Reliable, efficient and protected IT infrastructure is a must-have for any organisation who wants to be successful. Over a third of UK businesses outsource their IT to an external supplier, relying on them for support on a variety of technical issues such as hardware, software and network security. Whilst outsourcing is a cost-effective solution, it is important to make sure your investment delivers on what you have been promised. So how do you know whether you are getting true value for money from your chosen IT service supplier? We’ve outlined some key indicators to help you assess.
Set expectations: Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
Clearly defined SLAs are crucial in establishing expectations and measuring performance. SLAs should outline the specific services, performance expectations and responsibilities of the supplier. A comprehensive SLA should also include response times, resolution times and other performance metrics. Having an SLA in place is a great benchmark to evaluate your supplier’s performance and ensure they are delivering value for money.
Trust, but verify: Performance Reviews
If you’ve never had a performance review with your supplier, then perhaps it’s time to book one in! Reviews are an opportunity to evaluate the performance against SLAs and by reviewing reports, metrics and feedback of the quality and promptness of the services provided, you can assess whether your supplier is meeting their obligations. Performance reviews are also a great way to identify where there is room for improvement and to ensure your supplier continues to deliver value for money over time. How often reviews take place can depend on how fast your business evolves. Once a year may work well for some businesses, but if your company is growing quickly, it might be ideal to review every three to six months to ensure that your IT systems and infrastructure can keep pace with business needs.
Know what you pay for: Transparency
A good supplier should clearly outline the costs associated with the services they provide, including hardware, software, licences, maintenance and support. They should always put forward recommendations on cost-effective solutions that align with your needs and budget (rather than what will benefit them!) A supplier who values transparency will help you make informed decisions and ensure that you are always getting the best value for your investment.
Future proof: Strategic Planning
A reliable IT supplier should also demonstrate proactive and strategic IT planning. By working closely with you, they should be able to help you develop and implement strategic plans that align with your company’s goals and objectives. They should assess your current IT setup and identify potential areas of improvement and provide recommendations for technology upgrades or optimisations. A good supplier should help you stay ahead of technological advancements and enable you to leverage IT for business growth.
Timely resolution: Customer Support
Minimising downtime and ensuring uninterrupted IT services are a big factor in determining whether you are getting value for money from your supplier. The support you receive should be responsive and reliable, usually demonstrated through a dedicated and maintained helpdesk, quick response times and efficient resolution of issues. Reliable customer support ensures issues and disruptions are deal with promptly and therefore maximises the value of the services provided.
By considering all these factors, you can ensure your IT supplier is delivering value for money and effectively supporting your business’ IT needs. Investing in reliable and efficient IT infrastructure, supported by a trusted supplier, sets a solid foundation for your business’ success in today’s technology-driven world.