Jun 9, 2017

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9 Questions to Ask Your Potential IT Services Provider

Your IT support team acts as the backbone of your business. You rely so much on them for all your technical and networking needs, which is why you should only work with a reliable IT services company with dedicated professionals who will work with you whenever a need arises. To ensure you got the right IT partner, here are nine important questions to ask when hiring an IT company to manage your business’ tech needs.

1. “How and when will you charge me?”

Pricing method varies from company to company, but usually comes in fixed, variable and per-incident pricing. Fixed pricing is your best option as it has unlimited support. Variable pricing, on the other hand, is based on the time it took to have your problem fixed. If you prefer this over the previous one—perhaps, due to the price difference—you can make variable pricing look like fixed-priced service by paying for a fixed amount of hours. However, the downside is that support is available only on certain hours, thus charging you with extra for services beyond the agreed time.

2. “What contract can you suggest for my company?”

There’s no reason why a company should push you to get into a long-term agreement when you look for a good IT service in Singapore as any service provider should be consistent with their quality, regardless of the length of the contract of their client. However, if you prefer longer partnership, ask what benefits you will get from signing a long-term agreement. Many service providers in Singapore offer price reduction and exclusive discounts to their long-term partners.

3. “Have you worked with the same company as mine?”

Ask if your potential provider have relevant experience in managing companies in the same market sector. Do your research to see whether they provide specialized services for your type of business. Ask to speak with one of their clients with the same size and nature of business as yours to get an idea of how they execute their job.

4. “Are maintenance and system updates included in the contract?”

The core of a good IT support is preventing issues before they actually happen. This reduces the possibility of system failures and downtime, therefore ensures constant productivity of your business. However, an IT services company isn’t just there to prevent and fix problems; they are also there to help your business adapt IT changes. A good IT partner will do regular visits to help you maximize your current IT structure and see what necessary updates should be made for better operations.

5. “Do you offer remote monitoring and management?”

Remote monitoring and management should be a core part of any IT support model you will choose. With the advent of modernized management tools, your service provider should be able to monitor all your servers and PCs, and install packages and upgrades remotely. If one server is running full, your service provider should be able to manage it from their site before the server crashes.

6. “What kind of back-up do you have in case of service failure?”

A reliable IT support company should be a total package. Along with maintenance, upgrades and fixing tech issues, your IT partner should also provide back-ups for your business’ IT system. From back-up servers down to back-up power sources, make sure that your service provider has ‘Plan B’ for your important equipment. Find out how the IT company will switch over to these back-ups in case of system or equipment failure.

7. “How will you keep up with the growth of the business?”

It’s important to know how your supplier plans to work with you for growth. See if they can provide long-term hardware needs to save on expenses down the road. As your business continues to grow, its technical needs and data solution will expand alongside it. Many business owners in Singapore forget that more staff means more demands on the storage and server requirements. When building your IT system, do so in a scalable way. If growth of the business takes off, you won’t have much time to build an efficient IT strategy due to rapid expansion.

8. “Do you have your own help desk support or do you outsource it?

A quick and reliable IT support company should have their own help desk team in the site. That way, they can train them and ensure that they can immediately address client concerns and issues. This is a vital information to ask a potential IT services company, because you need to know where the people answering your calls are located, who they are working for and if they were oriented on both your tech solutions and business operations.

9. “Will you provide reports that show important data about my services?”

Find out how the support team will show details about the services you’re paying for. If you are in an industry that requires compliance audits, reporting the state of your tech security status is mandatory. Make sure to ask a potential provider if a report will be submitted, what details will be included in the report and how often you will receive such information.

Overall, remember to take your time when choosing an IT services provider in Singapore. Choosing an IT company to be your partner is a major decision. Make sure you will be working with a company that complements your business well and provides services and solutions that your business requires.

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