Hiring an IT Services Company for your RIA? Here are the things you should know

Hiring an IT Services Company for your RIA Here are the things you should know
Whether you’re negotiating a contract renewal for your current IT services company or looking for proposals from new potential partners, there are a few things you should know from the start. The goal after all is to establish a relationship with a company you can trust for the long term. Nobody wants to be doing this all again in a year.
If you want to find a good fit for your RIA who can improve your current IT situation (and not make it worse), start by asking these questions.
1. Do you have experience working with RIAs?
Your RIA is not just another SMB. You manage highly sensitive data that, if compromised, could put your entire firm at risk. Find an experienced IT services provider who understands your unique challenges and needs.
Your IT provider should:
2. Who makes up the team that will be supporting our firm?
There are lots of different models of IT support companies out there. Some are a mix of sub contractors, outsourced helpdesk banks, and employees. You want a company who has the right people available when you need them.
Your IT provider should:
3. What can we expect when staff put in a support request?
While there is a lot your IT services company does “in the background” that you’ll never see, many of your IT needs will be those day-to-day requests from staff. Expectations for how these service tickets are handled is a really significant part of your IT support contract. Get it all in writing.
Your IT provider should:
4. How is our data backed up and secured?
Not all IT service companies manage data backup and security the same. If you’re a small or midsized RIA, they might assume you’re like other SMBs and don’t need anything extra. It couldn’t be further from the truth. RIAs (of all sizes) should use a combination of onsite and offsite backups if possible with regular testing.
Your IT provider should:
5. Is our service package all-inclusive and for a fixed fee?
Some IT service providers offer support on a break-fix hourly model. You end up with unpredictable IT costs and nobody pro-actively monitoring your network. Many RIAs prefer all-inclusive packages because they want a predictable price and full management of their IT.
Your IT provider should:
Getting started with a new IT service company for your RIA.
Ideally, your relationship with an IT service company will be a long and happy one. To get there, spend some time researching potential partners. Ask for referrals from another RIA. Request proposals from at least 3 different companies so you can compare your options.
If you’d like to receive a proposal from our team at RIA WorkSpace, you can request one today and we’ll be in touch with more details.