Top 8 factors to consider while selecting an IT vendor

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IT is an integral part of business management. Keeping your network humming is vital for the smooth-running of your business. Many SMBs float between having their IT managed in-house or by an IT support vendor or a combination of both. While all these options have their pros and cons, SMBs often turn to outsourcing their IT support to third party vendors. While it is a cost-effective measure to get highly skilled technicians to look after the IT health of your computer network, you need to make sure that you screen the right IT vendor to meet your needs. This is a relationship that must be curated with care to benefit both parties.

Here are some top factors to consider while selecting your next IT vendor:

1. Knowledge

With IT evolving at a rapid pace, it is a key for the IT support technician to keep up thoroughly with the ongoing and emerging trends, methodologies and best practices. Big industry game changers and decision makers like Microsoft, Dell, HP CISCO to name a few are constantly upgrading their technology for the better. Industry Certified professionals stand apart while making valid decisions for your network. Further the benefit of dealing with a team of a reputable IT firm is the knowledge in different areas of IT that each one comes with.

2. Listen & Concerned

A good IT support vendor is one who listens to your needs and then offers a customized support plan. Asking the right questions about your business and understanding your needs are important. Today there are far too many options available when it comes to hardware to software to services. The IT support vendor should make decisions and recommendations based on needs and budget.

3. Foresight

The IT support vendor needs to propose a detailed plan for supporting your network. How will the new proposed technology interact with the legacy system? What new software or hardware will you need to get up and running? They should foresee any major changes coming ahead and keep you updated of the same for preparedness.

4. Flexibility

The IT vendor should be someone who can adapt to your changing business model, not someone who’s trying to just sell their service plan. Your company is unique and so are your needs, and your vendor should provide tailored solutions and be flexible to alter the plans based on your business operating model.

5. Certification

IT technicians keep themselves up-to-date with the latest trend and technology. Your next IT support vendor must have trained and certified technicians to offer high skill services.

6. Support

Technical support is very crucial during the initial stages of a relationship with a new vendor. For the first few months of transition, your vendor should provide training to your employees and back-end support to your IT department to prevent any setbacks to your daily operations.

7. Availability

Support from the vendor should be readily available. Disaster can strike anytime, be it mid-night or weekends. You want to have the peace of mind that your emergency IT support is available for service. In case of an emergency, a backup IT technician must be available to help you with an effective back-up service on-demand. It is also recommended to work with a company that has a team of IT technicians available rather than a moonlighter or “one-man operations”.

8. Cost

Cost is important. Typically, the right vendor would propose a competitive rate. If the vendor cannot make a reasonable margin on your business, then something is going to suffer. So a Win-Win approach strikes the deal. Clarity in pricing is also a very important factor which enables you to understand your purchase, be it hardware or services.