As the landscape of IT infrastructure continues to change, more businesses are relying on managed IT services.
In fact, the US managed service market could grow at a CAGR of 6.3% between 2020 and 2025. Successfully deploying managed services could reduce IT costs by up to 45%. They could increase operational efficiency by up to 65%, too.
Not sure which managed IT company to hire? Here are 13 factors to keep in mind. With this guide, you can make a more informed choice for your business.
You can start cutting costs, boosting your productivity, all the while setting your team up for growth and success!
Keep reading to discover how to hire the best IT company today.
1. Turn to Your Professional Network
One of the easiest ways to start your search is to turn to your professional network.
Speak with other business owners in your area. Ask if they’re currently working with a managed IT company. Then, take the time to learn more about their experience.
Ask each business owner you speak with if they would recommend you work with the same company. Why or why not?
Ask if they’ve experienced any issues while working with the company, too. For example, you can ask about the team’s response times.
Speaking with other business owners can help you find a managed IT company that has a strong reputation in the area. You’ll have peace of mind choosing a company other businesses already trust.
At the same time, you can learn which managed IT service providers to avoid.
Ask your professional network about the negative experiences they’ve had. Which IT companies have they hired and fired? What went wrong?
Learning from their negative experiences can help you avoid wasting time. You can dodge managed IT service providers that fail to meet expectations.
If your professional network can’t make a recommendation, that’s okay. Instead, Google “IT Support Near Me.” Start making a list of companies to vet.
Don’t hire the first local IT company you find online. Instead, use the rest of these tips to narrow down your options.
Otherwise, you could end up in a stressful situation, too.
2. Look for Larger Companies
There are now over 882,300 IT tech support specialists throughout the US. Not every managed IT company will have a huge team of specialists, though.
As you research each local IT company, consider their staff. How many technicians do they currently employ?
A company with a small team of technicians might struggle to respond quickly when you have an emergency. What if all of their technicians are already responding to tickets? What if none of their technicians are in the office when you call?
You’ll have to sit and wait for the help you need.
Unfortunately, waiting for help could cost your business. Consumers could grow frustrated with the technical difficulties they’re experiencing. They might turn away from your business to find help elsewhere.
Your competitors could start gaining those clients for themselves.
Before that can happen, research each IT company on your list. Look for a large team. Larger teams will have more availability.
You can find a technician who can respond immediately to your needs.
You don’t have to choose the largest local IT company you find, though. Instead, learn more about the technicians on staff. What experience do they have?
Look for technicians who have experience and expertise. Consider their credentials, too. For example, some technicians might have additional training you can rely on.
Finding a company with technicians who have knowledge in a range of subject matters can give you peace of mind. Regardless of the help you need, you’ll have someone you can call.
3. Determine Their Experience
As you start narrowing down your options, ask each managed IT company about their experience. Do they have experience helping companies within your industry?
Choosing a company that’s worked with businesses in your industry can benefit your business in the long run. The IT department will understand your company’s distinct needs. They’ll likely have more intimate knowledge about the systems you use, too.
Your managed service provider will have an easier time anticipating the problems you might experience. Then, they can create an IT strategy to help you avoid those problems.
With their help, you can improve your operations and avoid unnecessary downtime.
It also helps to find a long-established IT support business, too. Ask each business how long they’ve run and operated. Then, ask how many clients they’ve helped within that time.
Some businesses pop up overnight, then take a client’s money or infiltrate their systems. Don’t take that risk. Instead, look for a local IT company that’s worked within the industry for years.
Check their credentials, too. Make sure the company has a license to operate. Look for a company that has insurance as well.
If a technician is injured while working on your property, they won’t hold you liable. Their worker’s compensation insurance will take care of it.
4. Consider Response Times
Remember, larger teams will have more availability. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll have quick response times, though. Instead, take the time to determine how long it takes each company to respond to a ticket.
The longer it takes the IT provider to respond, the more downtime you’ll experience. Your team’s productivity will plummet, impacting your bottom line.
Instead, look for a company that can respond quickly to the problems you’re experiencing.
Try to find a company that offers 24-hour monitoring. Though you don’t work 24 hours a day, your system does. Finding a managed IT company that offers 24-hour services can ensure your business is always up and running.
If there’s ever a problem, they’ll start troubleshooting the issue right away. You can start reducing your downtime and improving your ROI.
5. Review Their Services
Before choosing a local IT company, make a list of the services you need.
For example, you might want to consider security services.
Over 40% of cyberattacks now target small businesses. Unfortunately, only 14% of small businesses feel prepared to mitigate risks and vulnerabilities.
About 60% of businesses go out of business after a cyberattack, too.
