For several companies, IT support is one of the most costly ventures. Therefore, it only fits that you should get the maximum value from this investment. That's why it's essential to not only trust your IT company but also follow up to verify that they're doing their job to the fullest.
It can be pretty unfortunate to spend the maximum budget on an IT service provider and discover later that they were not handling everything as you agreed. Whether it's failure to provide support during the weekends, not deploying enough data security systems, or not conducting regular patches and backups, lackluster IT support is one thing you cannot afford to have. So, how do you ascertain that your IT company is doing its job? Isn't it enough to have a service provider that you fully trust?
Trust But Verify
We all agree that IT plays an integral role in the survival of any present-day organization, and so does your service provider. You must, therefore, only work with an IT company that you fully trust. In most cases, you will be granting the service provider unabated access to even the most sensitive company files. There's no room for mistrust.
However, in as much as you trust the IT company to deliver and be honest about everything, you should also make an effort to verify their performance. That doesn't imply that you doubt them or are dissatisfied with their work. No, it simply means that you are not taking any chances. It's better to follow up and confirm that they're doing everything as you agreed than blindly trust them and continually suspect that something could be wrong.
What Should Your IT Service Provider Provide Your Company?
Now that you understand why it's essential to verify the IT company's performance, here are five things to look out for:
1. Proactive Management
While it's normal to have occasional break-fix issues, the service provider shouldn't just wait to react after they've occurred. Instead, they should proactively manage your network to identify and prevent these hitches before they aggravate into serious malfunctions.
Proactive management involves monitoring your systems for outages, taking time to learn your environment, deploying and maintaining the necessary tools, and regularly consulting with you to align their programs with your business goals. With this approach, the IT company will minimize unnecessary downtime and increase your overall productivity.
With organizations integrating technology into almost every business process, cybersecurity is no longer a luxury—it's essential. Safeguarding your data from unauthorized access or use is one of the primary roles of any IT company. According to Purplesec, cyberattacks have increased by over 600% since the pandemic began.
Does the service provider have an elaborate data security plan that fits your needs and budget? Do they help you with industry compliance issues? Which security protocols do they have in place, and how often do they revise them? And most importantly, how often do they train their staff to keep them abreast with emerging threat patterns?
Remember, not even the best cybersecurity tools and protocols can guarantee surefire protection against hacks and breaches. So, if a service provider promises you that you won't experience any data security issues, it's either they're deliberately lying or don't understand what cybersecurity entails.
3. Proper Backup And Recovery
As we said, even with the best cybersecurity measures in place, there's always the threat of losing or misplacing your data. That's why data backup is very crucial.
Does the service provider maintain in-the-cloud and offline duplicates of your files and credentials? If so, how often and is there any proof? In case of an incident, how easy will it be to retrieve these backups? The IT company should back up your files in easy-to-retrieve formats at least twice a day.
4. Data Storage and Management
Data is arguably one of the most valuable assets in any organization, regardless of the industry or scope. You rely on data to formulate policies, make decisions, and plan your growth. Without proper data management, storage, and backup, your operations are as good as stalled.
Depending on your SLA's, you expect the IT company to set up and maintain the servers and databases that host your data. It should also design and implement strategies and techniques to ensure that these servers function seamlessly for fast and efficient access to the data they hold. By handling data storage and management, the service provider frees your staff to concentrate on more business-centric tasks.
5. IT Consulting and Help Desk Support
The service provider should be readily available for consultations just as they were when they were wooing you to engage their services.
How long do they take to respond to your help desk support requests? And if they do, how long does it take them to resolve your issues. You can know how good an IT company is by the quality of help desk support they give. A service provider that takes too long to respond to your issues is probably overwhelmed or lacks the requisite skills.
At Leading IT, we personally make efforts to inform you about the measures we're deploying, your cybersecurity posture, and areas that need adjustments. For instance, we send our clients weekly reports about their systems and what we've done, e.g., proof of backup or are planning to do. Even then, you should still follow up and verify.
Leading IT offers 24/7, all-inclusive, fast, and friendly technology and cybersecurity support for nonprofits, manufacturers, schools, accounting firms, religious organizations, government, and law offices with 10-200 employees across the Chicagoland area.