When you’ve reached the point when you need to hire IT support, you have a goal in mind or serious immediate needs, or maybe both. Either way, the IT support firm you choose has the ability to change the course of your business for years to come.
Approach hiring IT support just like you would an employee. Have a job description. Know what you expect. Have a budget in mind. And, have an evaluation rubric to assess performance.
What’s the job description?
Defining a job description for your prospective IT support company helps you clarify the services you need and expect. Plus, it will serve as a checklist as you meet with firms to determine whether they have/offer the IT support services you need.
If you’re unsure your “description” covers all the bases, talk to the employee who steps in as the tech person now. Add what he or she does or struggles with to your master list of what you expect IT support do to for your company’s productivity and growth. Finally, talk to other employees to get a sense of technology issues that frustrate them or inhibit them from efficiently doing their jobs.
What do you expect from IT support in the short and long term?
Ideally, your IT support firm will play a role in your long-term business plan. Even your short-term needs build a foundation from which you can grow.
For example, resolving software glitches, stopping networks from constantly going down, backing up critical data or giving your staff remote access are short-term needs. However, once these issues are fixed, your business is in a much better position in terms of efficiency, service, productivity and profitability. For the most part, any reputable IT support company can handle short-term needs like those above.
But, let’s look at the long-term. Long-term needs might involve significant financial investments in hardware and software, such as computers, servers, routers, printers and business suites like Microsoft.
Decisions like these are made easier with expert guidance from techs with enterprise-level experience who have experience with:
- Assessing a company’s IT goals
- Evaluating workflow
- Understanding industry standards
- Improving user experience
- Prioritizing IT spending
- Developing a custom-built solution to perfectly fit a situation if warranted
With short- and long-term goals in mind, your IT support firm is ready to lead you in incremental steps at the right time in context of your bigger goals. Meaning, you’re creating a strong IT foundation versus starting from scratch every time you incorporate new technology.
What is your budget for IT support?
Think of IT support as a line item expense, like an employee’s salary. The salary part is the hard costs, but expect the unexpected glitches that pop up. After all, it’s technology and it breaks and becomes obsolete.
IT support firms that provide regular maintenance help keep your tech support costs under control by finding and resolving issues early. But even with ongoing maintenance, every day is an opportunity for problems to occur. The most careful employee can open a virus attachment. Hardware can go kaput.
How will you perform evaluations and assess performance?
Your IT support firm should be your partner, and as such should be aligned with your company’s mission and goals. Whether your expectations are for your IT support to put out fires or provide highly specialized tech services, evaluate the firm’s performance.
An IT support company that has your best interest at heart will welcome the opportunity for feedback and will proactively adjust to your needs now and in the future.
Contact us whenever you’re looking for a tech support company for your business.