Is your staff getting overwhelmed with IT issues? Perhaps it’s time to consider looking for an outside consultant to handle the IT for your Melbourne organisation. A good managed service provider can take the IT issues off your hands and save you money in the process. Routine tasks will be done efficiently, and IT emergencies can be handled by experts to minimise downtime. However, it’s important to ensure that the IT consultant you select is the right company to handle your business. You should be able to trust in the consultant you work with. To help determine which IT consultant in Melbourne is the best fit for your company, here is a list of questions to use when interviewing them.

What Questions to Ask When Interviewing IT Consultants in Melbourne

1. What is the Company Culture?

Seeing eye-to-eye with a supplier or consultant is a key factor in working together. Therefore, getting to know the company culture can help you learn more about who they hire and how they operate. You can ask about what they value and prioritise, and how they hire and train their employees. You can also spend time interviewing the representative that will be your main contact to ensure that your working styles mesh. Other possible issues are levels of training and certifications as well as security if you are in a high-security industry.

2. What Kind of Facilities Do They Have?

Seeing the offices of your potential IT consultant is helpful in assessing their professionalism, responsiveness and legitimacy. Since your company is your highest priority, it’s crucial that your vendors also give it a high priority. While at their office, you get a feel for their experience, expertise and the behaviour of their staff. Does it seem like a well-mannered work environment? Are the offices in line with other companies in the industry? Are they taking the time to get to know your business or treating you to a one-fits-all proposal?

3. What Calibre References Do They Have?

Most companies can get their largest customers to give them references if they’ve been in business for a while. The best references for you are other companies that are about the same size as yours is and in a similar industry. When you call the references, try to talk to more than one person who deals with the IT consultant to get a better picture.

4. What are Their Competencies and Specialities?

IT consultants train in specific systems and processes. They should have a list of certifications they have earned as well as an ongoing training plan to keep staff up-to-date at all times. Find out whether they offer an inclusive price or flat rate or if each service is priced separately. Does their pricing include network monitoring, software patching, hardware installation, server upgrades, or is there an extra cost for some services? What do they outsource and who do they outsource it to?

5. What Happens in the Event of a Disaster?

Disaster planning is crucial when it comes to business, and doubly so when discussing computer records. What is their plan if a natural disaster affects your business? And what if it hits their business? How quickly would you be able to recover your records and your hardware?

6. Are They Compliant in Your Industry?

Depending on where your customers are your business must comply with industry standards and government regulations. Does the company offer service-level agreements as to their compliance with Australian data privacy regulations, NDB scheme, and international standards such as GDPR or PCI? Reputable IT consultants will list their compliance standards in all their informational materials. With Melbourne’s largest business sector in professional, scientific and technical services, compliance is a high priority for many organisations.

7. How Much Do They Use Automation?

Technology has made it possible for routine IT tasks to become automated, making it quicker and easier for monitoring systems. In fact, automation means that tasks don’t get missed and issues are evident much earlier. This leaves time for humans to focus on higher-level issues and work on improving your service.

8. How Will They Improve Your Business?

This is the crux of the matter when it comes to hiring a managed service provider. They need to fit seamlessly into your business, and grow with you. Look for information on how they fit into other clients’ businesses, and how they get along with other companies’ staff. Discuss how they will improve your efficiency and reduce your IT costs. What part of your workload will they take on, and what will your staff retain? These answers may vary depending on what you want, but in the end, if the ROI is positive for your company, then you are doing the right thing.