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Top 4 Myths About IT Support Contracts
IT support contracts aren’t always clear. And it can be hard to understand why two contracts appear to cover the same thing but come with very different price tags.
After working with over 400 clients, we hear some common concerns over and over. It’s important for leaders to understand exactly what is and isn’t covered with IT support contracts.
Here are the top four myths about IT contracts to help paint a clearer picture.
Myth # 1 – Hardware Is Included
Many contracts don’t include hardware – like desktops, laptops, monitors, and servers. This can catch some organizations by surprise. Not every organization wants hardware included, but there are a lot of benefits. One major benefit is moving hardware from a capital expense to an operational expense. This brings predictability to your budget and means you’ll never be caught off guard by large replacement costs down the road.
Many contacts only provide support to the hardware that’s currently in place. When the hardware needs to be replaced or fails, it may be up to you to find and purchase a replacement. Plus, once you have the new hardware, there can be additional costs for your IT vendor to configure and deploy the hardware. You’re not an IT expert, and you don’t want to be stuck trying to set up a server.
It’s important for you to weigh the pros and cons of including hardware as part of the service and make an informed decision.
Myth # 2 – Strategic IT Leadership Is Included
Great IT supports your organization and aligns with your goals. Your IT vendor should always be looking toward the future and how your IT may need to evolve.
Strategic planning, sometimes called Virtual Chief Information Officer (vCIO) services, is a critical component of successful IT. A vCIO will look holistically at where your environment is today, understand where it needs to be in the future, and build a roadmap to get you there.
IT support contracts that are only reactive, meaning they fix issues as they come up, likely do not include vCIO services. Without strategic planning and a VCIO, your organization may become stuck in a cycle of addressing immediate needs without making progress towards the big picture. Growth is key to the success of many organizations, and a vCIO can help plan for the IT needs to support future growth. While growth can look different for organizations, you want a sharp technical mind planning for the possibility of additional locations, increased bandwidth, changing line-of-business applications, or adding a new department and employees.
Myth # 3 – Cybersecurity Protection Is Included
Like strategic planning, reactive IT support contracts often don’t include cybersecurity services. Most include a minimal level of cybersecurity protection, like antivirus and antispam. Both of these are necessary, but they barely scratch the surface of a strong cybersecurity defense strategy.
In the current world of increasing cyberattacks and skyrocketing ransoms, cybersecurity should be a three-pronged approach – protection, detection, and response.
Many reactive support providers don’t have a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) on staff, making it hard to stay up to speed with the ever-changing world of cybersecurity. Additionally, this person can act as an advisor, ensuring that your organization’s assets, data, and employees are all protected from cybersecurity threats.
Myth # 4 – 24/7 Support Is Standard
IT issues aren’t limited to Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm. Problems can happen at night, on the weekend, and even during a holiday. But many organizations are left in the cold because their IT support contract doesn’t include support for issues that occur outside of standard business hours. And support outside of these hours is either unavailable or comes at a steep cost.
Additionally, many contracts only include remote support. Don’t get us wrong, remote support is great. In fact, it’s what we most often recommend – rarely does an organization need an outsourced partner to provide a full-time on-site engineer. An experienced IT partner can resolve most issues remotely using remote access tools and agents. But what happens if it cannot be resolved remotely? Depending on your contract, you may be left scrambling for support or facing additional charges.
Before signing the contract, understand the following:
- Which part of the support will be onsite versus offsite?
- How does remote support work?
- How does onsite support work?
- Will someone respond to my call or email if I have an issue after hours?
- Will someone resolve my issue if it’s after hours?
- Will someone be able to come onsite after hours?
Is It Time for Better IT Support?
Making changes to your IT can be overwhelming, and your IT support contract shouldn’t further complicate things. It may be time to consider a strategic, proactive IT partner that fully understands your organization’s needs and goals, supports your organization today, and grows with you in the future.
VC3 partners with over 400 organizations across the United States to improve IT reliability and efficiency. We can examine where you are today, envision where you want to be tomorrow, and help you build a budget and roadmap to get there.
Complete the form below and, we’ll schedule a short call with you to learn more about your business and your IT needs.
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