So you’ve decided that outsourcing your technology management to a virtual CIO or IT consultant is the right choice for your business, and you’ve made some initial decisions about what kind of partner you’re looking for, but now you’re unsure how to select the right company for your needs?
Don’t worry — we’re here to help!
The best way to choose an IT partner is the same way you’d hire an employee: narrow your list down to a few top choices, then interview them all thoroughly, so you can make the most informed decision.
Just like an interviewee, your virtual CIO will work for you and also with you, so you need to assess the value they can bring to your business but also how well they’ll fit in with the rest of your team.
Once you have a list of consultants whose fees fit your budget and whose services fit your needs, set up a time to connect with a representative from each company and get a feel for whether their style is a good fit for you.
Make sure you ask all of the companies the same questions and take notes on their answers, so you can compare apples to apples when it comes time to make your final decision.
Here are some questions you might want to ask during the conversation:
- What’s your preferred communication style?
- Do you collaborate with clients or do you work independently once the contract is signed?
- What would you say are your company’s specialties when it comes to IT? What sets you apart from the competition?
- What’s your take on the latest cybersecurity breach [identify it by name if you can]? Is there anything the victim could have done to prevent it?
- Can you tell me about a time when you disagreed with a client as to how they should proceed, and how you handled that?
- What’s your confidentiality policy? How much access do you need to our (potentially sensitive) data?
- What does the process look like if I sign with you? Can you walk me through the initial steps?
- How often do I pay, how are your fees structured, and does the fee ever change? If so, how much lead time will you give me before an increase in fees?
Other questions you might ask could touch on company culture, number of CIOs employed, and customer service policies. Feel free to ask a lot of questions — this is an important decision, and the more information you can get up front, the easier it will be. Give the consultants a chance to ask you questions, too, so they can gain a deeper understanding of your needs.
Remember that whichever consultant you choose should meet your business’s IT needs, but ideally they’ll also align with your communication style and your team culture. This is a partnership, after all!
If you’d like to chat with one of our virtual CIOs at 3Qube Consulting, we’d love to hear from you. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at (713) 857-6442.