Business owners and office managers always have many, many questions for us about outsourcing their business IT and IT support so we’ve decided to round up the most common questions and answer them in one place for you. We’ve even pointed out a couple that many of you probably should be asking but may not have thought of.
IT outsourcing might seem like a big step, but for many organisations, it’s a way of removing headaches and accelerating business growth.
Question: How will outsourcing make us more competitive?
Answer: There are several ways outsourcing helps improve any business’s competitive edge, for example, better IT security ensures you don’t lose or leak any trade secrets, or confidential data (GDPR!). Having the most up to date software, without the delays that normally come with updates, also gives you an advantage over your competitors. Your outsourced IT provider should also explore and recommend new technologies that will help speed up your processes and be more competitive without requiring you to do all the research legwork and feasibility studies.
Question: What security measures do you operate?
Answer: Given that your IT outsource provider will store your company data and customer data, you need to be certain that they have great security software and robust procedures. Given the constraints of GDPR, you are likely to find that outsourcing your IT is a safer bet than keeping it in-house because your provider will have to excel in security, but be sure that you understand their security measures and that they are appropriate to your company’s situation. Our own IT security software and procedures are in line with the highest industry standards and have layers of redundancy, disaster recovery and business continuity procedures to keep your data safe.
Question: Do you understand my business needs?
Answer: This is an important question – while you may not come across an IT outsource provider that’s worked with a business exactly like your own, you should at least feel confident that they have worked with organisations of your size and with your general profile. Ideally, a great IT outsource provider will give you details of clients they’ve worked with that you can talk to about their service.
Our consultants spend a great deal of time and effort getting to know your business before we start working with you, often performing a full IT audit at your premises. This helps us to provide the IT services and support that your business needs and to keep an eye out for new or improved systems that will support your system even further.
Question: Suppose I have an out-of-hours problem?
Answer: Not all IT outsourcing is created equal – some organisations will give you out of hours customer support, others won’t. Yet others will offer this kind if support at an agreed price. What’s really important is that you know what you’re getting for your money and understand what kind of service you might require, especially in the early days when you’re adjusting to having outsourced Information Technology. We provide varying levels of support response time depending on your individual requirements.
Now for some questions you should ask any prospective outsourced IT provider, but might not have thought of.
Question: What certifications do you possess?
Answer: An IT outsource service could ideally possess ISO 27001 which is a major standard in the information security management industry or ISO 9001 which is the international standard-setting standards for any quality management system – possession of ISO 9001 demonstrates the capacity to provide products and services that meet both regulatory and customer need.
Question: Which operating systems do you support?
Answer: At a minimum, you want to know that your provider is able to support the systems you currently use, but forward-thinking organisations recognise that mergers, partnerships and even in-house innovation could lead to new demand… being sure that you have an IT outsource partner who will be able to cope with whatever you throw at them means you can relax, confident that no matter how your company grows and develops, your outsourced IT provider will be able to support you.
Question: Can you provide us with the hardware, laptops, desktops, phones etc. that we’ll need?
Answer: An important role your IT provider should be able to fill is sourcing your office hardware and computers for you. The last you need is to have to go searching through system requirements, costs, lifetime expectancies etc everytime you need a new device, particularly when your provider might turn around and say that they can’t support it! We provide affordable leasing options for a wide range of IT hardware so that when you’re finished with one, it’s replaced quickly with no additional cost.
If we haven’t answered your IT outsourcing question here, let us know, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or speak to us about a complimentary IT audit for your business at email@example.com and take the first step towards outsourcing your business IT today.