Before You Hire IT Services Consultants, Ask These 5 Questions
5 Questions to Ask IT Consulting Firms
The days when only big business worked with IT consultants are long gone. Increasingly, small and medium size businesses (SMBs) understand that outsourcing some or all of their IT projects to consultants can help them focus on core business objectives, leverage expertise they don’t have in-house and cut overall costs.
But not all consultants are created equal. To find one who can help your company achieve its goals, you have to ask the right questions. Here are 5 questions you should ask to ensure you hire a consultant who will help your business succeed:
1. Have you worked successfully with businesses like mine?
If a consulting firm doesn’t list current and former clients on its website, you should probably keep looking. For those who do, look for experience with clients from a broad range of industries, from healthcare to insurance to financial services. To help you in your search, the best consultants will also provide testimonials and case studies, and give you references you can check out.
2. Are you a full-service provider?
You want a service provider who has experience not only with many types of businesses, but also many types of problems. The best providers are able to deal with any issue which arises, whether it’s a server crash, network downtime or missing data. They will support you with a full array of services, including security, communications, cloud computing, network, servers and storage.
3. Will you have people dedicated to my business?
The best IT consulting firms will assign a dedicated support team to work collaboratively with you and your employees, manage your ongoing IT services needs, and ensure that support from your dedicated team will be ready, willing and able to help at the first sign of trouble.
4. Do you have a long-term plan?
When you work with experienced IT technicians, they understand the value of creating a strategic plan for your technology needs and will take the time to perform a comprehensive assessment of your IT network (some Bay Area technology services companies will even do this free of charge). They’ll provide you with a detailed road map for ongoing monitoring, technical helpdesk support and any specific maintenance requirements unique to the needs of your systems and your business.
5. Can you tell me how this benefits my business and how much it is going to cost?
When partnering with an IT services provider, you want someone who works with you to identify the best solution to fit your needs, and if necessary, someone who will push back against quick-fix or bargain-basement not-a-fit solutions when there are reasonably priced and far superior options available which satisfy all of your business needs. As your technology partner, your IT consultant should help you understand the business reason behind any new purchases, how much you’re going to pay, but also precisely what you will be getting for your money.
Don’t be fall into the trap of casually selecting the first IT consulting option that you come across- When it comes to keeping your office running smoothly, it is key to perform your due diligence to make sure you find the right IT services partner.
Throughout your search, if the answer to each of the above questions is “yes,” you’re well on your way to finding a dependable IT consulting firm that your company can build a strong relationship with into the future.
By asking the right questions, and getting the right answers, you will help your business find the tetechnical services resources who will become your trusted partners who are equally as committed to the success of your business as you are!
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