What your IT provider isn’t doing… that they should be
Technological advancements over the last 25-30 years have been enormous. These advancements have enabled tech to gradually work its way to the very forefront of businesses across the globe. It is no longer just large companies that utilise all that tech has to offer – small local companies have gradually seen the benefits too. The key role IT now plays in many parts of a business – from improving efficiency and compliance to the improved levels of communication it makes possible – has made it imperative that the IT method and tools you use are implemented and maintained in line with the way you and your team work.
This need for ‘personalised’ IT and IT support has brought to light serious problems with the majority of IT support specialists on the market. Most provide support that is based almost entirely on fixing something that breaks – which, of course, is important – as opposed to going that extra mile and looking ahead. More on this later in the blog series.
What is IT support?
IT support for many is the term used to describe the management and maintenance of IT across an organisation. Support spans the various technology services that outsourced IT Support companies (Managed Service Providers) offer to businesses and their users, along with an unlimited support Helpdesk offering what is almost entirely focused on delivering reactive aid to faults as and when they are reported by a user.
Let’s explore the limits of your current IT provider in order to find out what more they could be doing to provide you with a better service.
They are likely Reactive as opposed to a Proactive
Most IT support companies claim to be proactive simply because it sounds good in their advertising spiel, but, in reality, many just behave like an insurance policy with a ‘not interested until something goes wrong’ approach. This is the same when you flag or log an issue with them – it is only then that they will react.
Limitations on availability
Many providers have a limit on the amount of ‘call outs’ you are entitled to within your monthly plan – this is ridiculous and completely unsustainable! How can you possibly know how many IT problems you are going to have each month? That provider is simply not doing their job effectively enough in this circumstance.
I am sure that we can all agree that the majority of tech minded individuals – as skilled as they are in their sector – are inherently poor in terms of communicating at a human level. As we stated previously, for all their skill in finding fixes and working out strategies around the implementation of new technologies as you request them, they often fall short regarding the levels of communication expected, and needed, with the organisation they are supporting. This in turn leads to a lack of understanding between the two entities; you (the client) don’t have your expectations met and will have no idea as to the actions being taken by the provider (or potentially no action), and the provider will have no knowledge of your goals, requirements, and the way in which you and your team do business.
As you can see, there are a number of elements to consider before you approach the average IT provider that could have wide-ranging effects. Let’s explore what a good, modern, proactive IT provider will do for you.
What should an IT provider do for you?
Arguably the most important of all is communication. Your provider should be in frequent contact with you, and that contact should be structured and scheduled. Don’t get us wrong – we don’t mean a daily phone call to check everything is okay – but the effort should be made to get to know you, your company ethos, and the way in which you like to do business. Ideally, the provider will have extensive experience in dealing with organisations that reside in your sector. You should also be told who is managing your account as they are the one that – if doing their job correctly – will be taking ownership of the IT picture for your entire organisation. This ownership does not just mean looking for issues that arise but forward-planning advancements in the technology your business uses that will be beneficial to both its immediate and sustained growth.
Service level agreements – SLA’s
An SLA (Service Level Agreement) is a set of minimum service parameters which a provider will ‘guarantee’ to meet in the delivery of your service. Obligations can range from response and reaction times through to grading levels, and the speed of response based on the severity of the case. This makes it imperative that you check what they would be obliged to provide in your proposed contract – don’t sign if you don’t like what they are offering!
Clear strategy and proactivity
When it comes to the strategy used by the provider you need to ask yourself questions such as are they approaching my IT support proactively or reactively? As we stated earlier, a reactive approach is like an insurance policy. However, a good provider with a proactive approach will initially break down your business into its components and find ways – by changing the way things are done – to prepare for anticipated problems by updating or restructuring the way tasks are carried out, or ensuring the infrastructure is in place that will eradicate or minimise any damage caused by any problem that does arise.
IT support that is aligned with the way you, your team, and your organisation go about daily work activities will ensure that, not only the technology services, tools, and infrastructure you procure are aligned to the way you want to do business, but that the IT will weave itself seamlessly into daily operations, thereby helping to drive efficiency, support profitability, improve communication, and also ensure compliance. This allows the business to run as normal with the IT made to work around it rather than the other way around.
In the next and last blog in the series we will delve deeper into what an IT provider should be doing – and providing – for you.
Ensuring a modern and proactive approach to your IT support
4TC take time to understand the daily challenges that your business faces, we then provide cost-effective tech solutions to these challenges that will help you save time, protect vital data and enable you and your staff to be more effective with your time management. Utilising your IT to its full potential is essential to guarantee that you and your business can thrive and grow into the future. If you would like to find out more on how 4TC Services can provide affordable tech management to your business, drop us an email or call us now for a full demonstration.
We’re 4tc Managed IT Services
4TC can support you with all your IT needs! We are trained professionals with years of experience and can guarantee you a service like no other.
We will give you and your business consistent attention – assuring that we do not only provide you with the best now but also continue to provide you with the best going into the future. We can act as either your IT department or to supplement an existing IT arrangement.
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