IT Buyer’s Guide!

Learn All you need to about finding the right IT solution for your company.

Where to Begin

Finding the right IT service provider, whether you are starting from scratch or making a switch is never easy. There is a million things to consider from response times and pricing to reliability and building a business relationship. Thankfully, I have prepared an easy 3 step buyer’s guide that will teach you how to search, find, and hire the best IT services for your business. You will understand the vital signs to look for and the right questions to ask that will guide you directly to a best-in-class IT service provider. Implement the steps in this guide to stop wasting your time with a dead-beat IT guy and fast-track the growth of your business.

Step 1: Why Choose Managed Services?

Today, businesses have three IT management options: ignore it, create an internal department, or opt for managed IT services. Ignoring it isn’t realistic, as it leaves you with outdated tech and security risks. Creating an internal IT department may seem easy, but one person can’t handle everything – hardware, software, security, budgeting, planning, and more. It’s costly and challenging to manage them, especially during emergencies. That’s why many businesses turn to Managed Service Providers (MSPs). MSPs offer a comprehensive solution, including help desk, planning, training, and security, all for a fixed cost. They can respond faster and more efficiently during emergencies, making MSPs the preferred IT solution.

Step 2: The Search

Now that you have settled on a MSP as your option it is time to find the right one. Use this checklist to determine who can and cannot handle everything you need.

  • Look for an IT service provider that offers Strategic Planning, Technology Alignment, Cyber Security, Help Desk and Training. Every business needs to emphasize the importance of having top-notch cybersecurity to protect their business and their clients.
  • Look for companies that offer HIPAA, NIST and PCI compliance.
  • Look for proof! The key you’re looking for here is to verify a clear track record of high-performance and great results from the company’s clients. If you run a google search of the company you should EASILY find at least 10-15 separate positive reviews or testimonials.
  • Look for companies that have a team large enough to handle all of these different roles, if it is a one or two man shop they cannot hope to realistically offer everything they claim to.

While this list is not exhaustive it can give you a great start on narrowing down your options.

Step 3: Making your decision

Once you have your list narrowed down to the few companies that can realistically support you it is time to prepare for your meeting with them. This is your opportunity to ask them the important questions that separates companies with good looking website to companies that can really help you. We have prepared a list of questions to ask any potential IT provider, if they cannot answer all of them to your satisfaction it is time to look elsewhere!

  1. Can you clearly explain to me exactly how you’re going to improve and grow my business in simple terms I can understand?
  2. Do you have an in-house team that runs all of your operations or do you outsource some of your services?
  3. What is your experience working with companies in my industry?
  4. Do you pride yourself on QUALITY or on being the cheapest? (TIP – You get what you pay for in IT. Go with the cheapest option and you will get the cheapest results.)
  5. What unique value can you provide my business right now that I can’t get anywhere else unless I hire you?
  6. Do you have real people operating your tech support locally so I can speak to someone every time I call you?
  7. What is your average response time for service requests? Tech support calls? Customer support?
  8. Who would be my Account Manager? How often do they check in on me without me having to ask?
  9. What kind of results have you delivered for your clients?
  10. Is managed services your PRIMARY business?

Getting answers to these questions will help you sort out only the best providers.

Bonus: Red flags

If they fit any of these criteria, stay away!

  • If they are primarily focused on another aspect of the business such as selling office furniture, printers, or non-tech business services!
  • If they have less than 15 employees it means they cannot have specific roles for each of the service functions they need to.
  • If they do not handle everything in-house. If you wanted to contact out with the cheapest/worst option you would have already done so!

Next steps

You just so happen to be right here with a world class managed service provider! If you start your search now you can have stress-free IT in 90 days or less! If you have any questions on this article or would simply like to learn more about Silicon Plains and what we do click this link below!

Silicon Plains, LLC


Silicon Plains
2219 E. Main Ave
Bismarck ND 58501