Many small and medium-sized businesses can’t afford to hire full-time information technology staff. However, with effective IT outsourcing services, your company can benefit from a full-scale IT department while also lowering costs. But since not all IT firms are created equal, you must know how to choose a provider that’s best for your needs today and into the future. This article will show you what to look for in an outsourced IT services company based on your business’s needs.
What is IT Outsourcing?
In a nutshell, it is the process of working with a dedicated third-party provider that provides the various information technology services your company needs. So, unless you are a technology company or a relatively small, low-tech business, you can benefit from hiring an outsourced IT management company to help you with online security, application management, document storage, and more.
How to Choose the Right IT Managed Service Provider for You
It’s essential you know the right questions to ask and determine the correct perspective on your IT needs. Just because a provider offers enterprise-level services doesn’t mean you’ll actually need them or can even afford them at this time.
Ultimately, any worthwhile IT outsourcing business will deliver these three essential benefits:
- Save money with lowered costs
- Save time with increased efficiency
- Decrease risk with improved security
We have created a list of seven recommendations for rating the quality of any IT outsourcing company you may encounter. Each tip we present builds upon the prior one and encourages you to focus on the immediate needs while also making room to scale up as it grows.
1. Ask About Their Staff
You are focused on growing your company, but you may not have the funds to commit to an in-house IT department that can handle the daily IT operations and support large IT initiatives. Your company needs robust IT services to be successful, which means asking the outsourced IT provider about its capabilities, including:
- The right people – Technology Specialists for every business situation
- The right places – Office locations and remote capabilities
- The right amount – Enough people to do all the work without any gaps in services
If they can’t prove they have the staff to do the work, you need to seek solutions elsewhere.
2. Check Their Experience and Education
A worthwhile IT outsourcing company should share its depth of expertise, including the number of years in operation and the types of clients assisted. But just because an organization has been active for several years, complete with talented senior leadership, it doesn’t make them the right partner for your business.
You should only work with a company that can prove:
- Industry-specific knowledge, multifaceted experience
- Knowledge of current and emerging technology
- Necessary and value-added IT certifications
We’re not saying you should investigate the resumes of each candidate. Instead, ensure the IT firm is transparent about what they can do for you.
3. Assess Their Capabilities
After you determine that the company you’re evaluating has the correct people and a quality knowledge base, you must then confirm their approach to the services they provide aligns with your business. This includes provisions such as:
- Applicable support hours
- Remote support
- Dedicated representative
- Case resolution time
If they can’t deliver on their promises, business continuity could be at risk.
4. Verify Their Safety and Security Measures
If your business needs an IT company, it’s because you use technology to make your goods and services come to life. That’s why it’s critical you ensure that your employee and customer data — much of it sensitive information — is safe, protected, and free from harm.
A responsible IT outsourcing firm will be upfront about how they care for your digital material, including the following measures:
- Disaster Recovery
Even tech-savvy people don’t know all the cyber risks, and if they do, they don’t necessarily have the time to manage it. A reputable IT business will want to coach you through what their services offer so that you understand the full value.
5. Inquire About Their Consulting Services
Not only do you need an outsourced IT company that helps with today’s technology needs, but you need one that enables you to prepare for the future. A responsible company should guide you to the right answers based upon your long-term needs, including:
- Management advice – how you can grow
- Prioritized growth – the best ways to pursue that growth
- Scalable solutions – the optimal means of achieving that growth
Your IT partner should want to help you find success proactively. A truly full-scale IT outsourcing firm provides the standard administrative IT support you need. They will also act as your Chief Technology Officer, providing you with a long-term vision and strategy to continue optimizing your IT infrastructure. If that IT firm does not offer these services, we advise you to search elsewhere.
6. Confirm You’re in Control
You are the client, and they are the service provider. You need to have the ability to access your information at any time and dictate the terms of how your needs are met. It’s essential to work with IT experts who know how to protect your company, but you also must be in charge.
A sound IT company will provide a Service Level Agreement with clear definitions, permissions, and expectations for all parties. They should never make any moves without first aligning with you on expectations.
7. Ensure They Meet Your Business Objectives
You must invest in effective outsourced IT services because it’s the right decision for your business. Any partner you choose should act according to what’s best for your specific short-term interests and long-term developments. We believe this starts with these five goals:
- Budget – saving money and using it efficiently
- Risk – mitigating what’s necessary and avoiding what isn’t
- Growth – solutions that push the company forward
- Success – examining what you want to achieve on your terms
- Transparency – in actions, decisions, choices, intent, and more
Quality IT management will actively listen to you and build a long-lasting relationship. They should match who you are and what you want to do with their services and capabilities. Specifically, they will strive to ensure they listen to your objectives, pain areas, and background, considering multiple information levels to serve your needs best.
Be sure to find a company that pays attention to you at this level of granularity. Only then can they help your company grow.
Your Business Deserves Effective Outsourced IT Services
Are you tired of pursuing companies that promise the world but only deliver hot air? Consider EAG 1Source. We have years of experience providing business process outsourcing and outsourced IT across every aspect of the oil and gas industry. Our people are dedicated to seeing your business thrive by putting our services and solutions into action. By paying attention to what you truly need, we will create a custom package that ensures your IT needs are met on your terms.