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Location: Home / Technology / 14 Important Factors To Consider When Deciding About Hiring An ITaaS Vendor

14 Important Factors To Consider When Deciding About Hiring An ITaaS Vendor

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Nearly every business relies heavily on tech these days, but not every business can afford (or wants to manage) an in-house IT team. However, no matter your business’ function, size or tech experience, the decision to partner with an IT as a service vendor is not one to be made lightly or quickly. It’s important to carefully review your unique needs, budget and timeline to decide if hiring an ITaaS vendor is even the right decision for your business, and if it is, it’s essential to do your due diligence to ensure you choose a partner who can truly meet your needs.

A thorough review of your needs and a clear plan of action will help smooth the path forward, whether or not your business ultimately decides to work with an ITaaS vendor. To help, the members of Forbes Technology Council have shared some important factors business owners should consider before hiring an ITaaS vendor.

1. The Cost Of Setting Up An In-House Team Versus Hiring A Vendor

There’s a handful of important factors to consider: the vendor’s reputation, your business requirements and whether there will be a dedicated point of contact with a strong knowledge of the process. Focus first on your requirements. Start by analyzing all your requirements, then calculate and compare the costs of setting and maintaining an in-house team and hiring an ITaaS vendor. Note that any external team needs time (read “money”) to investigate your requirements and processes. - Dmytro Lazarchuk, Relokia

2. What You Know (Or Don’t Know) About Managing IT Staff

I work almost exclusively with manufacturing business owners who prefer hiring in-house staff rather than outsourcing. What they forget, often at their peril, is they don’t know how to measure or manage an IT staff. In-house staff don't have the same incentives as an outsourced provider—you can’t (usually) sue staff for negligence, but you can sue an ITaaS company. A vendor has a real incentive to keep your network safe and functional. - Robert Jolliffe, Sabre Limited


Forbes Technology Council is an invitation-only community for world-class CIOs, CTOs and technology executives. Do I qualify?

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3. Your Core Business Purpose

When running a business, it’s essential to be clear on the core business purpose and whether adding an in-house IT team is the right strategic step in the immediate future or as a medium-term plan. Once you’re clear on the firm’s “sweet spot,” the “in-house versus vendor-partner” decision is easy. Treat vendor selection as a strategic decision, and be relentless about leadership quality, management practices and attention to detail. - Dax Grant, Global Transform

4. What The Vendor Will Be Responsible For

Before moving to a service-based model for IT—or partnering with any other third-party vendor, for that matter—it’s important to lay out in clear detail what that vendor will be responsible for. Establish measurable daily, weekly and monthly requirements. This way, it is very clear what to expect from that vendor, and you’ll also protect yourself from the vendor adding on additional, unneeded services. - Marc Fischer, Dogtown Media LLC

5. The Tangible Benefits Of New Tech

Companies need to understand their business needs before engaging in new tech. Is the decision to add new tech driven by their customers’ needs, or do they want it because it’s “cool”? Either way, know the tangible benefits before investing. If you find a tech partner, make sure they operate during your business hours, have backup policies in place and have an awesome support desk so your CEO is not calling you about problems at midnight! - Greg Griffiths, UCROWDME (UK) LIMITED

6. Your Highest-Priority Area

Focusing on specific solutions and business needs is a great way to partner with ITaaS providers. Businesses should first identify the highest ROI and priority area, whether that’s sales, marketing, customer retentio

n or something else. They can then decide if it’s better to partner with ITaaS providers that can develop custom IT solutions or work with tech-enabled solution providers that bring established software as needed and provide IT support. - Vasudeva Akula, VOZIQ

7. Your Desired Result

Clearly established objectives and defined specifications are the keys to efficient collaboration with an ITaaS vendor. Without knowing the desired result, any vendor will fall below expectations. Furthermore, a good vendor is driven to help you determine an appropriate solution and to be transparent about any further needed steps. If they aren’t, there is a chance you will waste budget dollars without attaining your goal. - Slava Podmurnyi, Visartech Inc.

8. The Service-Level Agreement

One crucial factor you must consider before hiring an ITaaS vendor is the service-level agreement. Ensure that the SLA specifies the time commitment and quality measurement percentage you can expect before receiving a refund or credit. The agreement should define which IT services you receive and the supported platforms, such as Windows, MAC, Linux, mobile and/or physical hardware. - Warith Niallah, FTC Publications Inc

9. The Vendor’s Established Reliability

How long has a vendor been around? How many clients in your industry have they had? How many projects similar to yours have they done? Do they have references from clients? When selecting an ITaaS vendor, you don’t want to have to switch in a month because they are out of business or they don’t speak your language. Sometimes, that matters way more than just the price tag. - Nadya Knysh, a1qa

10. How Their Processes And Tools Integrate With Yours

External IT needs to operate as though they are a part of your organization. They should use the same processes and tools, and their reporting should feed into the overall metrics of the business that has hired them. Many tool vendors work with their competition to allow integration of data; this is extremely important when using outside vendors for mission-critical business functions. - Laureen Knudsen, Broadcom

11. Their Expertise With Your Preferred Software

If you are looking for cybersecurity and are a Microsoft customer, seek a specialized cybersecurity partner with proven expertise in Microsoft environments. That way, the partner can provide the optimal combination of people, processes and technology to understand your environment and help improve your security maturity and resilience, rather than applying cookie-cutter tools and approaches. - Geoff Haydon, Open Systems

12. What Their Current Clients Have To Say

The best thing you can do is to listen to what others say—that is, check the prospective vendor’s Clutch ratings. Make sure your partner is well-matched to the specific needs of your organization and industry. Look at experience, communication skills and effectiveness, and if they consistently meet deadlines. Make sure your ITaaS vendor has worked with similar companies before and understands your business. - Robert Strzelecki, TenderHut

13. Their Experience In Your Industry

Find an industry-focused vendor with a broad portfolio and capabilities. The industry focus will accelerate the deployment of services, since the vendor is aware of your line of business and has done similar work in the past. A broad set of services means that you can rely on a single vendor to deploy solutions to several of your requirements, including technology, process, organizational, security and compliance. - Spiros Liolis, Micro Focus

14. Their Use Of Cloud-Based Tools

Look for an ITaaS vendor that integrates cloud-based security tools and techniques. The right vendor partner will harness solutions offered by cloud vendors to present you with a single, integrated view into security and compliance across all of your environments. The vendor should also stay up to date with emerging threats and comply with credential-management practices. - Adi Ekshtain, Amaryllis Payment Solutions