Are you looking for an IT consulting firm to assist your business?
An IT consulting firm can help you handle the tech aspects that all businesses require. If you need to troubleshoot your computers, they’ll help you do it.
If you need to set up a server or upgrade your internet speeds, they’ll help you with it. If you need to buy new tech, they’ll give you the best recommendations.
But how do you go about picking IT consulting firms?
Here’s what you need to know:
1. What’s Their Employment Status?
Before you sign up for computer services you want to learn about what the employment status will be for the IT consultants.
For example, if the IT consultants will be classified as employees you’ll have to expect the following:
- You have to pay them a regular salary
- You’ll have to handle their tax obligations
- You’ll have to adhere to regulations and laws in dealing with W2 workers
With a contractor, you have a lot more freedom. They will handle their own tax obligations. But you can’t always expect them to be on-call. You have to work with them to determine their schedule beforehand to see if it works with yours.
2. Protecting Your Accounts
You also have to make sure that your IT consulting firm will not try to compromise your accounts.
Your IT consultants will have access to your company’s internet accounts. This means that they can access email accounts, social media profiles, or your website hosting account.
You want to make sure they work to protect your accounts. You need to make sure they don’t share any of your data with third parties.
Make sure you research the IT consulting firm to see if there have been any privacy violations that they’ve been involved in. You want to ask them about how they protect your internet accounts from hackers as well.
3. Do They Offer Training?
While your IT consulting firm will handle the challenging work, you can’t always depend on them. You want your team members to know the basics of IT troubleshooting.
This can include resetting passwords, installing hardware and software, fixing internet issues, etc.
You want to choose an IT consulting firm that’ll teach your team members these common IT issues. This shows that the IT consulting firm cares about your company’s daily operations.
If they aren’t willing to train your staff, it shows that they want to make as much money as possible. You shouldn’t have to depend on them for trivial issues.
Make sure that the IT consulting firm develops a relationship with each of your team members. Your team members should feel comfortable speaking to the firm whenever they have any issues.
4. Request a Confidentiality Agreement
You want to make sure that you can get a confidentiality agreement signed by the IT consulting firm.
The IT consulting firm will have many clients—many of whom might be your competitors! This can lead to unethical competitors requesting private information about your company.
This returns to the importance of picking IT consulting firms that don’t try to compromise your data.
Request the firm to sign a confidentiality agreement. In this agreement, they should agree to never share your company’s data with your competitors. Even casual information about how your company operates should be kept a secret from competitors.
5. Discuss the Scope of Work Beforehand
Before you hire an IT consulting firm, you want to discuss the Scope of Work. This will then get included in a binding contractual agreement.
This refers to the duties and responsibilities that the IT consulting firm will have.
It’s important that you don’t leave anything out in this agreement. Otherwise, you might find that they’re reluctant to complete any task that isn’t detailed in the Scope of Work Agreement.
Here are some examples of what you can include in the Scope of Work:
- Installing and upgrading an internet connection
- The building or repairing of computers
- Offering recommendations for tech products
- Protecting against viruses, malware, hacks
- Training team members
- Setting up servers
- Creating internet accounts
- Onboarding new employees
You want to think about all the tasks that you and your team members can’t do. You also want to think about what tasks should be outsourced for the sake of efficiency.
For example, as a CEO do you want to stress about upgrading your internet speeds? Do you have time to find the best VPN for your business?
These are all tasks that the IT consulting firm can assist with. Make sure you discuss their previous experience with these tasks as well. You want to choose an IT consulting firm that has considerable experience with your Scope of Work.
6. How Much Will This Cost?
Money will always be a factor and you need to consider it when picking IT consulting firms. You’ll want to make sure you go about comparing consulting fees.
You want to make sure that you never go for the cheapest option available. If you do, you’ll end up with mediocre service.
But you also want to make sure that the IT consulting firm isn’t overcharging you. They should offer different packages to accommodate the size of your business.
You want to ask if there are discounts or if you can purchase services a la carte. If you choose a firm that works with consultants, they’ll be more likely to negotiate prices.
You want to make sure you can cultivate a relationship with your IT consulting firm for the long run.
This saves you from having to pay exorbitant fees or higher fees as your business grows. You want to ask if you can be “grandfathered” in for pricing as well.
That’s How You Go About Picking IT Consulting Firms
Now you know the guidelines for picking IT consulting firms. Make sure you please share this guide with your fellow entrepreneurs.
Make sure you assess the IT consulting firm by learning about what services they offer. Figure out if they can help you with the most common IT issues that your business has.
If they offer great customer service, they’ll work well as IT consultants. If not, give them a pass!
You can find more advice on running your business on our website!