Tips on Selecting an Outsourced, Flat-Rate IT Department

August 25, 2016Manhattan Tech Support

The decision to outsource your IT is a big one, and there are many things to take into consideration when doing so. It can be a daunting task selecting the right provider – this isn’t something you want to do often, so you’ll want to make sure you do your due diligence ahead of time. Reading this article is a great start. Having been a co-founder and partner in an IT company for just about 20 years now, it’s safe to say I’ve gained some knowledge on how the landscape has transformed, and how outsourced, flat-rate IT has evolved, in both a technical capacity, and a business one.

With this in mind, I’d like to share with you a few tips that will hopefully help make the selection process, as well as your transition to an outsourced IT provider, a bit smoother:

  • Select a Technology Partner, Not a Technology Provider
    There are many good providers out there that will do a great job managing and maintaining your systems, but a great provider goes well beyond this. A true technology partner will assess your company’s short-term, mid-term and long-term goals, and will provide guidance on how to best achieve these goals through technology. Seek a team that will take an interest in your business, and be sure to utilize them for their insight whenever possible. At our company, com, in addition to our exceptional technicians, we maintain a full custom software development and integrations team to provide added value to the typical IT support services. We’ve developed literally hundreds of custom business apps and automated business tasks and processes for our clients to help streamline their business practices, saving them time and money – a technology effort that only a select number of MSPs can provide.
  • Get to Know the Team Before Making Your Decision
    Checking references should be more than just assessing tech skills. You’ll want to make sure your techs have good people skills as well. Invest in a team that fits in well with your office atmosphere. Even though they won’t be sitting side-by-side all day, you’ll all likely be interacting with them fairly often, hopefully for years to come. You certainly don’t want your vendors to disrupt the office feng shui due to personality conflicts. Our team here at com loves to meet with potential clients, learning about their business operations and giving them in-person overviews of our services and how we can leverage technology to help them grow. We’re passionate about what we do, and all great MSPs will do the same.
  • Do NOT Lock in to Extended Contracts
    Although most providers still require a minimum 1-year commitment for their outsourced, flat-rate IT services, there are companies out there who don’t. When my partners and I formed com many moons ago, we all agreed on a simple mantra – “If we do great work, there will be no reason for our clients to go elsewhere.” The last thing any growing business needs is a vendor impeding performance and growth. Find a company you’re comfortable with, and give them a shot. If you’ve done your due diligence, in most cases, you’ll be happy you did.
  • Don’t Be Hesitant to Ask Questions – Both Philosophical and Practical
    When interviewing potential vendors, ask as many questions as you can to set your mind at ease. Don’t be intimidated by the idea that your practical questions be answered with a bunch of technical jargon – a good provider will always try to articulate their response in a manner that is understood by all. Equally important – remember that your questions do not need to be technical, or even focused on technology. Ask about about hiring practices and policies, client and staff retention rates, and customer satisfaction methodologies – these answers can all have a big impact on your decision-making process. Remember, you’re looking for a technology partner, hopefully for years to come, so you need to be sure you are comfortable with not only their technical abilities, but their corporate philosophies and policies as well.
  • Confirm Liability Protections and Proof of Insurance Coverage
    Regardless of who you ultimately end up hiring, you’ll also want to make sure that you are protected in case of any mishap. It’s an unfortunately reality that every day companies are victimized by events such as confidentiality breach and theft. Liability policies ensure that the company you hire can demonstrate an ability to protect you in such a case with sufficient insurance coverage.

Contact today to discuss how our Outsourced, Flat-Rate IT model can keep your systems running and save you money.