Ask These Questions when looking for an IT Service Provider

By Ryan Klund - Business Development Associate

Finding the right IT service provider is like shopping for a new car. Outsourced IT is big and important purchase for your company, just like a new car is for your life. When investing in either, you need to be sure you know what’s under the hood, you need to know that features match up with your needs and that you’re getting a good value for your investment.

Using an IT service provider to replace on-premise IT staff or supplement an existing IT department can oftentimes be a good investment for a company. The cost for an IT service provider is less than hiring an IT expert or help desk staff, however the investment is still very large and there are many companies to choose from.

At SWICKtech, we’ve put together what we think are the best questions to ask when shopping for an IT service provider.

  1. How is everything documented?

IT Documentation is the process of writing down procedures, steps, details, and information for every IT process at a company. Thorough documentation is a mark of true professionalism and is critical to ensuring success at any company, especially in the IT world.

We’ve seen companies lose thousands of dollars because information wasn’t recorded properly by their former IT service provider. Without proper IT documentation, if an employee leaves or forgets something, replacing equipment or infrastructure could be the only option.

  1. What ticketing system do you use? What are the help desk hours?

An incredibly frustrating situation for any business leader would be having technology issues and having no one to help fix the problem. Finding the right IT service provider means entering a partnership where you know help desk staff are available when your business is open and issues will be solved quickly by technology experts.

Be sure you know the expected response time for emergencies and general requests to your IT service provider and learn about the ticketing system used. It is important that requests can be done simply and quickly by your employees.

  1. What backup solution are you using? What’s our RPO and RTO?

There are many reasons a backup solution for data is paramount for an organization. Crypto and ransomware attacks are on the rise, employees can make mistakes or worse, disgruntled employees can cause immeasurable damage to your company if data is destroyed.

Now, more than ever, the ability to access company data from anywhere at anytime is important for your employees and a thorough backup option can keep business going in the event of a disaster.

When diving into backup solutions in a conversation with a potential IT service provider, Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO) are important things to know about their backup solutions. Recovery Point Objective is the point to which is backed up, and Recovery Time Objective is the amount of time it will take to recover the backed-up data.

  1. What Tools Will You Use to Ensure Our Safety from Cyber Threats?

In today’s security landscape, with ransomware and cyber-attacks threatening small and medium-sized businesses at an alarming rate, it takes an IT expert with deep security knowledge and an ability to stay up to date with the most recent security tools to keep your business safe. 

One of the benefits of partnering with an IT service provider is that your business can potentially have a cybersecurity expert looking out for your assets. Ask about the IT service provider’s staff expertise and the tools they are deploying. At a minimum, the IT service provider should talk about Foothold Detection, Multifactor Authentication, Advanced Threat Protection and email authentication tools.

At SWICKtech we’re confident in our ability to provide top-notch IT service for any organization and we hope you find the right fit for your business. We would love to start a conversation with you about outsourcing IT.

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