Are you getting value from your relationship with your IT partner? Or is the word “relationship” a bit of a stretch?
Your IT company should be proactive in setting up quarterly reviews to discuss the following things:
You should see a summary of all the things they’ve worked on, performance metrics for support requests, and details of proactive work. Read more about improving your business efficiency.
Technology is moving forward all the time.
Did you know there is a way to present from any laptop (even one brought in by a guest) to your meeting room TV without using wires?
Do you know that you may not need to pay for expensive backup for all your data?
Perhaps some of the data is changed less often, so can be backed up at a lower frequency to a different solution.
Your important data can still be backed up every 15 minutes and made recoverable within an hour of a disaster.
Do you know that you might not need any servers at all for your business?
There are cloud solutions available such as Office 365, which can save you a lot of money in server hardware and maintenance costs.
Cloud solutions exist to cover most business needs.
One client of ours was going to spend £240,000 on a new HR system for their business. We told them about a cloud based solution that could do the same thing, on a pay monthly per-user basis.
Our recommendation was taken on board, and now they are enjoying their new HR system which costs them £2 per person, per month. They would have to use it for 185 years for it to cost the same amount.
These kinds of recommendations will help you get the most out of your IT budget.
The current state of your IT security
All of your desktops, laptops, servers, etc. need ongoing maintenance and proactive installation of patches and updates as they become available.
These updates fix newly discovered security flaws and vulnerabilities. If they are not installed, cyber criminals could gain access to your networks and data by exploiting these vulnerabilities. You will also find that performance may be reduced.
Your IT partner should provide a report which allows you to see at a glance the number of machines and servers that are up to date with the latest patches installed. Find out more about IT security.
Anything else that needs to be upgraded
For example, if you’re using a firewall that is over 5 years old, it may not be performing to a level it should. Encrypted traffic now makes up more than 60% of internet traffic.
If your firewall is an older model, it won’t be able to scan this traffic, and will just let it pass straight through. We will recommend the best model for your needs that will keep your business secure.
About “end of life”
Firewalls and operating systems and other hardware and software also have an “end of life” date. This simply means that after this date, they will no longer be supported by the manufacturer.
This means security updates and patches will no longer be released, making these vulnerable.
End of life for Windows 7 is approaching fast and may have already passed if you didn’t install Service Pack 1 when it was available.
Your IT partner should let you know about anything you’re using that is approaching end of life.
About anything you want to talk about
Your IT partner should be willing to discuss anything you want to talk about. This could be cyber security and how to avoid being the subject of a cyber-attack, or how to avoid getting ransomware that encrypts all of your data.
Alternatively, you could ask them about regulations, such as GDPR, and how it will affect your business from a technology and data standpoint.
Your IT partner should be comfortable talking about any business-related issue and should be able to suggest ways in which technology can help. Start a conversation with us today to review your IT strategy.
Would you like more questions to ask your current IT provider?
Download our checklist with questions you should be asking and score your provider.
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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.