7 Questions you should ask a new IT supplier

Selecting a new IT supplier is a critical decision for any organisation. Whether you’re looking for IT services, software solutions, or hardware providers, asking the right questions can help you make an informed choice.

In this blog, we will explore the five top questions you should ask a new IT supplier to ensure they align with your business needs and goals.

1. What is your experience and expertise?

Understanding the IT supplier’s experience is fundamental. Ask about their track record in providing IT services or solutions. Inquire about the industries they’ve worked with and whether they have relevant references. This will give you insights into their ability to handle your specific requirements. A supplier with a strong track record is more likely to deliver high-quality services.

2. How quickly can you provide quotes?

Time is money and when you partner with an IT supplier, you want them to be responsive. It’s a good idea to ask the supplier how quickly they can turnaround quotations or price enquiries. At Colva for example, we provide a 1 hour quotation response. Larger projects are likely to require more time, but for items such as laptops and peripherals, a much quicker time to provide pricing can be expected.

3. How do you ensure data security and compliance?

Data security is paramount in today’s business environment. Ask the supplier about their approach to data security and compliance with relevant regulations (such as GDPR, HIPAA, or industry-specific standards). Find out how they protect sensitive information, manage access controls, and handle data breaches. A reliable IT supplier should have robust security measures in place to safeguard your data.

4. What is your service level agreement (SLA)?

An SLA defines the terms and conditions of the services provided by the IT supplier. Inquire about their SLA, including response times for support requests and issue resolution. A clear SLA helps manage expectations and ensures that the supplier can deliver within your required timeframes. It’s also important to discuss how they handle critical issues and downtime to minimise disruptions to your operations.

5. How do you handle scalability and flexibility?

Your organisation’s IT needs may change over time. Ensure that your IT supplier can accommodate your business’s growth and changing requirements. Ask about their ability to scale their services, software, or hardware solutions to align with your evolving needs. Flexibility is essential to ensure your IT infrastructure remains adaptable to the demands of your business.

6. Are you vendor agnostic?

It’s important to understand which vendors and partners, the IT supplier works with. When finding a solution for your requirements, you want a vendor who makes recommendations for your benefit, not theirs. Being vendor agnostic means the supplier isn’t tied to one particular supplier or distributor. Having access to the whole market gives your business access to a much wider set of technology vendors. That way you’re more likely to find the solution to your project or requirements.

7. What are your terms of business?

In addition to these five key questions, consider asking about the IT supplier’s pricing structure, contract terms, and termination clauses. Understanding the financial aspects of the partnership is crucial to avoid unexpected costs or complications down the road.

Choosing the right IT supplier can have a profound impact on your business’s efficiency, security, and overall success. By asking these essential questions, you can assess the supplier’s capabilities, reliability, and commitment to meeting your organisation’s IT needs.

It’s also a valuable opportunity to establish open communication and a transparent partnership, setting the foundation for a successful and long-lasting business relationship.

Matt Treviss