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What Should You Ask a Potential IT Service Provider?

10 mins read
written by
Dhoof Mohamed

Are you thinking of moving to a new IT Service Provider? Rather than just listen to their pitch, you want to ask questions that will help you determine if they are a good fit for you. Here are 5 important questions to ask:

1) How fast is your response time? How does it differ for critical and non-critical problems?There is no right answer. Some organizations need help immediately regardless of how critical a problem is. Your organization may be more comfortable with a 2-hour to 24-hour response time. Be sure to ask about support during nights and weekends versus business hours, and understand what constitutes “critical” versus “non-critical”. You do not want to wait until you have a problem to find out if their support meets your needs.

2) What type of system do they use to track reported issues?  If you want to minimize the follow-up required by your users, ensure they have a formal tracking system in place and use it. Without a ticketing system, issues may go unresolved and more complicated ones may require multiple follow ups to get resolved.

3) Can anyone in your organization contact tech support? Some providers require that all contact come through a single individual (e.g. a manager) at your company. While using a single contact gives you more control over your organization’s usage level, it can slow down response times. Other providers take calls from any of your organization’s users.

4) Is the IT Service provider a reseller of hardware, software or services?
Many IT providers resell at least a few brands of hardware and software, and they may also resell services. Even if they sell a very good product or service, reselling typically causes a bias when making a recommendation. Other providers do not resell any brands, so that they can choose the right product or service for the specific situation.

5) Do the IT professionals communicate well with non-technical people? It is important to meet a technician and not just a salesperson if you want to understand how much jargon and technospeak they use. Unless you have a very technical person in your organization to work with them, working with IT professionals who use a lot jargon can be very challenging. If the IT professionals communicate in a jargon-free way, it is much easier for you to comprehend and trust their recommendations.

No matter which company you select, be sure to ask the questions that will help you can find the right provider for your organization.

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