COLUMN: Five key questions to ask your IT support company – Saddleworth Independent

WHEN choosing an IT support company, it’s important to dig deep and ask the right questions.
The wrong decision will cost you a significant amount of time, money, and productivity – not to mention it could also put your data at risk.
We’ve compiled a list of five key questions to ask an IT support company before you sign a contract:
1) Can you provide references?
Just as you require at least two references when hiring a new employee, you should ask an IT support company to provide contact details for a handful of businesses they have previously worked with.
Here are a few questions to ask:
• Did the IT company keep their promises?
• Were they responsive?
• Did they communicate clearly with you?
• Did they stay in budget?
• Would you use them again?
It’s also worth checking the IT company’s website for case studies and testimonials.
2) What does your average customer look like?
No two businesses are exactly the same but it’s definitely worth asking a prospective IT support company about their average customer to see if you are a good fit.
For example, if the company you are considering generally works with businesses much smaller than yours, they may not be able to meet your needs. However, if you’re in the start-up phase, it’s a good idea to look for a company that has experience working with start-ups and helping them to scale.
3) Can you help me choose the right software?
In this day and age, there are hundreds of different platforms competing for your attention which makes choosing the right one a rather confusing process. A good IT support company should be able to help you, especially if they partner with reputable software providers.
At Aspect IT, we have formed strategic partnerships with world-leading software companies including Sage Accounts, Microsoft, Zen Internet and SellerDeck.
4) What are your response times?
A guaranteed response time isn’t the same as a guaranteed fix time. You should be wary of IT support companies who promise to fix all your problems in five minutes flat – if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
Instead, look for a reasonable response time. This will often depend on the level of support you opt for; premium packages may offer responses within the hour, whereas lower-priced options may require you to wait up to 24 hours.
5) How flexible are your contracts?
The level of support you need can change pretty rapidly, especially in today’s volatile economy.
You should avoid strict, inflexible contracts where possible. It’s important to choose an IT support company who will let you scale your support to suit the evolving needs of your business.
 
Aspect IT, based in Springhead, offers IT support, cloud services, website design, software development and more. Find out more online www.aspectit.co.uk or call 0161 241 9050.
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