In the current climate IT managers are coming under increased pressure to cut their budgets and manage their resources more effectively. One of the first things that a cost conscious IT manager will consider is how to cut down his maintenance budget. One of the most effective ways to do this is to look at outsourcing to a third party.
It’s a big decision to make, so what do you need to look for when considering outsourced IT maintenance?
- Speed of response. One of the key performance indicators for maintenance companies is how quickly they can respond to your calls. You need to make sure that the maintenance company has the resources in place to meet your demands and that they can stick to a service level agreement.
- Manufacturer expertise. If your company has a room full of IBM computers, you will need to find a company with expertise in IBM maintenance. While there might not matter for the bulk of your equipment, for mission critical servers you will want the reassurance of going to an expert. When you are reviewing prospective maintenance partners, ask them to provide manufacturer training certificates.
- Geographical coverage. This is a key factor. It’s not realistic to expect a company based in Cornwall to support a mission-critical server farm in Dundee. Many companies claim to have nationwide coverage but you’ll often find that this is not the case. If you’re assessing potential maintenance partners, it’s important that you understand their speed of response to your target locations as that’s the only thing that really matters.
- Access to parts. If your equipment is old and out of warranty, one of the most important services that a maintenance company can provide is access to obsolete equipment. One of the key things to check is whether your potential partner has a large inventory of obsolete parts. The more they have, the better this is.
More and more companies are outsourcing their IT maintenance. If you want to ensure that your equipment is well maintained and serviced it pays to do a few quick checks