Ask These 8 Questions Before You Hire An IT Company In Portland
Working with the right IT company is essential to ensuring your information technology infrastructure is properly managed at all times. In today’s highly-competitive, technology-dependent, marketplace, it’s more important than ever before to have a good technology partner that proactively prevents issues from turning into downtime and keeps you safe from threats. So how do you know you’re hiring the right IT company? Here are 8 questions to ask BEFORE you sign an agreement:
1. Can You Provide Some References I Can Speak To?
First and foremost, it’s important to ask for references from existing or past clients. If they don’t have any references to give you, that’s a HUGE red flag. You should be able to speak with companies they’ve worked with to get an idea of:
- Whether or not they’re responsive to support requests
- Whether or not they’re transparent with their pricing
- Whether or not they’re delivering what they promised
2. Do You Outsource Your Help Desk Support Team Or Are They In-House?
You don’t want to find out, in the middle of an emergency, that they’ve outsourced their help desk support team overseas to people who don’t speak your language or know your environment. Make sure they’re in-house, or at the very least, based in the US.
3. What Does Your Data Backup And Disaster Recovery Look Like?
Every business needs data backup and disaster recovery nowadays. You simply can’t afford unnecessary downtime due to human errors or natural disasters. But not all data backup and disaster recovery offerings are the same. You should ensure that they:
- Back your data and applications up in the cloud and on-site for added redundancy
- Test and verify your backups on a regular basis to ensure recoverability when needed
4. Do You Offer Any Sort Of Response Time Guarantee?
It’s important to know what type of response time you can expect when something goes wrong. If they have a guarantee, that will be incredibly helpful as you’ll know you can expect someone to respond back to you within a certain amount of time. If they don’t, ask them about their average response time and don’t hesitate to verify this information with their references.
5. Will You Give Me Documentation On The Network And Equipment?
You should receive detailed, written documentation that outlines hardware information, software licenses, passwords, and other important information to keep with you. This is important as you don’t want to end the relationship and be left without any of the information that rightfully belongs to you.
6. Do You Require A Long-Term Contract Or Is It Month-To-Month?
Some IT companies require a long-term contract, such as a year, while others are okay with a month-to-month contract. Make sure you’re satisfied with the length of the contract, and if you do need to exit, understand the terms and conditions surrounding ending the relationship between you and the IT company.
7. How Do You Keep Your Technicians Current With Technological Advancements?
Ideally, your IT company will keep their technicians current via ongoing training and certifications. This will ensure they’re up-to-date with the advancements of technology, as well as the evolution of cybercrime. Many manufacturers offer a range of certifications to ensure technicians truly understand their technologies.
8. What Is Included And What Isn’t Included In The Agreement?
Lastly, it’s vital to know what’s included and what isn’t included in the agreement. Make sure there are no hidden costs or extra fees that make you uncomfortable. If you know you’re going to need support for your end-users, don’t sign a contract that doesn’t include onsite or remote support hours.
If you’re not satisfied with ANY of their answers to the questions above, take some time to look into other IT companies in the area. There are MANY options for you. There’s no reason to settle for an IT company that won’t make you happy in the long-run.