It’s a rare business today that doesn’t rely on IT to keep it operating smoothly. So keeping the IT running is vital. For businesses that don’t have the resources to run an in-house technical team, the answer is usually a third-party support contract. But how do you go about selecting a supplier?

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Specialist Skills

The business world is a broad one, and some sectors have more specialised requirements when it comes to their computing requirements. It’s crucial therefore that you look for a supplier that has experience in dealing with companies in a similar sector – if you’re running a retail business, for example, you wouldn’t go to an IT supplier that specialises in the legal sector.

It may be that you only want to contract out part of your support operation. Even big companies do this sometimes, usually because it’s an area that requires special skills. In this case identifying a supplier with the right profile is even more important.

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Location, Location

It’s also important to consider where your support provider is located. If you are based in Cheltenham IT support from a local company like is likely to make more sense than using a company based further away.

Although it’s possible to carry out a lot of support tasks remotely, some things still need attendance on-site, and this is where using a local supplier will pay dividends. You’ll be able to get problems fixed faster and won’t have to wait as long for a response.


Because IT is essential to your business, you need to make sure that you find a reliable and trusted supplier. Look to see what professional bodies they are members of, and ask about what training and qualifications their staff have. Make sure that these are relevant to the systems which you are using.

You should also look for references elsewhere. Check for online reviews – not on the company’s own website but on independent ones where you will get an unbiased view. If it’s a local business ask around to see if you know anyone else who has used them. When you talk to the supplier, ask to speak to other customers too, or ask if the company can show you references. A firm that is experienced and confident in the service it provides won’t object to this.