How to choose an IT support company

How Much?

The traditional tack of getting three quotes when asking for tenders would be a good one to follow when choosing a support provider as well.  Rates are likely to vary.  Some companies just do an hourly rate, some do a retainer and a reduced hourly rate, others do a flat fee.  The actual figures will depend upon the level of service you require, be it on-site, remote, telephone, etc.  The other determining factors include how many sites you need covered and the breadth of technology in use.  Some companies will even do a special, reduced rate for charities. All these factors mean that it is not possible to offer a guideline price of any value.

Help and Resources

However, there are some good resources for working with IT support companies.  The ICTHub in the UK have written the following two extensive articles which cover the most common questions, and some of the less common ones as well.  Also included is their example support contract.

Working with an IT support companySeveral articles on the (ICTHub) Knowledgebase strongly advise organisations to have ICT support from external companies, especially where the technology includes networks and servers. This article provides practical guidance on working with an IT support company.
http://www.ictknowledgebase.org.uk/workingwithsupportcompanies

What to expect from an IT support contract

Hopefully if you're reading this you're convinced by the arguments for why your organisation needs an IT support contract. This article explains what to look for in a contract with and IT support company.
http://www.ictknowledgebase.org.uk/whattoexpectfromsupport

An example support contract  (128kb PDF)