5 Critical Questions to Ask Your Next IT Support Partner

Two pictures of a small business who is conversing with an IT support partner

More businesses than ever before are outsourcing their technology needs to a third-party provider throughout the past few years. The reason is that it is a much more budget-friendly and convenient way to get access to advanced IT solutions, but the development of IT support companies is on the rise. 

Let’s be honest; small businesses need access to quality and reliable IT support. And with so many varying options to choose from, it can be challenging to know where to start finding the right company for you. When searching for your next managed service provider (MSP), finding a team that’s both reliable and scalable is crucial. If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of outsourcing your IT support needs to a trusted provider, check out our article here

Quality IT Support for Small Business Growth

Below we’ve compiled a list of key questions you should ask before choosing an IT support company for your small business.

What Services Does Your Company Provide?

There are many alternate names for IT support companies, including Managed Service Provider (MSP), IT services provider, IT consultants, and many other variants. Along with that, all companies vary in how they structure their organization as they come in different shapes and sizes. With that said, the overarching theme is that an MSP keeps your entire company network up and running. From daily troubleshooting to cloud data storage, server management, cybersecurity, network infrastructure planning, and much more, a quality IT provider can handle all of your technology needs.

When you work alongside an MSP, you’re able to hand over all of your IT needs to a team of certified experts. Instead of having one or two in-house IT employees who have to run around all day trying to solve every challenge, you can outsource a fully staffed remote team. Even if you already have a team in-house that you’d like to move forward with, you have the option to supplement your current team with extra tech expertise; this is referred to as co-managed IT.

How Do Your Pricing Plans Work?

Managed Services pricing can sometimes be confusing, which is why you must find a company that offers an easy-to-digest and straightforward pricing structure. Some IT providers will try to hide their pricing until the last minute or will use expensive flat hourly rates that tend to add up quickly. When it comes to pricing, listen closely to their pricing structure and be sure to ask plenty of questions. There isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to IT support, and each plan should be customized to the needs of the client, so be sure to look at all of your possibilities.

What’s Your Typical Onboarding Timeline?

The onboarding process can most definitely seem like a daunting process, but a skilled and experienced MSP should be able to make it as painless as possible. Of course, setting up networks for remote hosting and troubleshooting does require some time and effort. Once your initial setup is complete, you should have full access to help desk support while the MSP ties up any loose ends behind the scenes.

Do You Support “XYZ” Application?

Your managed service provider should be able to confidently say that they can support a range of applications across all industries. They should be able to support something as simple as Microsoft 365 and Adobe, to meeting HIPPA compliance standards or managing proprietary Windows-based state tax software. You also shouldn’t have any challenges as to whether you’re a Linux or Mac user; the most qualified IT providers should be experienced with all of today’s operating systems.

What Separates You From the Competition?

IT support companies are continually developing across the board, with everyone promising the best data backup and recovery, the most network up-time, the quickest cloud speeds available, etc. Most MSPs use the same technology to be completely transparent, except for smaller businesses that don’t have access to more sophisticated solutions. Regardless of your size, though, what separates one company from the rest is high-quality customer service. Accuracy, quick response time, and overall care are crucial when working alongside an IT provider. Each member of the team should know that customer experience is the absolute top priority. A server is a server at the end of the day, but a reliable technician and help desk team isn’t always guaranteed.

Choosing the Right IT Support Partner for Your Small Business

At the end of the day, you want to work alongside an IT provider that best suits your needs. Any good MSP will provide straightforward, well-thought-out answers as to why you can trust them with such an imperative piece of your business. Your organization runs on technology, so be sure you spend adequate time and effort seeking the perfect provider for you.

If your small business is interested in learning more about how you can better optimize your business operations, our team is happy to offer insight and guidance into your technology. At Parried, our services are designed to scale with your business as it grows. We act as an extension of your business as your complete IT partner, providing our services with your best interests in mind. Learn more about how we can help you today by seeing if you qualify for an IT Consultation.