If you’re not in the IT industry or don’t have a lot of tech knowledge, you may not know a lot about computer and internet services. Common sense can go a long way, but when you need specific techniques and guaranteed feedback, you need some point of reference.
Here are 6 tips to help you hire a company that can give you the advantages you need.
Know Their Certifications
If you need specific tech tasks or broad IT support, there’s a certification that can help. Some certs are specific, but others cover general areas of tech knowledge that allow for educated, reasonably successful experimentation.
For general help desk support and break/fix operations, a team with at least one of the following certifications can assist you well:
- CompTIA A+
- Apple Certified Associate
- Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer
If you need a basic network designed or a server built, a CCNA, CCNP or CompTIA Network+ team would work. If hacking is a concern or if you’re required to comply with security regulations, a cyber security professional is necessary.
Degrees in specific IT disciplines exist, but successful technical schools often train their students to earn a certification while earning their degree. If you’re basing your decision on a degree, be sure that the major andminor study matches up with your needs.
Check Their Completed Projects
Practice makes perfect, and a successful IT team should have multiple completed projects under their belt.
The easiest way to discuss the company’s success is to ask them about their completed projects. While certain names and interactions may be confidential to protect privacy, the IT company should be able to give you a few businesses.
Ask these businesses about the IT team’s performance. Find out if the team was on schedule, if the system worked well at launch, and if there were any issues going forward.
Even if there were issues, did the team continue to support their clients? It’s important to know that some tech–even tested and well-known brands–may not perform properly at all times.
The clients may not know the systems well enough even after training to work properly, but knowing whether the IT team offered support after the fact can tell you about their work ethic.
Of course, you can also gauge whether or not other businesses were being reasonable. This can help you understand the company’s integrity beyond simply rolling over and taking potentially harmful risks.
Find Out How Many Employees Will Work With You
How many people are needed to complete the task? How many are being sent by the company?
You need to know how many IT professionals to expect for security and productivity reasons. Your staff-especially security staff–will need to know their faces or at least know that new personnel will be in the area.
Check For Compliance Violations
Cutting corners happens, but it takes either extreme ignorance or a lack of concern to get caught breaking compliance.
A system doesn’t need to be perfectly compliant and secure during the design or testing process. It isn’t until the system launches and begins passing secure data does the real test begin.
Even then, IT staff and your own team should be standing by to figure out if information is being leaked or if systems are performing poorly. Mistakes happen, but if the system is so critically flawed that someone needed to report a violation, you either need to avoid that team or ask for specific testing to prove compliance before payment.
Give A Tour Of Your Business Or Project
If the IT company needs to physically enter your workspaces, it’s best to get them familiar with the area ahead of time.
A walkthrough of your business and exposure to how daily operations happen can orient professionals towards faster, more efficient performance. Trying to find the door into a project on the first day is simply asking for late arrivals and mixed signals.
Work Through The Scope Of Support
The Service-Level Agreement (SLA) is a binding contract that determines what the IT company is responsible for and what they’re not responsible for.
Although IT support often covers a wide spectrum of topics, there are times where support means going beyond the financially-sensible and healthy limits of professionals. The contract also covers how to proceed when help is needed beyond the SLA.
SLAs typically cover a few common points:
- Systems supported.
- Number of trouble calls per period.
- How costs for parts, software, or other additional products are handled.
- Cost of excess service beyond SLA limits.
By covering these 6 points, you can find IT companies that match your needs much easier. Simply having an answer or a positive response to these questions shows that the team has a familiar grasp over the situation.
Speak with an IT services professional when you get a chance, and bring up a few details about your IT needs to learn more about what an IT company can offer.