As a start-up many companies underestimate the importance of having good reliable IT support. They manage to get along by calling a friend or using a freelancer a few times a year. However as your company grows, IT outage becomes more troublesome to the smooth running of your business. This makes working with a freelancer a business risk and shows you it’s time to get IT support from a professional company with a team that can service your needs faster and efficiently.
Many businesses postpone this because they think it’s going to be really expensive. However if you analyse your business and make sure that you find the right company and package for your business, it won’t break the bank. Here are some things to consider before choosing the support package:
- IT Support: How many times a month do you call them?
If you already used a freelancer or other service you should be able to find these out by checking your invoices. You need to know approximately how many calls of support you require so that the IT support company can give you a good idea of the right package for you.
- How many times does this result in an on-site visit?
You will also need to estimate the amount of time they need to spend on-site at your offices. Looking at your history is a good indictor of your systems’ future performance, although as your systems age you can estimate that more time will be required.
- How reliant is your business on IT?
If your IT functions are critical to the fulfilment of your client service, or the delivery of your products, then you need to make sure that the contract you put in place with your IT support company has well defined priorities that align with your business.You want to go for peace of mind.
- How much does it cost your business when your IT infrastructures are down?
In order to take a good business decision you need to have clear financial reports. Check your financials and put a price on what your outages are costing you. You may be surprised at how much it costs you in employee idle time and loss of sales. Keep this in mind when contracting your outsourced IT partner. Your IT support should be the best you can buy for this figure (at least). Good IT coverage will save you this outage money or at least most of it.
- How old is your set-up?
When answering questions 1 and 2 you may have already considered this. Remember that your IT infrastructure and systems have a predetermined lifetime. Check this and try to understand how your support requirements are going to increase over time. You might realise that your hardware is in need of refurbishment and will require changing altogether. However work your budgets because this might cost you less in the next 5 years than supporting your old systems.
- Do you have an IT, 3 to 5 year plan?
As mentioned in question 5, your 5 year plan matters. You need to work up a few magic numbers with your accountant and find out whether it would suit you more to update your current set-up and get a smaller support package or if you can get a longer life from your current set-up but will need a more comprehensive support package.
Talk to us about your IT Support requirements… Ask Damian at email@example.com