Selecting an IT Service Provider

 

Many nonprofit organizations are faced with the growing expectations to create business value with limited resources. Businesses, for-profit and nonprofit, depend on their technology infrastructure regardless of the organization’s size.

IT Service providers can help reduce the cost to manage and maintain a company’s infrastructure.  Cloud services have helped nonprofits reduce their costs of equipment, maintenance, and support. However, you still need to have an IT service provider which you can count on for break/fix situations, technical advice, etc.

Finding a trusted technical advisor is key.

Below are the top items to discuss with a potential IT Service provider.

  1. Competence / Availability
    1. What is their technical background and history with providing support to organizations?
    2. What is their average staff size of organizations you currently support?
    3. Can they provide references?
    4. Do they have the bandwidth to serve you?
  2. Flexibility
    1. What are the billing options (block of time, time & materials, per workstation/server)?
    2. What services are included (antivirus protection, remote monitoring, remote and on-site support)?
    3. Do they offer a SLA (Service Level Agreement)? This agreement depicts the amount of time it takes to contact you after submitting a support ticket.
  3. Trusted technical advisor
    1. Do they need someone to be proactive or are you looking only for break/fix support?
    2. Do they need someone to grow with your organization and build a long-term relationship?
  4. Billing: Hourly or per workstation
    1. What is their billing structure?
    2. How often do they invoice?
    3. Do they offer a nonprofit rate?