Questions to Ask Your IT Service Provider

Outsourcing IT service providers offers numerous advantages, but doing so also comes with certain risks. Most of the companies today are entrusted with the customers’ sensitive information, making it crucial to carefully evaluate any prospective service provider. To help you sort out the good IT companies in Singapore from the bad ones, we listed down some questions that will help in ensuring that you’re hiring the right service provider.

1. Who are the technicians that will be working on our system?
Understanding an IT company’s overall competency is crucial, but knowing the skills of each technician you will be working with is as important. You would surely want to work with someone who’s familiar with your system problem and understands the short- and long-term goals of your business.

Some service providers usually introduce their top technicians to the clients, then uses a bait-and-switch strategy (where you will get a completely different team working on your system) once you have signed the agreement. The best way to keep this from happening is to personally meet the team that will be providing your IT services prior to the contract signing.

2. Do you provide your own technicians or do you outsource from another company?

Some IT service providers in Singapore often outsource desk support from a third party company, so make sure that you ask about it before signing up with them. A reputable IT service provider offers services using their own staff. They have trained their technicians and supported them to the highest standards, allowing them to give quality IT services and better customer support for their clients.

3. Can you provide references of past clients who got the same services as mine?
Even if your prospective IT service Singapore service provider seems reliable, be sure to ask for references before signing the contract. Ask if he can provide two to three names of his past clients, along with their contact information. Reach out to these people and see if they were satisfied with the IT services provided by your prospective technician. Inquire about how long they have worked together, and how the provider responded when he faced specific challenges with their system.

4. Are you capable of providing a certain type of automated monitoring?
Another important question to ask your prospective service provider is the type of automated monitoring they are offering. As an IT service provider, they should be able to provide round-the-clock remote and automated monitoring for your system. Without this, determining the cause of your system problem will surely take some time – and that’s a downtime you certainly wouldn’t want to have in your business.

So as much as possible, ask your prospective service provider about the type of remote monitoring and management (RMM) they are using. These systems are crucial for monitoring and identifying potential issues before they turn to costly and serious problems. If your provider is not using an RMM, then it would be best to reconsider getting their IT services.

5. Do you also provide cloud solution and services?
Most IT service providers in Singapore also offer a certain type of cloud solution. However, it’s crucial that you ask whether they provide their own cloud services or if they outsource it from another cloud computing company. If it’s the latter, then it would be best to drop the idea of getting their cloud services since some security concerns have been raised about third party vendors providing cloud solutions. Sure, your provider may have promised to adhere to the security standards, but you don’t have any assurance that the other vendor will also adhere to these security practices.

Other than that, you should also be concerned as to who will be holding your data. Your service provider might have promised to delete your data once the contract is over, but will the other company do that as well? Getting cloud services from a third party vendor only makes your personal data vulnerable to theft.

6. Will your employees have access to customer data?
Planning to move to cloud and entrust all your data to your service provider? If so, then it’s important to know if your provider’s staff can readily access all your data from their system. This is crucial if you have a sensitive data at rest. If the employees can easily access your information, it’s important to know how trustworthy the staff members are so as to avoid information theft.

7. What are terms stated in your service level agreement?
A service level agreement (SLA) is an agreement between you and the service provider, which summarizes all the expected IT services, metrics used to measure the said services and the penalties for when the metrics are not met. With an SLA, you and your prospective service provider will have an understanding about the service requirements, and neither of you will be able to use ignorance as an excuse should a problem arise.

Service providers typically provider a standard agreement, but it’s crucial for you to ensure that the terms are made with your best interest in mind. This agreement is part of the negotiation process, which means a provider who refuses to adjust their terms should be a cause of concern for you.

Finding a reputable IT service provider for your business might seem like an overwhelming task, but by asking the right questions, you’ll surely be able to find an IT company capable of providing and answering to all of your system needs.

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