Choose and manage your IT supplier

IT support services

Consider carefully exactly how much IT support you need. This depends on how much IT expertise you have in-house, how important it is to keep systems running smoothly, and how much you can sensibly afford for a support contract.

Services to consider include:

  • Installation and configuration - will you need the supplier to install and configure hardware and software so that it's fully functioning and ready to use?
  • Training - will your staff require training?
  • Telephone support - will your staff require telephone support, and during what hours? Does the supplier provide a helpdesk? Do they have a guaranteed response time? Will you be paying per call, or a fixed sum? Are you restricted to a single caller, or will they accept calls from different members of staff? What percentage of problems does the supplier resolve on the first call - a first-time fix? Is this support provided from the UK or overseas? If it is overseas-based - does this impact upon when it is available because of time differences?
  • Email support - will email support be adequate for some or all of your needs? What's the supplier's guaranteed response time for email messages?
  • Online support - does the supplier offer real-time online chat or other support technology? Is there a peer support forum where other users can suggest fixes?
  • Site visits - does the supplier provide on-site support? If so, how much does it cost?

Subjects covered in this guide

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The National B2B Centre