ITaaS – IT as a service is an operational model where the information technology (IT) service provider delivers IT services to a business. The service provider can be an internal IT organization within the company or an external IT services company. IT is typically used within the context of business operations as opposed to personal or entertainment technologies.
Small businesses always have to keep their budgets in mind. However, when choosing an IT Services Provider, they often make final decisions based primarily on contract price, when they should make them based on total cost of ownership. It’s tempting to make a decision on price alone, but initial contract price is only one of the factors that goes into calculating the total cost. With regard to IT Consulting and Services or IT solutions in particular, there are many other factors that will determine the total cost including hardware costs, software costs, total time to problem resolution, employee downtime, and poor technology related choices and decisions. All of these factors should be considered when choosing an IT consulting & services provider.
Some IT services and solutions providers just don’t have the resources available to provide services that adequately address these issues on behalf of their small business clients. So they try to compensate by marketing their services based on initial price.
While you may save some money in the short term, your business could ultimately pay a high price and employee frustration, lost productivity and technology purchases that aren’t the best fit for your business. But obviously, you can’t expect that a higher price service provider will automatically be a better fit for your company. So how can you avoid these challenges?
First, meet with the IT service provider face to face and if possible, meet with the employees of the company that you’d be in contact with on a day to day basis. Make sure they have the team and resources to provide immediate service to you when your company needs it.
Second, ask if the IT Consulting and Services provider offers a flat fee service model flat fee contracts incentivize your service provider to reduce the number of problems that you experience.
Finally, ask if they offer any agreed upon timeframes for response time and performance. You always want to know what to expect if and when things go wrong with your technology. You would want to ensure Business Continuity.
By focusing on these issues rather than price alone, your small business can avoid experiencing an unnecessarily high total cost of ownership and regard to your business IT system.
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