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Making the transition from in-house IT person to a complete and external IT department is not something any CEO or business owner should take lightly. Without realizing it, you have come to depend on your long-time employee, their routine, and their method of approaching your IT system.
But, they are leaving the company after many years, and the thought of training another person could not equal the years of experience your current staff member will take when they retire. So now you are at the crossroads, and a little apprehensive about jumping over to an outsourced IT department?
There is no need to be anxious. To help you, as you start searching for the IT firm, which is the right fit for your business, we’ve provided a brief outline below you can use when interviewing potential IT companies.
As you start your interview, now is a good time, when you want to get to know a little bit more about the IT company. The two areas to focus on first, would be Business and Operations. In this area, we have divided it into two parts.
PART I – Business
When you begin a partnership with any IT firm the ideal place to start is with these six questions:
PART II – Operation
Every company, in any industry, has necessary operational procedures. The IT industry is no exception.
With these twelve questions asked and answered, this gives you a general idea about their business and operational practice.
Moving away from only having an in-house IT person to outsourcing your entire IT Department, you and your staff will feel the effect in the beginning. Over time, the new process will set in and become second nature, but before that happens asking these questions gives you a heads up, for what’s to come.
There are four areas of Business IT happening most do not see or notice. Monitoring, Updates, Maintenance, and Troubleshooting. When no one else is looking, you should still be able to count on these four areas to function properly.
PART I –Monitoring
PART II – Updates and Maintenance
PART III – Troubleshooting
In this section, there are five crucial areas you will want to ask.
You want detailed answers. For example, if you ask the IT person about their different support plans and they give you just a list of them; take it a step further. Have them break down each plan and explain in greater detail what the program covers. Same applies to the Tech Support and SLA contracts.
During your interview, the IT company may show you a sample IT Support Contract they use. It is recommended you read it over carefully. We also recommend having your company attorney review any document that requires yours and any decision maker’s signature.
PART I – Account Manager and Support Ticket
PART II – Onsite Personnel
PART III – Certification, Ongoing Training, and Contract End
In Conclusion – As you have read, there is a lot to consider and plenty of questions to ask. So, let us conclude this article with one last question. What would it cost your business, if you didn’t know what to ask and found the wrong IT Person instead?
Like this article? Check out, Tips to Keep IT Managers on Top of Their Work and Save Valuable Laptop Battery Life (Tips/Tricks) or Managed Services Return On Investment (Questions/Answers) to discover more.