1. You don’t get a fast response from your IT or computer vendor (or worse, you don’t get any response)
Service and support is key when it comes to your IT systems. If you are having a problem, or if you need a question answered, you need it now.
2. Is your provider 24/7 system monitoring and maintenance?
Proactive, preventative maintenance and 24/7 monitoring are crucial to IT success. If your IT provider doesn’t do this, proceed with caution. At OATI, we have a Network Operations Center that utilizes the expertise of over 700 knowledgeable technicians — which means if you’ve got an emergency, an easily accessible Help Desk should be available to solve any problem in a timely manner.
3. What high-risk projects need to be dealt with now?
If your backup drive has been working for years but only backing up local directories, not all data, this critical need should be addressed first to ensure business continuity and stability of all systems.
4. Can you recommend services that fit my budget and my needs?
Proactive IT services provide better long-term value than reactive or break/fix services. But that doesn’t mean your budgetary constraints aren’t real. First and foremost, your IT provider should understand that — and be able to identify an appropriate course of action that works within your budget and doesn’t bust it.
5. What kind of long-term hardware, software, and support upgrade plan would you recommend?
No IT provider should ever try to sell you services that you don’t need. They should, however, work with you to identify areas where technological upgrades can make your business run more efficiently. Whether it’s new machines, new programs, or new ways to maximize IT output via the cloud, mobility, and industry compliance, make sure you get the support you need.
6. Listen, listen, listen
This flows from each of the previous five points. An IT provider should serve as a trusted advisor that understands your overall business goals, hears out your concerns, asks questions about your technology needs, and focuses on ways to improve your productivity and profitability. Once you decide to upgrade your current IT situation, your new provider should also work closely with your old provider to collect all necessary information and make the transition as smooth as possible.