Outsourcing IT support is a way for companies to shift focus toward their core competencies. Time and resources can be saved by accessing an external IT support company. As business functions need to be maintained consistently over time, having an additional source of expertise can improve business continuity management and disaster recovery plans. IT system’s TCO and other related costs are reduced through having an experienced external team using best practices to resolve technical issues and optimise enterprise application landscapes and IT infrastructure. Compliance and security is ensured through continual security control, monitoring tools using large-scale data and thorough audits by dedicated teams to identify critical issues. If necessary, business administration tasks, such as product configuration and user administration, can be supported to ensure seamless business processes.

On the other hand, outsourcing IT support can lead to improper internal quality control. Companies unable to provide an in-house product/service owner for product development and support vendor management may lose control over service quality. The daily progress of an outsourced tech support team might also experience a lack of control compared to that of an in-house team. Reaching full potential and benefits of an outsourcing support partner might be hampered if a wrong partner is chosen or if it’s an inexperienced service provider.

It may be difficult for businesses to know which IT support company is worth the expense. Here is a list of points to use for evaluating a future outsourcing IT support partner:

1- What pricing model does the company offer?

Matching the pricing model with a firm’s budget is one of the most important considerations. One-time fixes are suitable for SMEs that don’t need comprehensive support. Monthly and annual subscriptions are more cost-effective in the long run for clients needing routine maintenance and support. A one-time setup fee is also offered to create an account, but this cost should be measured in comparison to the size of the network and team participating.

2- How much industry experience does it have?

An established history and solid track record is preferable. A good technical background and relevant industry expertise for a client’s needs is a must. It is good practice to check whether the previous clients were happy with the company’s services. The company should be transparent about their success rate, reviews and references to demonstrate their reputation to give reliable support.

3- What is its support quality?

Being able to fix critical issues quickly and efficiently is a good indicator of a professional technical support service. Free or reduced-cost trial periods, if offered, can be a good way to evaluate its services before entering a contractual partnership. Certification demonstrates top-of-the-market knowledge its technicians have and is another key indicator of a high-quality IT support service. Security through encrypted connections is also crucial as valuable information will be remotely accessed through servers.

4- What are its tech services?

The market is considerably fragmented with many external service providers, and tech services can vary widely in scope and specialisation. A clear specification of what kind of IT support partner is ideal. Services can range from diagnostics and maintaining business-critical network environments to remote or on-site user support and IT-security. Overall, the services should offer the ability to focus on aspects such as availability, uptime, security and redundancy.

5- Is its service customisable?

If the service is customisable, there are more opportunities for clients to find a plan that suits their needs without paying for non-essential costs. Smaller issues can be solved by IT support services offering self-help tools that the company can use on their own. If on-site maintenance is required consistently, an as-needed service with a customisable structure is more desirable. Another approach is using direct access to specialists and services after taking into account the requirements presented in the client’s account profile. This encourages more direct contact with technical expertise without having to wait on a service representative.

Placing business-critical functions and valuable information in the hands of an external party can be fairly worrying. To tackle any misgivings, companies should focus on matching the pricing models, industry experience, support quality and tech specialisation IT support partners offer with their particular needs. This can optimise costs and service times, while resolving issues proactively to ensure a highly functional IT environment.

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