Six Important Things to Look for When Outsourcing IT

Six Important Things to Look for When Outsourcing IT

When you run a small business or operate as s freelancer, it’s not unusual for any technical and IT problems to be left to whoever happens to be the m

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When you run a small business or operate as s freelancer, it’s not unusual for any technical and IT problems to be left to whoever happens to be the most knowledgeable person on your team – perhaps that’s yourself. But while that might work for smaller problems and for a little while, it’s not usually a practice that can be sustained over the long-term, particularly if you are a sole trader but want to expand your business in the future and enjoy long-term growth.

Whether you’re running your business on a freelance basis right now or work with a small team of employees, you and your team should be mainly focused on making sure that your organisational goals are met rather than wasting your team dealing with tech problems. Outsourcing your IT needs can help to lessen the burden and provide you with peace of mind that experts have it all in hand so that you can get back to focusing on growing your business and achieving success.

So, you’ve decided that you want to outsource to an IT company, but what should you be looking for in one?

Short-Term Contracts

To start with, it’s a wise idea to opt for an IT company that offers short-term contracts so that you can get a feel for them and make sure that they are the right choice for working with you. Some IT companies will try and lock you into a lengthy contract of a few years right away, which is great for them, but not so good for you if a few months down the line you decide that they aren’t the right fit for you. If you are unhappy with your IT service provider or simply want to re-evaluate things due to a future change in your business, you will want to ensure that you have the freedom to change your contract or leave any time that you like.

Proactive Services and Management

Some IT companies work on a more reactive basis, like fixing broken hardware and troubleshooting problems as they arise. And while there’s nothing wrong with this, and it is likely going to make up a large part of your IT support needs, you also want to ensure that you are working with an IT company that’s prepared to get proactive about making sure that as many of these problems as possible are prevented from happening in the first place.

If you’re looking for IT companies in London, you will want to know that they are ready to work with you to keep issues to a minimum and deal with potential problems before they start to have a negative effect on your business. Totality Services is a company that can offer just that. Offering London IT support to businesses in a range of industries, Totally Services is a Windows Partner with several further industry qualifications so you can be sure that you’re working with only the best IT support company in London when you partner with them.

Experience and Certifications

The last thing that you want is to end up working with an IT support company that’s still stuck back in 2010 when it comes to tech. Your IT support company should have up-to-date experience with the systems that they are serving so that you can trust them to get to work straight away rather than wasting time learning about your network before they can offer you their best.

You should opt for an IT support company that takes employee training and staying up-to-date and current with the latest in tech very seriously. One of the best ways to determine this is to check which certifications the company you are considering has. Many technology vendors including Microsoft offer a range of certification programs to IT companies and other IT professionals who work with their products, and any experienced and reputable company offering IT support in London will be happy to tell you which certifications their individual employees and teams hold.

Clear Response Times

When you sign a contract with an IT support company, you should have clear and guaranteed response times which are usually referred to as service level agreements. These should be outlined in your contract along with details of what will happen if for any reason your IT support company fails to meet the SLA; the last thing that you want is to work with a company who leaves you wondering when your issue is going to be addressed with no clear communication. The SLA usually refers to when the company is going to begin addressing your issue and doesn’t always guarantee a timeframe as to when it’s going to be resolved, since this can vary between issues. In fact, any IT company that claims they can guarantee any issue can be fixed in a certain amount of time should be avoided, as it’s not always possible to provide this.

Data Security Knowledge

Today, no matter what kind of business you are running, data security is always going to be a top priority. Strong data security is something that is no longer optional when it comes to doing business, and no business of any size is safe from cybercriminals, hackers and data breaches. In fact, smaller businesses have become bigger targets than the larger organisations for hackers, since they typically do not have the same stringent security measures and are therefore easier to attack. For any small business or freelance venture, this means that it’s important to look for an IT support company that has a strong knowledge and expertise of data security and can put together a tailored security plan that meets your budget and needs. If your business is in a regulated industry, it’s important for your IT support company to have a solid understanding of your industry in order to ensure that they can help you remain compliant with any relevant laws and regulations.

Transparency

Last but not least, when looking for an IT company, transparency is key. Don’t go with a company that seems reluctant to give you a clear and honest answer to any questions that you ask of them, particularly any questions that relate to the above points. Similarly, steer clear of any IT support companies that claim that they can fix issues within a given time frame guaranteed or are otherwise claiming something that seems too good to be true. As a general rule, when outsourcing IT, if something seems too good to be true, then that’s probably exactly what it is. Don’t waste your time with an IT company that seems to be hiding something – after all, the IT company that you choose is going to have access to your systems and potentially to your sensitive data; they need to be a business that you can trust to be honest and transparent about who they are and what they are doing.

Whether you’re running a freelance business, setting up as a sole trader or running a company with a small team of employees, outsourcing your IT to an outside company is one of the best moves that you can make; allowing you access to expert support while freeing up your time to focus on the growth of your venture.