If your business keeps falling victim to cyberattacks, your customers will take notice. They might not trust you with their private information anymore. They could start trusting your competitors instead.
The best IT company will have the services you need to improve your operations. Their security services will keep your systems and customers safe.
Ask about disaster recovery planning, too. What happens if there’s a storm, outage, or vandalism?
Your IT company can help you plan for these emergencies. They’ll ensure your company is prepared to recover after any disaster.
Consider looking for a company that offers cloud services. Moving to the cloud can boost your company’s productivity. Your team can start working remotely, which could reduce overhead costs.
You can also better ensure your data’s safety and security.
Make sure they offer daily backups as well. Having a backup of your company’s data will give you peace of mind.
Making a list of the services you need will help you find the right managed IT services for your business.
6. Ask About Levels of Support
Once you determine the services you need, you’ll have an easier time determining the level of support you need. These levels include:
- Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)
- Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)
- Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)
Your managed IT service provider can review each option with you. They’ll help you develop a customized IT plan based on your needs.
No two companies are different. You have distinct needs based on your operations and business plan. Your IT services provider should keep your needs and goals in mind when developing your plan.
If they don’t, they likely don’t have your business’s best interests in mind.
Look for a company that will work with you. Their partnership will benefit your business in the long run.
7. Request a Dedicated Expert
Ask each managed IT company on your list if you’ll work with a dedicated technician. Who will you speak with each time you call?
You don’t want to speak to someone different every time you have an IT problem. Each technician will have to learn about your business and IT plan. That could waste valuable time if you’re dealing with an outage.
Instead, ask for a dedicated support specialist. They’ll have an intimate understanding of your business and IT needs.
Try to learn more about the technician’s work history, too. Remember, you’ll benefit from finding someone with experience in your industry. They’ll have a better understanding of the technologies you use.
Instead of wasting time, they can save you time by determining the solutions you need.
8. Understand Their Process
Ask each managed IT service provider about their process. For example, what happens if you’re having IT issues? Will you call the business directly, email them, or submit a ticket online?
Make sure you don’t end up on the line with a call center. You don’t want someone pushing your call between contacts. Instead, look for an IT provider that has an efficient, user-friendly setup.
Ask if you’re allowed to contact your dedicated technician directly.
Otherwise, you could waste time on the phone, trying to call for help.
Ask about their procedures for handling tasks as well. Each company might have a different course of action when troubleshooting IT problems. Make sure their process is efficient without impacting your team.
9. Consider Your Setup
Remember, your business is unique. It’s important to find IT services that suit your needs and infrastructure. As you speak with each team, ask if they’re familiar with the systems you use.
If they’re not familiar with your system, they could waste time troubleshooting the problem. Their lack of familiarity could cause your downtime to increase.
Instead, choose someone with experience and expertise relevant to your business.
Ask each IT provider how they would improve your setup, too.
They shouldn’t suggest a long list of improvements. Instead, the best IT company will make suggestions based on your goals. They’ll ensure you only spend money on the programs and equipment you need.
10. Find Remote Management
Look for a managed IT company that offers local, on-site maintenance and support. They might have an easier time updating your system.
Look for someone who offers remote management, too. If you have a sales team, they might need help outside of the office. Otherwise, they’ll waste time and gas returning to the office for IT help.
Remember, the best IT company is one that will suit your team’s needs. Finding someone who offers on-site and remote support can benefit your business.
11. Request References and Reviews
Look for a company that has a strong professional reputation. The best IT company will want to maintain that reputation. They’ll try to offer the best possible experience for every client as a result.
Ask each company for at least three references. Check online for reviews, too.
You can find reviews on the company’s Google My Business and Better Business Bureau listings. If the company has a complaint filed against them, scratch them off your list.
12. Ability to Innovate
You don’t want to fall behind the latest technology trends. Otherwise, your competitors might take the lead. Ask each company about the trends that are relevant to your industry.
Ask how those services and technologies might help your business, too.
The best-managed IT provider will remain up-to-date with the latest innovations. They’ll ensure your system remains efficient and relevant.
13. Review the Contract and Costs
Nearly 60% of businesses outsource to cut unnecessary expenses. Hiring your local IT company could help you save money, too. Before you choose a managed IT company, ask about their contract terms.
What’s included in the contract? Make sure to get an itemized list of all costs.
Then, ask each company about the payment plans and billing options they have available. Some will allow you to charge flat fees for specific services. Other companies will require you to pay by the hour.
Consider which plan best suits your needs and budget.
Search Smarter, Not Harder: 13 Tips for Finding the Best Managed IT Company
Finding a managed IT company doesn’t have to feel stressful. Instead, keep these 13 tips in mind. With these tips, you can find the best local IT company with your business’s needs and goals in mind.
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