5 Absolutely Must-Ask Questions When Choosing Your IT Partner

November 11, 2016
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We all know how quickly things change in the IT world. As changing technologies emerge and begin to integrate, evaluating how you approach your IT strategy is necessary. Whether you’re putting a longlist together for consideration, or making the final decision, having clear answers to these 5 questions will save you from potential headaches down the road.

1. What Projects Have You Done That are Relevant to Me?

This is a big one. We’re all guilty sometimes of knowing a company by reputation, or seeing their online content and thinking we know what they can do. What an IT services company offers, however, and what their expertise is in might be very different. Do they offer upgrade analytics but haven’t delivered on a project yet? What was the scope of any applicable work? Questions like these allow you to gain better insight into the expertise you’ll really be paying for.

2. What Does Your Resource Pool Look Like?

This is a bit of an extension of the first question, with an important difference – the company you’re considering might have had the correct project experience, but do they still have the resources to complete a similar project right now? You’re happy to have found a company you like with Power BI implementation expertise, but who did that project? Are those people still working with that company, or do they have proven resources that will provide comparable results for you?

3.What About Your Company Makes You a Long-Term Partner?

This is a lesson that can be hard to explain until you make the mistake – we’ll try to save you the headache! Asking this question should give you a great feel for whether you’re looking at a company that is a quick turnaround order-taker, or a strategic, consultative partner. Your IT managed services provider is meant to be a long-term partner that brings strategy and ideas to the table, in addition to being able to respond to your immediate needs.

4.What Are You Doing to Stay Current With Developing Technologies?

Asking this should give you a great idea of how learning-focused your potential IT partner is. Why is that important? Because technology is constantly progressing, you need a partner that is committed to empowering their people to learn so that you can benefit from the latest, most current knowledge. We’re thrilled at a chance tell you about our talented people’s IT certifications, designations, conferences attended, and presentations made – anything to demonstrate to you the extent to which development and growth is entrenched in our culture. If your prospective IT services provider doesn’t jump at that same chance, there’s likely a reason why.

5. What Impact Does it Have If You’re Considering a Non-Local IT Partner?

IT is a really flexible service in that there is a lot of work that can be done remotely with little to no negative impact. However, location is a factor when you consider the following: If your potential managed services provider is non-local, will they have the appropriate level of market knowledge and economic understanding? This is especially important in regions where the market is sensitive – basically, will your new partner be able to understand the day-to-day practicalities of your world? Next, there is an extra cost to be considered when you need people on-site. Non-local companies might have to send someone to you, along with the costs associated with travel and accommodation. Alternately, they may find someone who is local to you to avoid those costs – but that person may not be a proven resource to them, calling into question the quality of work you’ll be paying for.

These are just a few examples of questions to ask when you’re initially choosing an IT partner. Keep an eye on our social media for more tips on how to navigate around other areas of the IT world!

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