There are over 882,000 professionals working in the computer and information technology industry as support specialists. If you’re searching for IT consulting businesses for your company, it helps to know what to look for.
Otherwise, you could waste valuable time during your search. You might even hire a team that lacks the skills or expertise you need.
Instead of wasting time, use these nine tips when reviewing each IT consulting company on your list. With these tips, you’ll feel confident in your final decision. You can start using IT consulting services to set your business up for success.
With the right IT consulting business, you can safeguard your customers, boost your productivity, and improve your bottom line.
Start searching for the best IT consulting company around with these nine simple tips today!
1. Consider Their Location
First, take a moment to consult other business owners in your area. Ask if any of them have worked with an IT consulting company recently. Would they recommend you hire the same business?
Talking with people in your professional circle can help you build a list of IT consulting businesses to research further. As you speak with other business owners, ask about their experience.
For example, was the company quick to respond to each support ticket? Ask the business owner if they had any issues with the company, too. If so, ask what the company did to fix the problem.
Speaking with people you know and trust can help you find an IT consulting agency you can trust. It can also help you gather information you might struggle to find online.
If your professional network can’t help you find an IT consulting company, that’s okay. Instead, head online. Google “the best IT consulting organization near me.” Then, pull up Google Maps and start developing your list.
Some businesses prefer to hire a local IT consulting agency. You might benefit from having someone who can arrive on-site. They can help with equipment repair and other services they’ll need to offer in person.
However, you might want to find an IT consulting agency that offers remote monitoring and management services instead. They won’t have to arrive at your offices in order to fix the IT issues you’re experiencing. Instead, they can handle everything from an off-site location.
There are a few benefits of hiring a team that operates off-site.
For example, they can help you around the clock. You won’t have to experience lengthy delays as you wait for help, either.
Once you have a list of IT consulting agencies, use the rest of these tips to narrow down your options.
2. Look for a Staffed Team
Ask each company on your list how many people they currently have on staff. Then, consider asking how many clients they currently manage.
When vetting IT consulting businesses, it’s important to find a company that won’t make you wait. The longer you wait for help, the more downtime you’ll experience. Frequent downtime can hurt your team’s productivity and your ROI.
Meanwhile, consumers might get frustrated if they keep experiencing problems. If they get frustrated, they might take their business elsewhere.
You’ll miss the chance to develop brand trust and loyalty. In some cases, customer loyalty is worth 10 times as much as a single purchase. Even a 2% increase in customer retention can lower costs by 10%.
You can spend less money on customer acquisition and more time nurturing your existing customers.
First, you’ll need to improve their customer experience. To improve your customer experience, you’ll need a staffed IT consulting company.
You can find the right IT consulting agency for your firm by asking about their response times. How long does it take for them to respond to a ticket? How long will it take before they implement new infrastructure or technology?
What happens if your company is hacked or data is held for ransom? Ask each company how they’ll help in these situations. How long will it take to resolve the problem?
Businesses fall victim to ransomware every 11 seconds. An attack could cost about $150 million. Cybercrime is becoming so prevalent worldwide that it could cost businesses $6 trillion by the end of this year.
Choose a business that has the staff necessary to help you in these situations.
If the consulting firm is juggling too many clients at once, take your business elsewhere.
You’ll have peace of mind knowing the IT consulting company you choose can react promptly in any situation.
3. Determine the Levels of Support
Before choosing an IT consulting business, ask each company on your list about the levels of support they offer. A company that offers levels of support will work with you to create a customized plan. You’ll only need to pay for services you’re actually using.
Developing a customized plan can help you develop a strategy with your company and customers in mind. You can accomplish your goals without overspending.
Make sure the company you chose uses a proactive approach as well.
Many businesses still use the antiquated break-fix method. This method involves waiting for IT issues to arise, then stopping everything to diagnose the problem. You could waste time trying to fix out what’s wrong.
Then, you’ll need to waste even more time determining the best solution for the issue.
Instead, talk to each IT consulting agency about how they can help your business become more proactive. They should review your current IT setup. They should ask about your goals for the upcoming year, too.
Only then can the IT consulting agency develop a customized plan with your goals and needs in mind.
If the company wants to use a cookie-cutter approach, they likely don’t care about your best interests. Chances are, they care more about your money instead.
4. Choose Experienced Experts
Before hiring an IT consulting agency, look into the history of each business.
First, make sure the company is long-established. An established business has likely earned the respect of the clients. They probably outlasted competitors in the industry over the years, too.
Most people learn from hands-on experience and time. Finding an established business can also help you find an experienced team.
