While having the versatility and availability of different IT options will allow you to find your best fit, sometimes too many different choices can be overwhelming. With all the options on the market these days, it can be enough to make your head spin. Do you hire an in-house employee to care for your IT needs, or do you outsource to a managed IT services company? What’s a business to do?
The idea of in-house IT support can be appealing, but there are many reasons why a business would choose to outsource to an IT service provider. But, when exploring different companies, how do you determine which one to pick?
We’re here to help you clear up some of that confusion.
Let’s say you’ve already decided to utilize managed IT support. Great! But now which one? While there are many factors to consider when choosing a company to work with, something businesses find particularly important is a company’s location.
With so many IT service options available, it seems like you could choose an IT services provider that operates virtually anywhere in your area. In fact, because the majority of IT work these days can be done remotely, you can even explore companies that are based outside of your country. However, if you decide to hire a managed service provider, it would be a good idea to hire one based in your area.
Take New York City as an example. It seems that NYC IT services are a dime a dozen, let alone all the managed IT services in the greater New York area and the United States. However, many businesses find that a close location is an important factor when choosing their technology support services. Generally, you’ll find that the best option for a growing business is to choose an IT service provider that operates in or near your city. In this case, A NYC based-business should choose managed IT services in NYC.
Here are five reasons why choosing local support is the way to go:
1. On-site support
IT problems are the last thing your business needs. Unfortunately, they do tend to pop up from time to time, and when they do, you want to be sure you have technicians in place who can fix it. It’s important to keep in mind that if you choose to go with a remote service provider, they will only complete their work remotely; you will receive no face-to-face contact and they will not be able to come to your location should you need a problem fixed. A local service provider will still function remotely when it comes to managing your day-to-day operations. However, should a problem arise, they will be able to send someone out to you due to their close proximity.
Certain IT issues can require in-person assistance. When that’s needed,
you’ll want a technician from your managed IT service provider to be close by. That way, you can rest assured the problem will be addressed as soon as possible. That means that you waste less time trying to get the problem fixed, and you and your employees can get back to your priorities.
Remember, your IT can be unpredictable, but a reliable on-site solution doesn’t have to be.
2. Training for employees
Members of your staff may have the most up-to-date information, or knowledge of the most cutting-edge technology; other employees may struggle with technology and how to implement it. Either way, your company’s technology and software can present challenges for your employees. A benefit of using a local IT management company is that they may be able to lead on-site training for your employees so that your staff is better equipped to handle your company’s technology.
3. A personal touch
Though the focus is on the machines, having a human component to your IT management company can be incredibly important. After all, this is the company you’re trusting with some of your business’ most valuable information! Though it may not seem necessary at first, having a company that can physically send someone out to your office and sit with you face-to-face is a benefit that long-distance companies cannot provide. The personal attention that accompanies a local company helps it stand out from its long-distance competitors.
4. Opportunities for growth
When considering what IT service provider to go with, it could be helpful to picture where you see your business heading in the next few years. This may seem like a premature step when you are just setting up your IT department, but if you envision your business expanding and taking on new opportunities for growth, that most likely means your technology will need to expand, too. A locally based IT service provider will be able to accommodate the technological changes that will be required with your business’ expansion as they can provide on-site support.
5. The best of both worlds
Having a locally based IT service provider combines all the benefits of utilizing an outsourced IT company and combines it with the face-to-face benefits that an in-house technician would provide. Ultimately, by seeking out a local managed IT service provider, you can save on IT costs while still reaping the benefits of immediate and effective service.
As you can see, there are many reasons as to why it’s a good idea to keep your managed IT service provider local to your area.
However, as you may already know if you have been researching IT service providers, your options may be limited if you restrict your search to local companies. Depending on where you are located, you may only have a handful of options.
If you are still on the fence about whether a local company would benefit you or restrict you, take the following questions in to consideration:
1. Do you see your business expanding in the future?
Like we touched on above, if the answer is yes than you should consider finding a local company to grow with you.
2. How large is the budget you have set aside for IT needs?
While IT is not the place to cut corners, the reality is that most people are operating on some sort of budget. If your budget is on the smaller side, a managed IT service provider will most likely give you the biggest bang for your buck as many IT service providers operate on a fixed price model. Ultimately, that likely ends up being more affordable than paying an in-house employee a salary.
Though an IT service provider that is not located in your city would initially save you money, you can run in to extra costs once on-site attention is needed. If you need on-site support, then you need to find and hire a technician in your area. That means an extra cost on top of what you already pay your long-distance managed IT support provider.
If you chose a local service provider from the get-go, they would be able to send someone to your site from their own company, thereby saving you the extra hire. And who doesn’t like saving money.
3. If your website or servers were to suddenly fail, how immediate would your need be to have them up and running again?
If the answer is panicked “immediately!” then you should consider going with a local company. Like mentioned before, certain problems can require a technician on site. Rather than frantically researching the closest IT company with immediate technician availability, you can save yourself the hassle and hire a company in your area from the start.
4. What does your in-house technology look like?
Some businesses are not very technology based. If all you have are a few computers and a router, then it may be possible to hire a company that is not based in your area. If your business has very minimal
IT needs, even a long-distance service provider can cover the basics.
Additionally, without the restriction of looking at only local companies, that allows you to explore more options and allows you the freedom to comparison shop.
5. Do you yourself have any technology expertise to address small issues should they arise?
If you or someone on your staff happens to have the knowledge to fix computer issues, you could also consider an IT service provider that is not based in your city. If you have someone around to address the problems, having a technician come in and fix the problem is less of a concern for you. Like mentioned above, this gives you the flexibility to shop around and get the best price.
Hopefully, this information has cleared up any confusion you may have had about deciding which IT support service to go with.
At the end of the day, it’s ultimately your decision as to what you think will be best for your business. Take time to weigh the pros and cons of each scenario. Just remember that when you’re evaluating any company, be sure you know where they’re located, what services they can offer you, and what support they can deliver.