In today’s fast-paced digital world, every business relies on solid IT support. But for companies on a budget, finding that kind of support can be difficult. Smaller IT firms often find themselves stretched too thin with break-fix work and too many clients, while bigger IT organizations are known for prioritizing their larger clients. It is possible, however, for a small to medium-sized business to get enterprise-level support worthy of a Fortune 500 company—at a price anyone can appreciate.
But it isn’t easy—which is why we’ve combined 10 of the most important questions you should ask any IT provider, whether they’re an existing partner you may or not be happy with or a potential partner you are considering.
1) Do you provide 24/7 support? Instead of waiting around for technology problems to arise, the best IT service takes a proactive instead of reactive approach. What does that mean? 24/7 monitoring maintains a constant watch on your company’s desktops, laptops, mobile devices, networks, servers, printers, and more, all with the goal of eliminating downtime.
2) How deep do your security solutions go? In today’s dangerous online world, with viruses, data breaches, and other hacks abounding, a basic firewall isn’t enough. Elite-level support includes antivirus, anti-malware, web filtering, IP traffic analysis, and other layered network security solutions that can create a protective “umbrella” around your systems. You might not “see” these services—but when the threat of infections and ransomware decreases, you’ll feel the difference.
3) What kind of help desk can you offer? Whether your business consists of two employees or 200, you deserve IT support that’s always there and always ready to resolve any issue. At CMIT Solutions, we employ more than 700 technicians at varying levels who have decades of experience solving every IT problem under the sun. We are also committed to the best customer service in the industry, which allows us to both stay on the cutting edge of IT security and give our clients the support they deserve.
4) Does your team have a nationwide reach? In addition to our technical staff, CMIT has more than 160 franchises across North America, which means we can support multi-office setups or staff members working in multiple time zones. We’ve even had franchise partners collaborate to help employees who lost a laptop in one airport while traveling to another one recover their data and their devices.
5) Do your products and services meet real-world needs? Many IT companies tailor their offerings to the demands of vendors or the whims of revenue-generating propositions. But the best kind of solutions should match the specific issues you face today—data storage and accessibility, anti-spam and anti-ransomware protection, and mobile technologies—not the ones that may or may not emerge at some point in the distant future. Any good IT partner should be able to understand your business, identify its struggles and pain points, and relieve them through the targeted deployment of functional tools that can help things run smoother.
6) What’s more important—software and hardware or the human beings who use them? We believe the answer is “all of the above.” Yes, computers, networks, and devices represent the bread and butter of any IT company. But often forgotten in the conversation on security are the employees who use those devices day in and day out. That’s why acceptable use policies, comprehensive training, and other support that focuses on the human element of your company are so important.
7) Can you help me meet industry and government compliance demands? Whether you operate in health care, finance, legal, or other regulated industries, compliance done right is a critical must for any business. From secure data storage and transmission to encryption, backup, and disaster recovery, a good IT provider will go the extra mile to ensure that your business is up to speed with industry and government requirements. Those kinds of quality offerings can make the difference between business success and civil and criminal penalties for a failure to protect data.
8) Do you serve businesses of different sizes? Beware of any IT firm that only focuses on one sphere of the market, whether that’s a big company only servicing big companies or a one-man shop only working with similar-sized companies. Many large IT firms don’t treat their smaller clients with the same level of dedication and respect as their larger ones, and most of those small break-fix shops can’t deliver the kind of proactive solutions you need to stay secure in today’s dangerous digital world.
9) How do you conduct research and handle development? Since technology is always changing, an IT company is only as good as its vision for the future. Conducting primary and secondary research, testing and validating new solutions, and always staying a step ahead of cybersecurity issues and unforeseen challenges are the hallmarks of a strong IT provider who has your best interests at the top of their to-do list.
10) What exactly can you do for me? Whether it’s the basics like proactive monitoring and data backup or more involved solutions like cloud storage, videoconferencing, file sync and share, or mobile device security, your IT provider should be able to do exactly what you need. At CMIT Solutions, we consider ourselves the human intelligence behind information technology—so we go above and beyond just the per-hour contractor that only fixes computers when they break or the voice on the other end of the line that does nothing but put you on hold.
We’re the trusted partner that takes a proactive approach to your technology. We’re the fellow small business owner that understands your day-to-day needs. We’re the built-in support staff that’s always there when you need us. And when something goes wrong with your IT infrastructure, we will stand by your side and work diligently to resolve the issue, no matter how long it takes or how hard the job is. That’s the CMIT Promise—and it’s one that you won’t find anywhere else. Have questions about how you can get Fortune 500 support at a price you can afford? Contact CMIT Solutions today.