5 Critical questions to ask your next IT support partner

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Businesses now more than ever are outsourcing their technology needs to a third-party provider. It has become more affordable and convenient to access advanced IT solutions. Yet, the development of IT support companies is still on the rise.

Let’s be honest; small businesses need access to quality and reliable IT support. With so many varying options, knowing where to start finding the right company for you can be challenging. 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 on the ins and outs of managed IT services.

Quality IT Support for Small Business Growth

Below is a list of critical questions you must 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. Additionally, all companies vary in how they structure their organization as they come in different shapes and sizes. 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 your technology needs.

When you work alongside an MSP, you can hand over all your IT needs to a team of certified experts. Instead of having one or two in-house IT employees running around all day solving every challenge, you have the option of outsourcing 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 opportunity to supplement your current team with extra tech expertise; in other words, this is 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 hide their pricing until the last minute or 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” in IT support – each plan is customizable per client, so be sure to look at all your possibilities.

What’s Your Typical Onboarding Timeline?

The onboarding process can seem daunting, 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 requires 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 the “XYZ” Application?​

Your managed service provider should be able to confidently say that they support a range of applications across all industries. They should be able to help with software like Microsoft 365 and Adobe to meet HIPPA compliance standards or manage proprietary Windows-based state tax software. Their service trains businesses to overcome challenges, whether you’re a Linux or Mac user; the most qualified IT providers have experience 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, network up-time, and quickest cloud speeds. 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, high-quality customer service separates one company from the rest. Accuracy, quick response time, and overall care are crucial when working alongside an IT provider. Each team member 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

You want to work alongside an IT provider that best suits your needs. Any good MSP will provide straightforward, well-thought-out answers 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 tailored services 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 a free IT Consultation.