Consider how long each company has run and operated. Then, look into their paperwork. Make sure the company is licensed, bonded, and insured.
What happens if someone is injured while working on your property? What if they unintentionally cause damage to your building? Finding a bonded, the insured business will give you the reassurance you need.
The company will handle the situation for you.
Ask for proof that the company is licensed, too. Make sure their license is up-to-date.
Think about the technology you currently use. Do you use technology that’s specific to your industry? Make sure the company has experience handling equipment and software you use, too.
Their familiarity with your systems could save you time and stress in the future.
5. Request a Dedicated Technician
When researching different IT consulting businesses, take the time to research the team.
What formal training does each technician need to complete? Do their team members continue their education over the years? How do they remain up-to-date with the latest technologies and trends?
Before hiring an IT consultant, ask if you’ll work with a dedicated technician. Working with the same technician each time there’s a problem can save you time. You won’t have to explain your previous problems.
The IT technician won’t have to waste time reviewing your plan, either. Instead, they’ll already have an intimate knowledge of your business. They’ll likely feel more equipped to handle the problems you’re facing.
Try to learn more about the technician you’ll work with.
What education and training have they completed? Ask if they have any additional credentials or certificates, too.
It’s also important to make sure they have prior experience working with a business within your industry. Try to learn more about their experience with that client. How was the client able to help that business?
Some IT consulting businesses have case studies you can review. Case studies can help you learn more about their abilities.
Working with a technician who has prior experience in your industry can save you valuable time and effort. They’ll already understand your company’s distinct needs. They might even recognize areas you’re neglecting.
6. Read Reviews
As you start narrowing down your choices, ask each company on your list for references and reviews. Speak with a few clients who have hired each company in the past. Remember, speaking with someone who was once in your shoes can help you gather more information.
Make a list of questions you want to ask each client beforehand. For example, you might want to discuss:
- Availability and wait times
- The team’s professionalism
- Whether or not the technician was helpful
- If the team was knowledgeable
- How the IT consulting agency helped their business
- If they experienced any issues
- How those issues were resolved
Otherwise, look for online customer reviews when vetting your options.
First, check the company’s Better Business Bureau listing. Make sure they don’t have any complaints filed against them.
Then, check their Google My Business listing as well. Read multiple reviews from each website. You can also check other online directories.
One or two negative reviews are normal. Not every business can please every client. Pay attention to their specific complaints, though.
7. Consider Their Specialties
Before choosing an IT Consulting company, make a list of your goals for the year. Make sure your goals are SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, results-driven, timely). Then, determine what IT services you need to accomplish each goal.
Determining what services you need can help you narrow down your choices. If the company isn’t capable of accomplishing your goals, scratch them off your list.
For example, you might want to consider cloud computing this year. If your team is working remotely, you can access and share files from across the globe. Your team will have an easier time collaborating on projects, too.
If you’re interested in cloud computing, consider data storage and management as well. You’ll only pay for as much storage as you need.
You’ll no longer have to keep data storage equipment in your offices anymore. Instead, your IT consulting firm can handle everything off-site.
You can start dedicating more space within your offices to employees.
About one in every four senior small business leaders don’t know where to start with their cybersecurity. Remember, hackers, are becoming smarter and more resilient. You don’t want to leave your business or customers vulnerable.
Otherwise, consumers might decide they can’t trust you with their business. They could turn to one of your competitors. They might even tell friends what happened, scaring potential customers away.
Before that can happen, look for IT consulting agencies that offer cybersecurity services. Protect your business before a hacker targets your data.
8. Ask How They Log Calls
Take the time to understand each company’s process, too. How do they log their calls?
Some companies will require you to call a third party before they direct you to a technician. This process could waste your time and cause unnecessary stress.
Make sure the company won’t push your call to multiple people. You’ll feel more confident in a team that has an efficient setup in place.
9. Read the Fine Print
Interview at least three IT consulting firms on your list. Make sure they’re capable of meeting your needs and goals. Then, ask each company for a copy of their contract.
If you discussed pricing over the phone, make sure to get the details in writing. Having a written copy will help with any potential disputes.
Make sure to review the contract. What payment structure does the company use? For example, some companies have you pay for each support ticket.
Determine what is and isn’t included in the pricing.
Gather quotes from at least three businesses to compare your options, too.
The Search is On: 9 Tips for Finding the Best IT Consulting Services
Finding IT consulting businesses you can count on doesn’t have to feel like a hassle. Instead, use these nine tips for a more effective search. With these tips, you can find the one IT consulting company you need.
They’ll set your business up for lasting success. Searching for more tips and tricks? We can help. Explore our latest guides today.