When it comes to IT Support, companies want to know their provider is going to be proactive, and actively monitoring their systems. But how do you know if your IT support partner is actually being proactive?
The most common complaint we hear from new clients is that their old provider wasn’t ‘proactive’ enough.
What does this mean?
Usually, it’s that recurring issues were a problem. This is when a problem is fixed once, but the underlying issue was not addressed, so the same problem keeps coming up again and again. If an IT Support Company is not proactive in addressing problems and communicating about issues internally with their staff, the same problems are likely to repeat themselves, damaging employee productivity in your company over time.
Another way of not being proactive is failing to install updates when they become available, such as, not installing Windows updates straight away. Not doing this could cause issues further down the line, and is something any IT Support Provider worth their salt will be doing for you without you even realising. Keeping on top of this kind of updates for you, not only ensures your systems will run efficiently, but it also means they are keeping your security up to date, as security updates and patches are usually included in these updates. Not installing windows updates could also result in other problems down the line such as:
- Applications not working properly
- Systems running more slowly
- Computers being more prone to crash
Allowing these key things to slip mean that your systems are more susceptible to cyber-attack.
Carrying out proactive monitoring and maintenance work can also find faults that can be fixed before they develop into major problems. For example, a backup solution could have stopped running because it ran out of space to back up new files. With a proactive approach, this would be discovered and fixed before it became an issue for you.
If your IT support partner is not proactive, this would not be discovered until you needed to restore your data from your backup. They would then have to let you know that your files had not been backing up for the last 3 weeks, 3 months or 3 years!
Questions you should be asking your current IT provider:
Patch status of servers and PCs – Can your IT provider produce a report showing you that all of your PCs and servers are up to date with the latest security updates and patches?
When do they proactively install updates and patches? – This should be done regularly, in the background, without disrupting users. Preferably, it should be at the same time every week so everyone gets in the habit of having their PCs turned on at this time. This should be communicated to you.
Backup success rate – You may have a backup solution (hopefully you do!) but do you know your backups are completing successfully?
How do you know if your backups are actually taking place? Ask to see a report!
Your IT support company should proactively provide you with these reports in your quarterly business reviews if they’re not doing that you need to ask why.
The ideal scenario is to have a quarterly review at the end of each quarter, where your IT provider should suggest improvements technology you could make based on the business challenges you are facing. You should get value from this meeting, and it’s there chance to communicate to you what they are doing, and the further away they can help add value to your business.
How can this help your business?
To put this into context. One of our clients was considering investing over £60,000 in a new HR system. Instead, we recommended them an alternative, online solution that fitted all their business requirements. The payment model was per user per month – this amounted to £27 per month for them. With this model, it would have taken 185 years for their HR system to cost them £60,000. Read more about this story here.
You have to ask yourself…
The key thing you need to ask yourself is does your IT Support Partner recommend technology solutions for your business challenges?
If they aren’t doing this, it might be worth thinking about switching provider.
Your checklist for choosing an IT Support partner
Ensure you’re asking the right questions to find the right IT partner for your business.
Not all IT support companies are the same. If you want to find one that’s proactive and works to improve productivity in your business whilst reducing risk, you need to ask the right questions.
Download this checklist and ensure you partner with a company that will add value.