When selecting which solutions, your business will need as a part of its information technology infrastructure, it helps to look to the future and your plans to advance and expand. Of course, it also doesn’t hurt to make sure that you and your needs are covered, just in case something were to go wrong. This is why it is important to be sure you know the answers to the following questions, especially when someone else is managing your IT solutions.
What kind of service can I expect from my service level agreement?
SLAs are not created equal from company to company. Some providers will fully cover issue A, but leave you high and dry where issues B and C are involved. Some may cover A through C, but may only provide the bare minimum of service. Some may fully cover all issues, but their response times may be so slow that they may as well not cover them at all.
On the other hand, some companies will offer exceptional service, with reasonable response times between non-critical to emergency matters. Make sure that you know which kind of service you can expect from your solutions provider.
How will my network be managed?
This inquiry covers a few different concerns that you should make sure your provider addresses. First of all, you need to make sure that they are not going to charge you excessively for basic support and similar IT requirements. If your management costs are going to keep you from being able to improve in the future, it makes more sense to find a more reasonable provider. Speaking of future improvements, you need to make sure that your provider can handle changes that will happen over time.
After all, the primary goal of most businesses is to grow and become more profitable. This will necessitate improvements to your IT infrastructure in order to support the increased workload and increased user needs. If your provider isn’t prepared to help you grow, they have become a liability instead of an asset. Your business is built around the abilities of your IT, so if it can’t grow, neither can your business.
Is my business protected against possible disaster?
In IT, ‘disaster’ covers a wide scope of events. First, there’s the risk of hardware failure that could derail productivity and facilitate data loss if not properly prepared for. Of course, there are other causes of disaster as well, that can have many of the same effects to your crucial business data or the ability for the business’ employees to be productive. Without the means in place to enable the workforce to return to full productivity as quickly as possible, your business could easily suffer from ill effects as a result.
Data theft is another serious issue that businesses need to consider as well. Has your IT resource put the proper defenses in place to protect your data both on your internal systems and when it is accessed on a mobile device? Have they considered what will need to happen if an employee leaves and should therefore no longer have access to your data, even if it was accessed on their personal device?
These are just a few of the subjects your IT resource should have complete and reliable responses to. If you’d like to find out how we approach these matters, keep reading the Directive blog, and reach out to us directly at 607.433.2200.