The world of IT is complex. When you have a city, school, or business to run and you’re solely focused on communications, customer service, and continuity, it can be easy to ignore the technology aspect of the organization. This is where selecting IT vendors can come in handy, but if you have limited technology knowledge, how do you know which IT vendor to go with? We’ve outlined a series of questions you’ll want to ask when searching for technology solutions in Ohio. 

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How Do You Do Your Due Diligence? 

One of the most important aspects when picking an IT vendor is ensuring you do your due diligence. Skipping the simple and not-so-simple steps can result in potential software and hardware mismatches, unmet expectations, and security vulnerabilities. Moreover, if the managed IT services provider is simply looking to get more business, you have to wonder if they’re really taking the time to understand and meet your specific needs. 

Well-informed decision-making processes should be established in the beginning. It’s the only way you’ll truly form successful, long-term IT partnerships that are aligned with your needs and wants while also keeping you on track for your technology goals. 

What Is Your Managed IT Services Experience? 

Understanding an IT vendor’s background and experience can help you identify whether or not the partner is a good choice for your organization, even if you don’t understand the technical details. You want to go with a partner who not only has worked in your industry or one similar, but that has a breadth of experience that ranges from small help desk issues to complex ransomware attacks. Your brand deserves to have someone in their corner that will pull through when you need them most and is keeping on top of the latest in the technology industry. 

Here are some additional questions you’ll want to ask: 

  • Can you describe your experience with IT infrastructure projects similar to ours? 
  • How do you stay updated with industry standards and technology trends? 
  • What complex problems have you solved for partners in the past? 
  • Does your company focus on the solutions we need most, such as reliable phone systems or cybersecurity strategies? 

How Will Your Team Provide Ongoing Support? 

Installing a new system and walking away is not going to give you the support you need during the transition period or after. Your team needs to understand the technology they’ll be using or you could be missing out on cost and productivity benefits. It’s akin to throwing money down the drain. A well-developed maintenance plan will also help ensure system reliability and efficiency. 

Ask these questions as well: 

  • What type of ongoing support and maintenance do you offer? 
  • How do you handle urgent support requests outside regular business hours? 
  • Do you offer training for our employees so they can better understand the hardware or software you’re installing? 

How Do You Handle Upgrades? 

The world of technology is constantly changing, and that’s why it’s difficult for many businesses to keep up. By working with a managed IT services provider, however, they can do the keeping up for you and advise your organization on the best technology upgrades for modernization. Continuous improvement and adaptation will not only help you keep up with the competition (and potentially get ahead of them), but also it will help you cut costs, boost productivity, and improve employee, student, constituent, and customer experiences. 

Consider these questions too: 

  • How do you determine when an IT or phone system needs an update? 
  • What is your process for integrating new technologies with existing systems? 
  • How do you keep on top of the latest developments regarding technology solutions? 

Is There Somewhere I Can See Past References for Your Technology Solutions in Ohio? 

As with any third-party vendor, you want to be sure they’re not making up credentials and have truly helped businesses like yours in the past. Reviewing client references and case studies can help you better understand the managed IT services provider’s capabilities and reliability, as well as their experience within your field. You should also investigate how the provider measures and reports on project success and client satisfaction, as this can give you insight into their internal approaches to the customer experience. 

Can You Help Us Navigate the Current IT Landscape? How? 

The IT landscape is constantly changing, as noted before regarding upgrades. You should understand how the IT vendor will be helping you keep up while also understanding how the vendor’s employees keep up on the latest in the technology sphere. Here are two examples where this question can help you. 

How Will Your Managed Technology Services Help Us Identify Scammers? 

Scammers are regularly introducing new malware or social engineering tricks to their game. AI in particular has given their practices a boost, and managed IT support needs to have the tools to stop them in their tracks. Companies introducing precautionary measures into their business stand to be able to better identify red flags too. Some red flags can include links or requests for password resets that your company or the employee didn’t request, sudden requests for large amounts of money transfers, or messages that put pressure to act immediately. 

Did They Use AI To Create Their Proposal? 

It’s not just bad actors in cybersecurity that are using AI. Some managed IT service providers are actually using AI to create their proposal for companies. On the surface, they may look complex and detailed. These can come off as impressive, but they actually lack clear deliverables or responsibilities on the side of the vendors. All proposals should be properly vetted so you completely understand your role in the partnership and what concrete actions the provider will be taking to assist you going forward. 

As with any new partnership with your business, it’s important to ask the detailed questions during the selection process. Even if you don’t understand the ins and outs of IT, these example questions will give you a good foundation for selecting the right partner. At FreedomLinx, we’re committed to guiding customers through this critical process. We work with you to ensure you’re equipped with the tools and knowledge to select the best vendors and IT solutions that align with your needs, wants, and expectations. 

It’s time to work with a provider who delivers customized solutions aligned with the public sector’s unique needs and challenges – start the conversation with us today.