5 Important Questions Non-Profits in DC Need To Ask When Outsourcing IT

Non-profits often have to operate on a relatively thin budget. To maintain the health of your organization, you’ll have to go over your budget constantly and identify areas where you can make cuts.

Non profit IT services in DC

One of the most effective ways to save money is to stop depending on an in-house IT department and start outsourcing their technology support needs.

A managed service provider (MSP) will do everything that in-house IT employees do (maintain equipment, secure your network, set up an effective disaster recovery plan, migrate systems to the cloud, etc.) at an affordable flat rate.

Be careful, though. MSPs indeed offer significant savings over traditional methods of IT maintenance, but only if you make the right hire.

A lot of MSPs perform better on their resume than in practice. You might start using their services and find response times are much more sluggish than advertised, or maybe their staff is just not that skilled. Without proper preventative maintenance, security software goes unpatched and outdated hardware goes ignored, setting you up for some serious problems down the road.

All the potential savings of outsourcing IT will be offset (and you may even end up losing a lot of money) if you don’t choose the right provider.

Ask these 5 questions when outsourcing IT to make sure you select an effective solution.

  1. Do they have experience working with non-profits in DC?

Different industries have different needs.

A provider may have a long resume, but how much of their experience is relevant to non-profits in the Beltway? Regardless of how impressive the length of their clients list is, if they focus on serving larger, for-profit companies in other areas, they might not know how to best serve a smaller non-profit in DC.

Owia Technology has extensive experience working with non-profits in DC. We’ll protect sensitive data so that donors can contribute to your cause without worrying about compromising their own security.

  1. What measures do they take to prevent disaster?

Disaster can happen in many ways.

Any instance of user error, hardware failure, or malware infection might require you to restore a few lost files… and then there are natural disasters like fire, flood, and earthquakes that threaten to destroy everything.

Owia Technology knows how to secure your data from all types of disaster. If you’re entire office is burned to the ground, our cloud-based backup equipment will allow you to restore every last file lost.

  1. How long have they been in business?

If you’re looking for advice on how to evaluate the quality of an MSP, look to Darwin: only the strong survive, right? Well, that’s not quite what Darwin said. The actual quote goes like this: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”

Adaptability is all-important in today’s IT landscape, where trends come and go with breakneck speed and what was once cutting edge becomes outdated in the blink of an eye.

Over half of businesses fail within 5 years. IT companies who make it part that 5-year mark are very attractive, as their success is less likely the result of luck and more likely the result of staying up to date with the latest developments in business tech and offering a better balance of quality and cost than their competitors.

  1. Do they cover mobile devices?

Small businesses are relying more and more on mobile devices.  Projects get done faster when workers can contribute remotely from their laptop or smartphone.

Non-profits located in DC usually have partners all over the country. Staff members may have to fly out regularly for meetings and conferences, making reliable remote access to business data even more important. You’ll want a provider that is able to effectively support your mobile devices.

  1. What is their guaranteed response time?

A lot of IT companies will use vague terms like “quick” and “responsive” when referring to their service, but they won’t offer much in the way of a hard, concrete amount of time you should expert to wait for support. “Quick” could mean minutes, hours, or even more than a day depending on the context.

MSP’s that aren’t willing to commit to a guaranteed response time might just be overcautious about absolutes in general (“anything can happen”)… or they might know all too well that sometimes they aren’t as responsive as they should be, and they cover up this flaw by being vague instead of definite.

Those looking for IT support in DC won’t find a better option than Owia Technology.

Contact us at (571) 499-4349 or info@owiatech.com for more information.