Choosing an IT Partner

Computer problem

As a web hosting provider and a developer of websites, we work hand-in-hand with our client’s IT provider to ensure a smooth launch.  This allows us to work with dozens of vendors from the Northern Colorado area as well as nationally.  All of them bring value to a project and we have compiled a brief list of the questions we would suggest asking when researching your own IT vendor.

  • What is your average response time for small issues as well as large outages?
  • How many technicians will be working on my account on a routine basis and how are the technicians backed up to provide redundant coverage?
  • Does the vendor contain any special certifications that your business utilizes?  Software and hardware vendors such as HP, Dell, VMWare, Oracle and Cisco all provide training that is very specific to their hardware and may be worth looking at depending on your implementation of their hardware.
  • How does the IT vendor get to know your needs?  How thorough is their client assessment and needs analysis?
  • Does the IT vendor provide an annual overall audit to review for any service gaps or aging hardware?
  • Are you looking for a proactive or reactive vendor?  Some vendors will hunt and find issues proactively, while others are more of an on-demand service and provide break-fix type services.
  • When interviewing the IT vendor, do they relate potential issues and current needs in a manner that you understand and can make an educated business decision with?
  • Do they provide any remote monitoring services for your network or do they do a monthly on-site check up?
  • If your storing data through the IT vendor (both live data as well as backups), are they handling this internally or are they subcontracting or outsourcing it out?  This becomes a critical question if you are in the legal or medical field (Sarbanes-Oxley / HIPAA).
  • Last but not least, is the relationship.  Does this person work with you and your team and provide you with the comfort of knowing that when a piece of hardware does fail, they will take care of you.