Computer Consultant Search? 20 Questions You Must Ask - Part 3

by Wally Moore

on May 5, 2014

in blog

This is the sixth post from our Business Advisory Guide series entitled “What Every Business Owner Must Know About Hiring an Honest and Competent, Responsive and Fairly Priced Computer Consultant.”  We wrote this guide to help business owners who have to outsource the maintenance of their computers.

 Our post last time was Part Two of the:

 20 Questions You Should Ask Your Computer Consultant Before Hiring Them to Support Your Network.

This week we continue with Part Three

Q9: Is it standard procedure for them to provide you with written, network documentation detailing what software licenses you own, critical passwords, user information, hardware inventory, etc., or are they the only person with the “keys to the kingdom?”

Our answer: All our managed services clients receive this in written and electronic form at no additional cost. We also perform regular updates on this material and make sure certain key people from you organization have this information and know how to use it, giving you complete control over your network.

Side Note: You should NEVER allow an IT person to have that much control over you and your company. If you get the sneaking suspicion that your current IT person is keeping this information under wraps as a means of job security, get rid of them (and we can help to make sure you don’t suffer ANY ill effects). This is downright unethical and dangerous to your organization, so don’t tolerate it!

Q10: Do they have other technicians on staff familiar with your network in case your regular technician goes on vacation or gets sick?

Our answer: Yes; and since we keep detailed network documentation (basically a blueprint of your computer network) and updates on every client’s account, any of our technicians can pick up where another one has left off.

Q11: When they offer an “all-inclusive” support plan, is it TRULY all-inclusive, or are there “gotchas” hidden in the fine print?

Our answer: Our “all inclusive” support plan (also known as “all-you-can-eat”) is just that – all inclusive of any labor costs for all support and maintenance issues. It’s one of the more popular service plans offered by consulting firms today, which is actually a good thing. It will save you a lot of money in the long run. HOWEVER, make sure you REALLY understand what is included and what’s not included.

Q12: Do they insist on monitoring state-of-the-art backups, or are they letting you rely on outdated tape backups?

Our answer: We do not recommend that our clients use tape backups because they are incredibly unreliable and slow. We highly recommend that all of our clients have a disaster recovery plan including onsite and offsite backup. At the very least, critical data should be backed up offsite and full system backups should be performed onsite to removable hard drives that can be physically removed offsite periodically. Even better is a backup and disaster recovery solution such as our LiveWatchIT+Replay that offers onsite and swapped-offsite full system image backups in one solution at a very attractive monthly fee. This type of solution ensures the most secure data backups and the fastest recovery time in the event of a hardware failure or total building disaster.

In our next post we’ll continue with Part Four of the: 20 Questions You Should Ask Your Computer Consultant Before Hiring Them to Support Your Network

If you want to skip this blog and read the guide, Download the Business Advisory Guide Here. If you’re not ready to do that, then just read these posts when they come out. However you decide to do it, when you finish reading the guide, you'll know for sure who to hire. Easy peasy!

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Dedicated to your success,

Wally Moore

DTS InfoTech . . . computer networks that work