Or maybe you’re on the other end of the spectrum and you’ve realized that you just can’t afford to keep full-time IT professional on staff.
Regardless of the path that brought you here, you made the right choice. The ongoing support offered by managed service providers is truly the best option, both in terms of what it provides and what it costs, for your IT support.
But now you’ll have to deal with the tyranny of choice in this hyper-connected age, especially in a market as big as Chicago. You’ve got dozens of options to choose from, and you’re not an IT expert… how can you possibly tell which of the many IT companies available is the best fit for you?
Here are a few questions you should ask while interviewing your options to determine which companies are worth your time and which are likely to disappoint down the road.
“How long have you been in business?”
Over half of IT companies fail within 5 years of opening.
If the company you’re interviewing has been around for more than 5 years, that means they’ve been able to sustain a better balance of quality and cost than all the competitors they’ve seen fail in the 5+ years they’ve been around. That’s a good sign.
“Do you have experience specific to my industry?”
How long a MSP has been in business is an important factor, but bulk experience isn’t everything. Larger providers are impressive, often boasting a list of references hundreds of clients long. That doesn’t mean they’re the most qualified company for your specific needs.
A large MSP might have a lot of clients, but maybe the vast majority of those clients are hospitals and clinics, and you don’t belong to the healthcare field at all. You’d be better off with a smaller provider that has more direct experience with what you do and knows the nuances of your industry.
“Are onsite visits included in your flat rate, or do they cost extra?”
It’s fair to assume that the monthly flat rate offered by MSPs is as it seems to be advertising: you pay the same pre-determined amount every month in exchange for complete support.
Assumptions aren’t always correct. Often there are services that cost extra, and you would only know this if you had analyzed all the fine details of your contract. More likely you’ll find out when it’s time to pay up. This is a common practice with on-site visits, as providers will argue that the language in the contract regarding their flat-rate only applies to the remote services that make up the bulk of their business.
Be sure to ask beforehand: does their flat rate really cover everything?
You can give these questions a try by asking them to Aquarius Technology Solutions. Give us a call at (815) 261-9602 or send an email over to firstname.lastname@example.org.