IT is crucial to every single industry. Without it, contacting customers, managing orders, completing administrative tasks, and more would all be impossible. Yet how can you ensure that your IT system is kept in good condition? The answer is to use professional IT services to help you. IT support in Los Angeles can help you to stay secure, solve problems, and maintain productivity. Yet how can you choose the very best manage IT support provider?
In this guide, we’re going to take a look at the most important points to consider when you’re choosing a managed service provider. Put these tips into practice, and you’ll be able to find highly effective IT support in LA that can take care of every aspect of your IT.
Are you ready to learn more and bolster your IT? Then read on!
1. Are They Within Your Budget?
One of the best reasons to hire managed IT support is to lower their operating costs for many businesses. In-house IT staff are expensive, and as you grow, you’ll need more and more of them.
Hiring a managed IT support company will often keep costs lower, as you have a predictable cost that doesn’t change from month to month.
However, the precise price that you’ll have to pay changes from company to company, and will also depend on the level of services you choose.
Before you settle on an IT support service, consider how much you’re spending on IT currently. Use this as a baseline figure and compare quotes to find a great IT support company that offers the services you need at a lower cost than your in-house IT crew or those that you’re going to replace with managed IT services.
The only exception to this rule is if you want to have your managed services provider take over your IT staff’s current duties and do more. If you’re improving the quality or quantity of your IT services, you may need to pay a little more.
2. Are They Great Communicators?
If you’re hiring someone to take care of your IT needs, they need to discuss complex IT issues using simple language. No matter how well you understand IT, there will be employees who aren’t as well-versed in the topic.
This is an essential quality for an IT support service or helpdesk. If something goes wrong with one of your employees’ computers, they’ll need to give the employee clear instructions on fixing the issue.
So, how can you gauge whether someone is a good communicator?
The solution is to gauge how well they communicate in emails and over phone calls, and in person. When you’re talking to the team about their expertise and experience, are they easy to talk to and friendly, or condescending and irritable?
You can treat the hiring process like a job interview, using questions that gauge interpersonal skills to see whether they’d be a good fit for your business.
3. Do They Have Experience in Your Industry?
While no two businesses will have the same IT needs, there are some commonalities between businesses in the same industry. If you’re in the entertainment industry, for instance, your IT needs will likely be similar to other entertainment businesses.
This means that you should ask your prospective IT service provider whether they have any specific experience in your industry. If they don’t have any experience in your industry or don’t understand the problems that it faces, you may want to look elsewhere, as they may not give you the level of protection or assistance you’re looking for.
4. Understand the Contract
Some IT service companies will try to tie you into a very long contract, but this isn’t the best option if you’re a new customer. If you’ve never used the company before, you need to treat the first few months of using them as a trial or probationary period.
In this time, you can see the level of service that the company offers and their communication and problem-solving style. While this doesn’t mean that you should avoid long-term contracts at all costs, it’s worth being cautious: take a look at the minimum term of the contract and whether the company offers a trial period.
Term length isn’t the only factor to consider when looking at a contract, either. You should also look at the details about the services that you’re choosing, and make sure that they’re what you agreed to. It’s also worth checking that there isn’t a limit on the number of times you can ask them for help.
Scrutinize the contract your managed IT services company offers you before you sign it and make sure that it’s fair and reasonable for both parties.
5. Are They Proactive?
Reactive IT maintenance isn’t good enough anymore. This is the type of IT maintenance where nothing gets fixed until it’s broken. So, for instance, instead of taking action to bolster your business’ security, you instead wait until a data breach happens, incurring millions of dollars in costs, before you try to fix the issue.
This isn’t only a security issue either. If done reactively, routine IT maintenance will cost you a lot more money than analyzing your infrastructure for possible problems and solving them before they go wrong.
Reactive IT support incurs increased costs and can also result in slower infrastructure. You’ll be waiting for that aged server to go wrong before you replace it, resulting in slower service for your customers.
When you’re choosing a managed service provider, make sure that they offer proactive IT services. You need them to be able to spot issues before they happen and step in to solve them. Of course, they should offer reactive support in case something goes wrong, but this shouldn’t be their primary purpose.
