Outsourcing IT: Alignment with Long-term Goals
Beyond customer service, expertise, and a good working relationship, understanding the length, terms and cost of your engagement with a technical service provider avoids uncomfortable questions and allows clear understanding of terms including payment, work beyond scope and termination.
Engagement. When it comes to technology support, every business has its own unique needs and challenges. To meet these needs and challenges, guard against any engagement that attempts to fit your square peg into their round hole. An engagement agreement is a good way to ensure mutual understanding, including any commitments, required length of engagement and any terms that may apply, such as sixty-day notice period prior to cancellation.
Service Offering & Cost. Any good business requires their customers know precisely what is offered and at what cost. This reduces misunderstandings and allows all parties to make informed decisions. IT Support is not different. Make certain your service provider is clear about what they offer your business and the associated cost for their services. It is always a good idea to ask what is NOT included, to ensure avoidance of surprises down the road.
Accessibility. Unlike some industries, IT support must account for needs and emergencies at all possible times. According to Murphy’s Law, this means that systems will crash on a major holiday, at midnight or just before a client presentation. When you have an IT emergency, the most important thought is getting it fixed and fixed quickly. Less of an immediate thought is the associated cost. Many IT firms maintain different rates for business hours and non-business hours. The same photos for weekends and holidays. Knowing costs before an emergency strikes, and how quickly you can expect assistance, is important data. This permits you to manage an emergency much more effectively. Make certain your IT partners outline their after hours support costs as well as the associated response times.