Companies are in large droves going through digital transformation. Updating your IT infrastructure, networks, and systems is a comprehensive process. Monitoring continuously those new systems is an even bigger process. And, often too big of a process for a company to handle in-house, especially if you’re a smaller organization such as a startup.
That is why IT consulting firms have a lot on their hands lately. Hiring an outsourced team for technical improvements, problem resolutions, and overall digital transformation is a must these days.
If you want to scale your business, hiring an IT consulting firm is a good starting point. But, not all IT managed service firms are created equal. How do you pick the right one? Well, we prepared this checklist below to guide you through the process of picking a trustworthy managed service provider that will, hopefully, guide you towards a better tomorrow.
What Do IT Consulting Firms Do?
IT consulting firms are organizations that offer their services to companies that need continuous IT help or short-term problem-solving. Both of these situations can involve the service of developing a new IT strategy for the client’s whole organization or a strategy for existing software.
These managed service providers (MSP) exist to optimize your IT operations by using their staff’s experience and skills in different domains.
Below is a list of things to keep in mind when researching and negotiating with IT consulting firms.
An IT Firm With Experience and a Track Record
When negotiating with an IT firm, ask for their track record of success, as well as the degree of success in those projects.
One important aspect you should consider when choosing a managed service provider is how much expertise it has with businesses like yours. The IT consulting firm may have extensive experience in other industries. Thus, you should be aware that there can be significant differences between your market and those the IT firm has dealt with. With that in mind, you should make sure that the IT consulting firm you intend to work with has expertise in working with organizations in your sector. Then the IT firm’s IT experts will be able to evaluate your needs and suggest solutions.
An IT Firm That’s Ok With a Solid Confidentiality Policy
A good marker of an experienced IT consulting firm is how willing they are to sign a confidentiality policy. You should be sure that they put in the effort to protect their client’s sensitive data.
After all, we just went over the fact that the MSP you select should serve businesses similar to yours. Some of them might be your competitors. As a result, you don’t want them learning any of your business secrets. Such a spill of data can very easily shut you down for good.
Make absolutely sure your IT consultant is okay with signing a confidentiality agreement. Such a document limits the consultant’s ability to disclose any damaging information about your company. Before disclosing any private information to the consultant, you can also choose to apply a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). You can relax knowing that the MSP is guarding all the disclosed vital corporate data.
An IT Firm That Has a Reliable Action Plan
An IT service provider contending for your business should be capable of providing an organized, well-thought-out strategy for your particular business’s needs. Their strategy should be simple and devoid of needless terminology or overt product promotion.
Get details on how they will communicate with you throughout the process and/or partnership, from evaluation to execution. Ask what they anticipate from you and your staff and whether they plan to continue to support you after a solution has been implemented. After all, there is a lot of difference between a short-term and long-term partnership. Don’t forget to check out who will actually be performing the work. Will it be a seasoned team or a brand-new junior associate?
An IT Firm With a Responsive Help Desk
It’s up to you to decide what services you need. But it’s never a bad idea to hire an IT consultancy that will also provide live and unlimited technical support. That way, you know someone is on call around the clock to keep your business running seamlessly.
A responsive help desk service means the MSP gives you the chance to contact engineers live so they can solve your issues, letting you to otherwise focus on growing your business.
From cybersecurity to data backup and recovery strategies – the help desk staff of your chosen MSP should be knowledgeable in all the details of the so-far employed services, so they can jump on the call and help you out.
An IT Firm That Knows How To Communicate
Strong verbal and written communication abilities are essential when choosing an IT service provider.
A skilled consultant should be able to articulate their thoughts and offer solutions to clients. You don’t want to end up with someone who uses terminology that is way out of your area of expertise. Your chosen MSP team should have the ability to listen, analyze, and interpret your needs and wishes. Select an MSP you can talk with easily because a successful project or digital transformation can heavily depend on honest and open communication. You ought to be able to give feedback, get in touch with one another as necessary, and arrange regular progress meetings.
Employing an IT consultancy firm doesn’t mean that you don’t trust your internal IT department enough. On the contrary, it means that you respect and value your in-house team enough to give them time and space to focus on one part of your IT means – innovative solutions, extra-confidential matters, etc. By hiring an MSP, you automatically expand your IT team with people who possess different knowledge and skill levels.
You just need to know how to pick ‘em. Use the checklist above, consult your internal IT team, pick an IT consulting firm and get on the track with growing your business.