6. Do They Monitor Your System at All Times?
Problems can happen at any time, day or night. For this reason, you need to make sure that the IT services company that you’re hiring will monitor your business’ IT around the clock.
If malware infects your system at 3 AM, you want your IT services company to already be taking action before the start of the next working day. If a network switch goes down and causes serious issues at your company, they should let you know and start fixing it immediately.
Never settle for an IT support company that will only help you out during business hours. Your security needs to be active at all times, and so do they.
7. What Qualifications Do Their Engineers Have?
When you hire IT support in LA, you want to make sure that their engineers are as well-trained as your in-house IT staff. The best way to find out about this is by asking what qualifications their team members have.
Do they have degrees in computing or computer science? Do they have certificates from Microsoft or other companies?
If they don’t all have formal qualifications, do they have equivalent professional experience?
If the managed services provider isn’t willing to tell you about their technician’s qualifications, you should look elsewhere. They may be trying to hide a lack of experience or training.
8. Is It Easy to Speak to a Technician or Engineer?
If you call up your IT support company, you should be able to speak to a technician or engineer right away. There shouldn’t be any need to go through their customer services team first or deal with complicated menus.
Time is of the essence when it comes to IT maintenance or support. Every minute that your equipment isn’t working is lost productivity, which could cumulatively add up to thousands of dollars or more.
Some companies offer dedicated technicians and engineers who only work for one client, but this isn’t always the case. If it isn’t the case, it should still be easy to get through to someone familiar with your company, its needs, and what your infrastructure looks like.
9. How Long Will It Take Them to Respond?
As we mentioned, time is of the essence for IT support. You need to find IT support in Los Angeles to give you clear-cut response times and stick to them.
Before you hire them, ask them about their average response times and how they can respond quickly.
Note that response times mean how long it takes for the managed IT services company to respond to your support ticket. It does not mean how long it will take for them to solve the issue: this time can vary dramatically from job to job depending on its complexity, which means that it’s impossible to offer a standard response time for all jobs.
10. Will They Help You Make a Disaster Plan?
One important service to consider when hiring a managed IT support company is business continuity and disaster planning. Disasters, both natural and artificial, can occur to any company and range in severity from a break-in or a data breach to being caught up in a terror attack or severe earthquake.
There are two main priorities to consider, no matter what kind of disaster you’re facing:
- Keeping your employees safe
- Protecting customer data
You need to create an exhaustive business continuity plan that will cover every aspect of your business. You need to know how your IT will withstand a disaster and keep customer and business data safe while also knowing how you could help your employees stay safe.
When you’ve created this plan, you need to be able to drill it and make sure everyone knows what their role is in the event of a disaster.
A great IT services company will help you create a strong and robust plan that will help you in any disaster.
11. What Do Their Previous Customers Have to Say?
You can tell a lot about a company by what its previous and current customers have to say. Many people trust online reviews as much as their friends’ recommendations. You’d check the reviews for a product on Amazon, and you need to check out reviews of a managed IT services company before you hire them too.
While you can read the testimonials page on the company’s website, this is unlikely to present an unbiased picture, as the company will have selected these reviews.
If you want to get a more objective picture, we’d recommend looking at Google reviews of the company in question. If you find something particularly worrying, you could also look up the company on the Better Business Bureau to see what people often complain about.
12. Do They Work Well With Your Company Culture?
Company cultures can be hard to pin down, but ultimately, you want your support staff to slot into it broadly. For instance, if you run a financial services company, you’ll want to hire an IT services company that is highly professional in its manner. In contrast, a marketing company may call for a little more easy-going and casual company.
Note that no matter how casual your company is or the IT support company is, they should still offer timely and professional service.
Finding the Best IT Support in Los Angeles
If you’re searching for the best IT support in Los Angeles, this may seem like a lot of points to consider. However, each of these is vital if you want to hire the best company to work for you.
We are one such company. At Be Structured, we’d be happy to help you solve a wide range of IT issues, from security to office relocation to cloud migration. If you’d like to learn more about our services or get a quote, please contact us today!