The decision to outsource your business’ technology to a IT firm can reduce the time, stress and expense spent on managing your business’ technology infrastructure. When technology services are supplied by a third-party, the IT outsourcing provider become a vital partner. To gain the full benefits of IT outsourcing and avoid common conflicts with providers, it helps to take a proactive role in evaluating the IT firm and the services to be provided. Whether signing up for managed services, cloud services or help desk support, plan carefully and consider potential technology issues that the IT provider may have to address.
A business owner should have a clear understanding of these points before committing to a partnership with an outsourced IT provider.
The SLA defines the services to be provided as well as the process for accessing support and issue escalation. It is important that you completely understand the SLA and your options before moving forward. Some IT companies may provide several tiers of service levels. Some SLAs may be negotiated. Performance monitoring and reporting should be integral parts of any outsourcing agreement. Also, look for the IT provider to be proactive rather than reactive with technology maintenance and monitoring.
Support and Escalation Process
Before entering into an agreement, business managers should have a clear understanding of how problems will be resolved. Be sure everyone on staff understands the various avenues for support, including telephone, email, and the help desk ticketing system. Understand how to problems will be elevated to an engineer or higher-level of support if the tier-one technician fails to solve the problem. Additionally, look for proactive communications from the IT provider — reminders about scheduled downtime and timely explanations about service disruptions.
Regular performance evaluation of the relationship with your IT partner, and your outsourcing endeavor as a whole, will help determine the success of the IT outsourcing relationship and help identify problem areas. The evaluation process should involve a quantitative analysis of the service responsiveness. Is the provider living up to the SLA? Monthly reports should meet expectations as spelled out in the SLA.
Ultimately, IT outsourcing considerations revolve around relationship management and communication.
ACE IT Solutions delivers customized service agreements to suit the specific needs of your business. Our comprehensive managed services plans offer the peace of mind of knowing that your network is being monitored 24×7, that issues will be identified and remediated before they become major problems, and that we are there for you anytime problems may arise, no matter how big or small. Contact ACE IT Solutions at 646-558-5575 for a free consultation and more information on our outsourced IT solutions.