The Right Questions to Ask When Vetting IT Service Providers in Rhode Island
Owing to the high number of IT service providers in Rhode Island and the country as a whole, choosing one may turn out to be a tricky affair. After all, you will be bombarded with offers, affordable pricing options, and claims of quality services and solutions. However, the quality services and solutions part may not always be true for all of them. This is why you need a rigorous vetting process to ensure you get the absolute best option for your company.
Failure to vet your options properly may ultimately lead to losses, service delivery failures, and stress for you and your team. Below, we’ve listed some key questions to ask potential IT service providers and the reasons why you should ask them.
What are your long-term plans for your IT services company?
The fate of your company and that of your IT service provider will seemingly be intertwined the minute you engage their services. As such, any changes that may affect them will impact your organization as well. One example is that they may have plans to move their base of operations to a different city or state. Such developments would likely have a negative impact on their overall service delivery capabilities to you.
At the same time, you will grow as an institution, and you need the IT company to grow with you. This is because your IT needs will change as you grow, and your IT service provider has to keep up with your new and upcoming needs. Failure to do so could lead to some losses on your end, which you want to avoid. It might also necessitate that you move to another service provider, which can be a hassle.
Notably, growth and expansion are often addressed in the long term plans of any organization. As such, this question will help you determine whether the IT service provider will be there for you in the long run.
What is your exit strategy?
The long term plans may serve to assure you that your IT service provider is not going anywhere for the foreseeable future. However, this is not a guarantee. Some businesses fail while others encounter unforeseen issues that necessitate their exit from the market. Your IT service provider may also encounter such problems and thus needs to have an exit strategy in place.
Failure to have such a strategy could mean that you also get affected if your IT company’s affairs crumble. However, you will sleep better if you know the company you hired has plans to take care of you if things go sideways for them. Some of these plans may include a strategy to help you find another service provider in addition to updating them on your needs.
Where am I being supported from (Local or from outside my Community)?
Local support is also often synonymous with better service delivery, although it’s not always the case. Remember that there are transport costs and time costs that result from having to import services from outside your community. This could be why you get higher price quotes from one company as compared to others. Also, the time it takes for support to get there is time wasted that can lead to some significant losses.
On the other hand, local support will take shorter periods to get to you and troubleshoot your problems. Additionally, seeing as though they don’t deal with the needs of too many other companies, they are much more aware of your needs. This means they will take less time handling your issues as well.
Are your employees full-time staff members, contractors, or outsourced?
This is another area that will affect the service delivery capabilities of the IT company you choose to hire. Notably, if your IT service provider has full-time employees, there are some benefits you can expect. One is that you will likely have to deal with the same individuals whenever you have any issues. This means that they will be familiar with your needs and the problems that you often encounter.
Notably, you won’t have to deal with re-educating them every time they come to your organization. This may be different when dealing with contractors or outsourced labor. Of course, there are time costs associated with this as well. Also, contractors and outsourced labor don’t have the same motivations as permanent employees, which may lead to substandard service delivery.
Do you outsource any services or support?
This may seem counterproductive, especially after asking about the employees. However, this is a different question altogether. The organization may have permanent employees but outsource some services or support to a different organization. In a few cases, this may not be a bad thing. After all, the organization in question may be better at providing such support and services.
That said, you should be aware of precisely what kind of support and services you will be getting from the IT service provider you hire. Differentiate this from what you will be getting from outsourced organizations. With this data and information, you can decide if the risk is worth it or not.
Is There Anything Else You Need to Do After Asking These Questions
Some of these IT service providers have marketing teams in place to tell you exactly what you want to hear. As such, it might not do you any good to believe everything they tell you. Instead, there are ways to fact-check their statements that can help you verify the truth of what they’re saying.
One way of fact-checking is looking into references. Most organizations have some references posted on their website, which you can corroborate with google reviews. Also, industry reports may help you gauge how the company is rated in comparison to the competition. Lastly, you can ask for case studies and success stories for proof of their credentials.
If you’re looking for a reliable IT service provider in Rhode Island, you can contact us for answers to the above questions. Our team will also provide you with the proof you need of the same. That said, you can do an independent fact check as well.