Tip of the Week: 8 Questions Every Business Should Ask of Their Potential IT Provider
It’s not unheard of for organizations to experience immense technological trouble that brings future potential problems into question. Surprises like these can spell trouble for businesses that are unprepared, especially considering the major damage it could cause to your budget. This forces you to ask yourself if you know what your current plan for IT covers, and what you want your provider to do to eliminate unexpected billing surprises.
To help you get the most out of your technology maintenance plan, we’ve put together a list of scenarios that you want to make sure is covered by your provider. This helps you avoid unnecessary payments that could pop-up on weekends, off-hours, or holidays.
What Your IT Provider Should Cover IT providers determine how much service their clients get according to what’s called a service level agreement. This details what exactly is covered by your relationship with your managed service provider, but depending on their business model, it might be a bit more complicated than you initially think. You should always seek transparency with your IT provider, so be sure to reach out to them regarding any questions that you may have.
Listed below are questions that you want to ask your IT provider about regarding your service level agreement.
Can your workers submit support tickets without exceeding a predetermined IT budget?
How much are you charged for after hours, if at all, does this include weekends or holidays?
Is there a limit placed on how much support you can receive and what happens when you do exceed this limit?
Are you charged extra for data recovery when you need access to it during a disaster?
Will the number of workstations covered change in the future, and will you be charged for any changes?
Will you be charged for using backup solutions in virtual environments while your hardware is being replaced?
Will you be charged for expanding your data storage?
What kind of hardware maintenance agreement do you have, are there specific pieces of hardware that aren’t covered by your agreement?
What Services You Should Look For Once you’ve ascertained which services you receive, you can ask your IT provider about which services you absolutely want. Here is a brief list that can help guide you in the right direction.
Unlimited remote and on-site support
Active Directory administration and maintenance
File, folder, and share administration
Network policy enforcement and administration
Managed antivirus, spyware monitoring, maintenance, and removal
Data backups as often as every 15 minutes
Take backups of open documents without interruption
Rapid data restoration
Block inappropriate or dangerous web content in the workplace