How to evaluate your IT provider

We know how it is when a solution is in place (or has been in place for years) — the simple fact that you have the solution means it’s doing what it’s meant to. Right?

While it is important to have a solution in place for your IT, it is equally important to be able to regularly assess that solution. Nothing in technology is static, and it’s important that your IT provider is able to offer you better processes and solutions year over year.

For that reason, we’ve put together a handy guide for how to continually assess how effective your IT provider is.

Compare your support to last year

The easiest way to tell if an IT provider is doing their job well is to compare how they are currently doing to how they did the previous year. Your ticket response and resolution times should at the very least be consistent (if not faster over time) and the number of issues you encounter should steadily go down the longer they have your solutions in place.

Ask around the office to see if your staff’s experience is the same as yours. Often, your staff will have more encounters involving ticket resolution than you.

Are you confident in your security awareness?

Technology is the single fastest-growing risk sector for every business. And it’s not just your hardware that’s being targetted — in fact, most cyberattacks are going to target your staff. 

The best-of-the-best cyberthreats out there today are built to target your staff members and elicit log in credentials from them. From social engineering to phishing and spear-phishing, advanced cybersecurity tools are worth nothing if your staff isn’t educated and trained on how to identify and avoid cyberthreats.

That’s why it’s extremely important that your IT provider regularly offers educational materials for your staff to keep them up-to-date on any cybersecurity threats. It’s also important they do occasional training sessions or simulations to put your staff’s understanding to the test.

 If your IT provider correctly educates your staff, they are reducing the largest risk sector of your business and safeguarding your reputation.

Has the quality of your QBRs been consistent?

QBRs are the best opportunity many IT providers have to reassess their client’s infrastructure and offer better solutions. If your QBRs are getting less impactful over time, that can be an indication that your partner no longer puts forth as much effort as the did earlier on in the relationship.

That’s not to say your IT provider should be offering you a whole suite of new solutions every QBR.  But they should be offering up solutions to any issues or shortcomings your business has had in the previous QBR period and be constantly trying to improve the service they provide.

Are you able to have impromptu conversations about business and technology?

While QBRs are important, it shouldn’t be the only opportunity you have to talk to your IT provider about your goals and IT experience. A great service provider will be readily accessible to talk about any concerns you have about your current solutions or have an impromptu meeting to reassess the alignment of your technology and your business development.

Are they always trying to get you to choose a more expensive solution?

Finding the right solution for your needs and price point is a very important process. Sometimes, the more expensive option is right for your business and growth goals. But if you notice your IT provider seems to more often then not offer the more expensive solution as the “right” solution for you, it may be that they aren’t keeping your needs at the center of the decision.

It can be hard to discern if your IT partner is constantly upselling you. Often, the more expensive solution is the better solution. But if they are selling you a solution you can never grow into, or can’t use most of the tools it offers, you may need to reassess that partnership.

Are their KPIs available for you to review?

The primary way your IT provider measures how well they are performing is through KPIs. Their KPIs will be things like ticket open to close-ratio, average ticket resolution time, how many touches it takes to resolve tickets, total tickets close this day/week/month. 

Each provider will have slightly different KPIs. That’s why it’s important that you ask what KPIs your partner is tracking to see if they are tracking things that you consider to be good indicators or their performance. You can also ask for their numbers on each KPI, but they don’t need to share that with you. Just be sure that their performance is being tracked how you would want it to be tracked.

You don’t need to settle for good enough

At KME systems, we make sure that we are always developing and improving the way we deliver solutions so that our clients can be industry-leaders. We are completely transparent to our partners so they can be sure they are getting the service they deserve. If you’re ready to get better IT solutions from a partner you can trust, reach out today. We’d love to talk to you.

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