Top Questions When Searching For IT Support Philadelphia Businesses Need
Asking the right questions is critical when deciding on IT support Philadelphia and Wilmington companies need. Understanding the services offered, advantages, local offices and staff experience are essential considerations necessary for choosing the best IT partner for your business.
Here are a few of the questions to ask when searching for IT support Philadelphia or Wilmington businesses need.
How Will Hiring You As Our Philadelphia IT Services Help Our Firm?
Your IT support partner needs to provide you with strategic insights along with practical solutions that keep your company ahead of competitors.
It begins by establishing a trusting relationship. You need a partner you can consider a virtual chief information officer, eager to learn about your business ambitions, needs and challenges. Your IT partner should be seen as a critical part of your business, helping to identify and implement cost-effective solutions that will help you achieve business objectives and improve workflow.
You want an IT partner that seeks first to focus on improving your business and considers technology a tool that helps to resolve broader issues. Technology is not a single answer; it’s a part of a more comprehensive, sophisticated solution that your IT partner enables you to develop and implement.
Your competitors are likely to focus on new technology. A Deloitte study projected that global spending on IT as a service would grow to $547 billion by the end of 2018, up from $361 billion in 2016. Similarly, a Bain report estimates the global market for cloud services to hit $390 billion by 2020, up from $180 billion in 2015.
Business leaders need a high-level view of what IT can do for the organization and how to think about planning and budgeting for short- and long-term technological needs. They also need a partner that knows about what technologies are emerging, is potentially disruptive and can transform your business.
What’s Included In Your IT Services Plans For Philadelphia Businesses?
Managed IT providers to use a variety of service structures. Be sure you understand entirely what is and is not provided for your business based on your chosen service level. Managed IT is usually offered for a flat monthly rate, but knowing what’s included in that rate and what you may need to pay extra for is essential. Here are some products and services to ask about:
- What is the emergency response time?
- How quickly can a technician be scheduled for on-site assistance?
- When is the help desk staffed?
- What types of support are offered — phone, email, remote, on-site?
- What system and network monitoring is provided?
- Is there regular executive-level feedback and analysis provided?
- What types of hardware and software maintenance and monitoring are included?
Who Will Be Working With Us and What Experience Do They Have in IT Support Philadelphia and Wilmington Companies Need?
You want to know who will be working for your business. You want to work with IT support staff who have experience and training on the technologies you deploy and your industry. You don’t want to meet with the IT company’s top engineers, technicians and consultants only to find after you sign a contract that low-level employees are servicing you. Ask to be introduced to the team members your company would be working with if you sign a contract. Ask about their education, experience, certifications and familiarity with your needs.
How Will We Recoup the Investment in Your IT Services?
This question is one of the most important you can ask. You want to select an IT support company that will deliver the returns you expect on your investment in IT support:
- Predictable monthly expenses. By shifting most of your IT expenses from a capital cost to an operational cost, your company can make more accurate financial projections and have a clear understanding of anticipated charges.
- Reduced demand for on-staff IT support. Redeploy staff to other critical IT needs and ease the burden of hiring new staff familiar with new technologies.
- More uptime. With managed IT services, your business will see more reliable systems and functionality, due to better monitoring and regular maintenance of hardware and software.
- Improved productivity. Cloud-based solutions for productivity and communications apps help your employees collaborate and make better decisions faster.
- Better security. The cost of a cyber attack can be profound. Constant monitoring and threat removal keep your systems secured and operational.
How Can Your Business Help Us with Cloud-Based Data Storage and Apps?
As more businesses move to the cloud, it’s essential to understand why it’s advantageous to do so. With cloud migration, companies can eliminate outdated hardware (including the expenses to maintain, monitor, cool and power server rooms), achieve rapid scalability as business needs evolve, give your employees more flexibility and access to data from anywhere on any device, promote real-time collaboration among employees and partners, gain computing power, reduce processing time and free up on-staff IT employees for other tasks.
These services and benefits come at a predictable monthly cost and include active monitoring of your software and data.
Cloud-based applications also help with productivity. Microsoft Office 365, the online version of the popular suite of applications, gives your employees the familiar look and feel of Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other apps.
By using these applications in the cloud, your IT service provider can help your teams’ productivity in many ways, including:
- Better collaboration through online access to documents and data no matter where they are or what device they’re using
- Automated synchronization of your data across all devices
- Easy scalability to add or remove users
- Licenses and upgrades included in your flat-rate monthly fee
Your IT provider should be able to assist with the migration of your Office apps to Office 365 and help with employee training and troubleshooting.
What Automated Monitoring Do You Provide?
Your business deserves to be protected from all manner of cyber attacks, from viruses to ransomware.
Ask your potential IT service provider about the kinds of cybersecurity assessments they provide. Do they do penetration testing and white-hat hacking to find vulnerabilities and recommend solutions? Will they repair any identified holes in your protection?
To make sure data and systems are protected, you need continuous monitoring, including using automated tools that scan and detect threats. An IT provider’s monitoring and security tools should include:
- 24/7 remote monitoring
- Next-generation firewall protection for your network’s perimeter, including
- Securing endpoints to prevent authorized devices from connecting
- Notification of unusual events
- Automated virus definition updates to software and hardware
- Remote patch management
- Business-class anti-virus tools to protect against adware, malware, ransomware, spam and spyware
- Spyware monitoring and removal
- Virus removal and device cleaning
- Email filtering and encryption
- Secure WiFi access for employees and visitors
- Server stability and performance monitoring
- Mobile device configuration and security
What Data Backup Services Do You Provide?
Business continuity and disaster recovery are vitally important. Being able to respond to a natural disaster or cyber attack quickly is crucial to retaining customers and keeping disruptions to a minimum.
Business continuity planning helps companies create the right processes and procedures so that everyone in your organization understands what needs to happen and how. Disaster recovery is an important component of business continuity. Recovery is about the tactical steps that need to be taken to get the organization back up and running quickly.
Data backup services are essential to a sound business continuity plan. Whether it’s on-site backups, cloud-based backups or complete backups of your operating system, applications and data, your business continuity depends on clearly defined processes and automated data backups. Encrypting those backups provides yet another security layer, protecting confidential customer and employee information.
Do You Have Local IT Support Philadelphia, Delaware and New Jersey Offices?
If you’re a local business, you want local support. Be sure to ask a potential IT service provider for their locations and service area.
Finding the right IT services provider is critical. That’s why so many companies count on Menark Technologies. Menark serves companies and organizations throughout the tri-state area, including accounting firms, health care providers, legal firms, non-profit agencies, professional services firms, real estate companies and more. We have offices in Hatfield, Pennsylvania, Williamstown, New Jersey, Bear, Delaware, and Earleville, Maryland.
For 15+ years, Menark has focused on providing highly responsive and flexible solutions that meet our clients’ greatest needs. We offer a complete suite of IT services, including business consulting, IT care plans, cloud services, data backup, help-desk services, IT security management, productivity solutions and regulatory compliance tools. Book your no-obligation, free consultation today with the leading IT support Philadelphia and Wilmington company.