Factors to consider when outsourcing IT support

Nearly every business can benefit from working with a trusted IT support provider. With technology moving at an incredible pace, cybercriminals are becoming ever more creative and effective. Businesses that are nonchalant about their IT risk being left behind and are increasingly vulnerable to attacks.

The consequences of working with outdated, unsupported, ineffective IT systems could be catastrophic. With an IT support provider by your side, your business can benefit in many ways. Your IT partner will recommend tried and tested solutions, apps, and programmes. They’ll be experts in cost-effective software solutions, well-versed in many technical services, and capable of upgrading and maintaining your networks and hardware.

With a Managed Service Provider (MSP) on your side, you’ll also benefit from user training for applications, programmes, and systems, improving your team’s effectiveness and your cyber security. By defining and managing remote working solutions and practices, your IT partner will ensure your business is far more agile.

So, now you’re thinking about outsourcing, what are the factors to consider when outsourcing IT support, how can you best select your IT support provider, and what should you expect from your chosen partner?

And when you’re ready to chat about outsourcing, simply talk to one of our IT specialists.

What to look for in your outsourced IT solution partner

Expertise

A good MSP will continually train their teams, providing training programmes for solutions, systems, threats, advancements in technology, and new service releases.

This type of training should go hand in hand with industry-specific training/education in line with clients’ trades and general qualifications.

To ensure their teams can provide exceptional service, they should also develop their staff by encouraging professional training, networking, and conference attendance and speaking to develop their careers.

What IT tasks can you outsource?

This will vary between different IT support providers, but typical tasks and services that are outsourced include:

  • Network and device security
  • Proactive 24/7 monitoring, reporting and alerting
  • Data backup and recovery
  • Backup monitoring
  • Leading antivirus protection
  • Asset management
  • Patch management
  • Systems operation and support
  • Virtualisation
  • Training
  • Cloud solutions, including Microsoft 365
  • Communication solutions
  • Intranet and digital workplace strategies
  • Technology consultancy

Availability and responsiveness

Ensure your future IT support provider offers the level of support your business requires, such as 24/7 availability. It’s also important to consider their stated responsiveness to support requests, as this can impact how quickly issues are resolved.

Communication and Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

Communications with your prospective or incumbent IT partner should be clear and open: you should know your terms of service, contract, and SLAs well.

You should receive timely support, regular ticket updates – should times be extended – and confirmation of ticket completions. Everything should be in writing and agreed upon, and your expectations for services, support, and updates managed.

Ensure the potential IT support provider offers SLAs that meet your business needs. The SLAs should define the level of service you can expect, including response times, resolution times, and uptime guarantees.

Confidentiality and good security

Trust should go without saying: your IT partner has the ‘key’ to all your systems, passwords, and accounts, so you must completely trust them to keep your data, passwords, teams, and systems safe. Your cyber security needs to be robust, so you need to have faith that they’re working with the best-in-class providers and that their specialised internal cyber security experts are on-the-ball and readily available should you need to call on them.

You must trust your outsourced IT provider to safeguard your company’s confidentiality. You must be confident in your IT partner’s reputation and advice, the services they suggest, and the pricing structure. Ensure your service provider will guarantee the confidentiality and security of your systems and data. MSPs work with many businesses; some of their customers may be your direct competitors.

You should agree KPIs with your MSP, ensure regular progress meetings are in the calendar, and have a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) in place.

Regulatory compliance

Is the company able to prove its own compliance, and are they able to ensure yours? For example, do they provide IT backup and disaster recovery solutions and have industry alliances, certified partners, or accreditations with key providers such as Microsoft, Dell, or IBM? Have they achieved Cyber Essentials, and are they effectively adhering to GDPR?

Pricing

Consider the pricing structure being proposed. Ensure it fits realistically within your budget, now and in the future. For example, some IT support providers charge a fixed monthly fee. Others charge per hour or incident.

It’s essential to understand the costs associated with the service your new supplier will provide and move forward with the conviction that they offer good value for money.

And remember the cost benefits of outsourcing; outsourcing your IT turns fixed costs and depreciating assets into variable costs – and you should only ever pay for what you need.

Reputation and references

Look for an IT support provider with a strong reputation in the industry and positive references from other businesses. A trusted MSP can provide you with references, testimonials and even arrange a call with a current client. They can provide their ticket response statistics or case studies and have client reviews to prove their ability.

Most reputable suppliers will have online reviews, whether that’s using a service like TrustPilot, Google, or social media.

Outsource to experienced IT specialists

Making the move to outsourced IT or changing your IT partner can be daunting. You need an experienced supplier you can trust to guide you through the process and be there when you need them with the very best service possible.

At RAD Group, we’ve got 50 years of experience on our side. We’re committed to listening to our clients, working with complete transparency, and delivering the services your business needs and will benefit from.

So why not find out more about us? Contact our professional team to talk to one of our IT specialists.