What to look for in your next IT consultant

What to look for in your next IT consultant

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So, you’ve decided to call it quits with your current IT consultant. You’ve recognized the key indicators you’ve outgrown your IT provider, and are ready to look for new IT support.

Choosing an IT consultant is a key part of any organization’s growth. It can be an overwhelming process with a lot of factors to consider. To help expedite your search, here’s what to look for in your company’s next IT consultant:

ESTABLISHED & RECOGNIZED IN THE INDUSTRY

Look for an IT consultant that has at least 5 – 10 years of experience supporting companies with technology. You certainly shouldn’t be paying to be a test run, and you don’t want anyone learning on your dime. A good test of whether an IT provider is established in the industry is through partnerships and recognition.

Choose IT support that has recognized partnerships with large vendors. This will ensure that the technicians are trained and knowledgeable in IT services and abide by industry best practices.

An IT consultant that’s recognized with national and international managed service provider awards is a great indicator of the quality of IT support provided, stability of the company from a financial perspective, and assurance that IT solutions are in-line with or above industry standards.

Partnerships and awards are objective confirmation that the company is in solid standing and will stand the test of time.

EXPERIENCED TECHNICIANS & COMPREHENSIVE SERVICES

An IT consultant with a team of senior cross-sectional technicians sets your business up for success. Gaining access to specialized expertise and a broad skillset means your business gets the best of both worlds. Choose an IT consultant with senior staff and a solid training program to make sure knowledge will be kept up-to-date to help business objectives progress with technology.

Choosing a managed service provider that can meet company needs and grow with you is key. IT consultants need to be able to provide services as business needs arise. Select an IT consultant that offers network management and design, data solutions, cloud computing, virtualization, security audits, and business continuity and backup at a minimum. A few additional services to consider for your company’s needs are mobile device management and managed print services.

HIGH AVAILABILITY & PERSONALIZED SUPPORT

An IT consultant that’s available beyond the regular 8-5, Monday to Friday is best for business. Issues are never at a convenient time, so it’s best to have technicians available 24/7. Having multiple contacts and means of communications is necessary to ensure your business gets the help it needs, when it’s needed.

A large component to personalized support is having dedicated IT personnel. Having a primary technician will bring systemic and proactive solutions to IT issues because they know your employees, your business, and your corporate objectives. Backing from a secondary technician, team of specialized experts, and emergency line will ensure accessible and personal IT support.

In addition, choosing an IT consultant with a Service Level Agreement in place will hold IT support to a set standard of service.  This way, you can be certain you’re getting exactly what you paid for.

FIXED & COMMON-SENSE BILLING

IT support with fixed costs is the best way to budget for IT. A fixed cost (or flat fee) agreement removes spikes in costs associated with IT issues. Holiday, weekend, and after-hour support should be included in these fixed costs, which is crucial to predictable billing.

Seek out an IT consultant that offers common-sense billing. Common-sense billing brings business perspective to invoicing and ensures fair value for charged hours. With this type of invoicing, you’re not nickeled and dimed for every second of work performed – you’re only charged for the amount of work completed.

YOUR NEXT IT CONSULTANT

There are many components to look at when searching for your next IT consultant, and we’re here to help. Contact SysGen to gain further insight on what to look for in your next IT consultant in Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer or Vancouver.

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