In Seattle, many businesses are choosing to outsource their IT. They’ve seen the benefits outsourcing offers, such as reducing costs, increasing flexibility, and increasing efficiency. However, once you’ve decided to give outsourced IT a try, the difficult process of finding the right provider begins. Wading through various Seattle managed IT services providers can take time, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for. We want to help you with your process, so we’ve compiled some key questions you should be asking to ensure you find the best fit.
1. What services are included in your pricing?
Each outsourced IT provider in Seattle charges slightly differently. You must know what services you are getting and how they are charging you before signing on with a provider. For example, some providers exclude certain services from their base monthly price. If you unknowingly have your provider perform one of these services that aren’t covered, you will be surprised when your next invoice arrives.
So, when you are talking with different providers, ask them what services are covered and what aren’t. Do they charge based on a fairly all-encompassing model, or do they have a base monthly rate and charge a la carte for many additional services?
2. What are your working hours?
Technology never stops. It’s not uncommon for businesses to experience technical difficulties outside of the normal 9 AM to 5 PM hours of operation. If you are using an outsourced IT provider, do they have restrictions on what times of the day they work? Some providers are on-call at all times, meaning they will come in and work no matter what time of day it is. Others are only on-call for certain hours. Or, there is also the possibility that your provider will come in during off-hours, but it comes with a hefty price tag. They significantly increase their working rate depending on the time of day or day of the week.
If your business can handle being down for a night, it might not be a big issue if your provider will only work during the day. However, if your business relies on a working website, it might not be an option to be down for hours no matter what time of day or night it is. Whatever the case, you will want to know how your provider handles these situations and if they charge extra so that you won’t be caught off guard if something does happen after hours.
3. Do you have experience with specific compliance regulations?
Most businesses have to comply with some type of regulatory framework. Whether that be HIPAA or, specifically, for Washington, WaTech, or something else, it is important that your provider knows how to work within these frameworks. Ask them what experience they have with any compliance laws your business has to follow. Then ask them how they work within these regulations to keep your data safe and secure. By understanding their experience and process, you can be more confident in their abilities.
4. How do you focus on long-term strategies?
When working with a Seattle IT services provider, they shouldn’t solely focus on fixing immediate problems. You want a partner that will look forward and create appropriate technology strategies to improve your business. When you are evaluating different companies, ask them how they achieve this. If the provider can give you a clear, intelligent answer to this question, you’ll know that it is one of their priorities.
When you know what to ask, finding the right Seattle IT services provider can be easier than you thought. It’s all about understanding your own expectations and then working with different providers to learn more information about them.