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Business + IT Insights

Questions to Ask Before Choosing an IT Partner

Posted by Dave Lazor on Fri, May 22, 2020


You are in the market for an IT company that provides you with the technology support you need, not only to fix issues when they come up but also to help you think ahead and use technology to support business growth. You want to partner with a team that that cares about your success as much as you do.  

The problem is, it's hard to tell the differences between outsourced IT companies.

To differentiate between them, some of your questions might include:

  1. What makes their team qualified to address my company's IT issues?
  2. What do their fees include?
  3. How do I know they are doing what they say they are doing?

We'll help you get to the bottom of those questions so that you are ready to find the right IT partner for your business. 


ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

9 Questions To Ask Before Choosing an IT Partner

Read the 9 Question to Ask Before Choosing an IT Partner guide for additional questions and insights to ensure you choose an IT partner that cares about your success as much as you do.

 


1. What makes their team qualified to address my company's IT issues?

There are more than 20,000 MSPs in North America. These technology partners vary in shape, size and capacity, but many use the same buzzwords. As a business leader, it’s not always easy to tell whether an MSP has the skills and expertise your business needs.

A few follow-up questions might include:

  • What do you do to keep your team educated on the most recent technology trends and best practices?
  • How many team members would you dedicate to working with my company?

Not all MSPs have the same level of experience, and some industries (especially those in highly regulated industries like healthcare) have different needs than others. By asking these questions, you can quickly identify whether a provider has the competencies your business requires.

2. What do their fees include?

The last thing you want is to be stuck with hidden fees and end up paying more for IT support than you intended. That’s why it’s essential you understand all the costs before you commit to working with an MSP.

Keep in mind, even MSPs with subscription-based models may set limits on the number of users or the hours of support that they provide.

A few follow-up questions might include:

  • Is your IT service subscription-based or pay-per-use? (Most MSPs use a subscription model, whereas typical break/fix services are pay as you go.)
  • Does your contract clearly indicate what support is part of your program and what isn’t?
  • Does your support cover project work, and are the materials covered or just the time?
  • Are there limits to the service you provide (e.g., the number of users or time of day)?
  • Do you have a guarantee for the services you provide?
  • Do you charge any initial setup fees or onboarding costs?

Your IT services provider should be able to provide you with an explicit Service Level Agreement (SLA) that outlines what they’ll provide for you. Make sure you explain precisely what your organization needs and what you expect you’ll need in the future. The SLA should meet those needs.

3. How do I know they are doing what they say they are doing?

You don’t want your IT partner to be like the Wizard of Oz—all bluster with nothing behind the curtain.

They should be proactively informing you of all project updates and changes as well as ensuring you have the final say in any decisions made for your IT network. You should never be left wondering why your MSP is doing something or how long a project may take.

A few follow-up questions might include:

  • How often do you communicate with your clients?
  • What measures do you take to ensure transparency?
  • Can you describe how you’ll communicate when something needs to be changed, overhauled or updated?

A great IT partner should provide you with a roadmap for every project that includes clear timelines and budgets and hold themselves accountable to you.


GUIDE: 9 Questions to Ask Before Choosing an IT Partner

9 Questions Offer

Take the stress out of finding the right IT partner. This free guide outlines the 9 most important questions you need to ask before choosing an IT partner.  

Read the Guide

 


Are you ready for strong, secure and strategic IT? Talk to an expert today.

†According to ChannelE2E, a leading provider of information and research for MSPs.

Tags: IT Strategy, IT Security

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