Top Five Questions to Ask Your Service Provider
Over the past few years, the increasing complexity of technology solutions has made it harder for an in-house team to have sufficient expertise to meet all of an organization’s IT needs. These changes have made it logistically easier and even more cost-effective for organizations of all sizes to engage a technology partner for their full range of IT needs.
But what is the best way to choose a partner? And how to you know if your IT partner is providing all of your technology needs?
We discuss this a lot internally, and the same questions keep popping up in our conversations. Here are the questions we would ask our Managed Services Provider.
- What is your Managed Services product? Managed Services help organizations control IT costs, manage tactical operations more efficiently, reduce unscheduled downtime and allocate in-house IT resources to higher value initiatives. When working with your IT provider, it’s important to fully understand what is included within your agreement, how frequently you can access technical and account support and the clear deliverables you are entitled to as a partner. If they can’t articulate a clear product and the tools they use to provide it, your service may be suffering.
- Are you vendor neutral? When evaluating a technology solution, it’s critical to look for a partner that recommends and implements technology solutions that are the best fit for your organization not theirs. Many Managed IT service firms have big quotas and kickbacks with certain vendors, and while partnerships are critical to success, make sure your partner is looking out for your best interests when they are making recommendations.
- Do you have a security practice? Professional and modern IT providers have a core IT security team to support basic IT management and delivery. Security is at the heart of any IT and business infrastructure, so security and compliance services are a necessity for your organization. Ensure that your partner has an established practice and product, and isn’t just using buzzwords.
- Do you have expertise beyond infrastructure? One of the many advantages of working with a technology partner is utilizing a team of experienced professionals to support all aspects of your IT needs. Look for a partner that provides strategic technology leadership who stays up-to-date on trends and new solutions so they can better advise you on how to leverage technology to achieve your business objectives.
- What is your cloud readiness strategy? Organizations of all sizes and across all industries are taking advantage of the cloud. Ensure that your IT provider can strategically leverage cloud computing across all areas of business, and provide a clear vision on how to incorporate the cloud in your strategic IT plan.
As the complexities of the technology you use to run your business increases, so do the myriad options, price points and opinions. With the right strategic plan, communication and a true partnership, your organization can fully optimize technology solutions inside your organizations. If you feel as though your organization is not receiving the proper level of support with your current solution provider, then it’s time for a serious conversation with our experts.