Since you’re a business leader looking for a Seattle IT support company, it’s probably safe to guess that your business’s IT systems are causing serious problems.
You already know that delaying your search for an IT security and support provider is a bad idea, and science tells us that, unfortunately, we’re all acting delusional when we think we’ll have more time to get things done in the future (sigh).
So, really, right now is the best time to tackle those IT worries of yours. Let’s get started.
Perhaps you’re one of the 64% of companies that already use an IT support provider for at least one function, but the national IT services provider you chose isn’t doing their job. Maybe you’ve just recently decided that a good, local IT outsourcer is the smartest solution to help you increase your business’s tech security and flexibility because you’ll have both on-site support and ‘round-the-clock cybersecurity monitoring.
There are a lot of reasons to choose a local Seattle IT support company and there are a lot of companies out there.
Here’s how to find the right one for your business.
The absolute best way to find the right provider for your business is to start with your needs… but figuring out your needs is tough when you aren’t an IT expert.
Follow these steps for the easy way to evaluate IT providers.
Right now, you probably have an in-house IT team, but they’re overwhelmed and never seem to be available to strategize. It’s a pretty common scenario.
Maybe you simply need to upgrade with a few tools that no one on your team has time to implement (backup and business continuity or Office 365), or maybe you want someone to take over the day-to-day IT management tasks of patching, upgrades, network monitoring, and reporting. Maybe you just want some extra Help Desk folks available on demand.
Figure out what your ideal IT situation looks like and then find a Seattle IT support team that can meet your needs.
When evaluating Seattle IT support companies, don’t be afraid to ask very specific questions about what services they do and don’t provide. Like everyone else in this world, IT support people have their likes and dislikes. You don’t want a company that can’t handle all your requirements.
Usually, cost would be a top concern for a new business service, but IT support pricing is kind of wild in the industry right now. This means that the rates you’ll run across for services could vary by 50% from provider to provider, so you’ll need to get a lot of quotes and to know your own numbers.
The fastest way to come up with your numbers is to calculate the costs you’re currently paying for slow IT, lost productivity, and stress. Consider: How much more could you accomplish — and how much more could you make — if you weren’t constantly dealing with IT hassles?
When evaluating your options, ask to see an actual monthly bill from your potential provider. That will give you a clear idea of their pricing. Look for detailed reporting, detailed billing, and identify if there are hidden charges or predictable pricing.
In the outsourced IT support world right now, you generally have two options for providers: You can choose a high-volume, low-cost operation with the same customer “service” you get from Seattle City Light (cringe)…or you can choose a Seattle IT support company that works with fewer clients, but knows them all by name and delivers personalized, expert service.
It’s pretty clear which one we prefer (we have to work on removing bias from our writing, apparently), but you may have different preferences. Heck, you may even enjoy calling up Seattle City Light. Different strokes for different folks, right?
To get an idea about a potential IT support company’s service, call them up, show up at their offices unannounced, and ask to speak with client references. Keep a lookout for customer testimonials on their site too, because that’ll tell you a lot about them.
While you’re investigating providers, make sure you also get good insight into their expertise, their response times, and their uptime guarantees. Their SLA (service level agreement) can answer the last two questions on that list, but expertise can be harder to determine if you’re not an expert yourself.
Of course, you’ll want to involve your IT team in the selection process, so you have an insider’s opinion on an outsourcer’s expertise, but also keep an eye out for awards, partnerships, certifications, and business longevity.
Here’s a bonus, super-secret evaluation tip: See how many questions the IT support company asks you. Experienced providers know what they can and can’t do, and — most importantly — they know what kinds of clients and IT setups they’re best at serving.
Newbies to the field don’t have enough expertise to ask good questions at the outset and instead rely on their ability to figure it all out as they go along. (You know, like you did when you were first in business.)
Your business IT is too critical to delegate to a rookie, so skip the companies that don’t ask you a lot of questions before the sale. Go with the Seattle IT support companies that have long-term experience and know what they’re doing.
Since 2001, Interplay has been helping Seattle’s business leaders secure, stabilize, and streamline their technology the right way. Interplay’s tailored IT services, predictable pricing, friendly techs, and flexible hands-on plus remote services can meet the needs of a wide range of companies. Maybe even yours.