Many organizations are turning to outsourced IT providers for their IT service needs. When selecting an IT service provider, there are a number of factors that you should keep in mind, such as pricing models, business growth plans, service-level agreements, and more. Here are a few questions that you should ask when interviewing outsourced IT departments in Chicago.
1. When and how will I be charged?
Different Chicago IT companies offer different pricing models. Some of the most common pricing models include per incident, fixed, and variable. In general, fixed price tends to be the best option. With a fixed price model, organizations enjoy the unlimited support and the main advantage of this is that your interests are aligned with that of the supplier. Variable pricing depends on the amount of time it takes to resolve your IT problems. As you can imagine, this pricing model can lead to disputes and confusion with your supplier.
Sometimes, the variable pricing model of a Chicago IT company will look like a fixed-price agreement because a fixed amount of hours is sold upfront. However, the fixed amount of hours may charge you extra for work on-site or work performed during certain hours.
Before you go for a fixed-pricing model, you should ask whether warranties and maintenance contracts are included. You should also ask about interactions with equipment suppliers and management of contracts. Look out for hidden extras and ensure that the pricing is completely transparent.
2. Are you a one-stop shop?
Ideally, you want to work with an IT company in Naperville that will be able to meet all of the needs of your organization. Therefore, you should choose an IT company that is a one-stop shop in the sense that it offers networking, hardware, support, and software. This will reduce the need for multiple suppliers.
3. How large is your Chicago IT services company as an organization?
While a one-man IT company is unlikely to be able to meet your organization’s needs, it doesn’t necessarily mean that bigger is better. Very large companies are often lacking when it comes to customer care. Therefore, it is a good idea to look for a medium-sized supplier so that you can enjoy the best of both worlds.
4. Do you work with other companies within my industry?
You want to work with a company that has relevant experience in your industry. This is particularly vital if the marketplace in which you operate is niche. The IT company that you select should view their relationships with their customers as partnerships. If possible, speak to a representative from a similar company that works with the IT company to get a testimony.
5. Do you offer a service-level agreement (SLA)?
Choose an IT company that offers a service-level agreement in your contract. The SLA should be linked to what you desire from the service that contributes to your organization. The SLA should take about response times rather than technology. You should also take a look at reviews for the organization to ensure that SLAs are being met by the IT company. An SLA will give you realistic and clear expectations about the level of service you can expect to receive from the IT company.
To ensure you choose an IT company that will be able to meet the needs of your organization, be sure to ask the questions discussed above. For more information about Chicago Information Systems and how to select outsourcing providers, don’t hesitate to contact us.