Previously, we’ve discussed the costs of downtime to small- and medium-sized businesses. But, let’s dig a little deeper into the downtime issues and discuss how can you truly learn if your IT provider is performing up to snuff.
First, do you find yourself questioning the experience or level of support you’re getting from your current IT provider? Is there a nagging voice in your head, screaming: “Something isn’t right!”
Then it’s time to assess.
7 Steps to Assess Your IT Provider
If you’re questioning the effectiveness of your current IT provider, a valid approach is to bring in a third-party IT provider that can perform a non-biased IT assessment. At Accelerate, we can perform an assessment of the company’s current IT provider.
This assessment includes:
1. Evaluating current technology. We assess your current IT infrastructure and determine gaps based on industry standards and best practices. If there a lot of gaps, you either have some significant business drivers to cause that or you may want to question your current IT provider. In either case, we build a plan to fix those issues and address any risk you may have.
2. Discuss As a business owner, you might have heard the term “disaster recovery” quite often. Having a DR plan can safeguard your business against a permanent shutdown. Your plan should include: a list of key contacts, list of softwares, apps, hardware, floor plans and locations, process definition, information about backups, and always, a plan B. plan and backup storage. While it may be difficult to assess the backup plans of another IT provider directly, by working together, we can discuss your critical systems, identify the most important data that you want protected, and help you with a set of questions to validate your current setup. If your data is protected with your internal team, we validate the operation and effectiveness of the existing systems.
3. Reviewing file sync and sharing approach. Many companies use file sync and sharing solutions such Dropbox, Box, OneDrive and If those solutions are not implemented correctly, you can end up with confidential or regulated data shared and synchronized across many devices (including home computers) and data centers. We review your set up and help ensure your company’s data is not at risk.
4. Infrastructure design. We map out your network infrastructure, so we have a picture of your technology.
5. Planning. Based on your business strategy, we look to see if your technology will serve your desired organizational plans. Technology is critical to every business now. If you don’t consider technology in your growth plans, you may not be able to reach your goals.
6. Lifecycle Management. We review the age of your technology, how you buy systems, how often you invest, industry software that may be approaching end of life, and other areas. We make recommendations that will assist you in planning technology investments at an appropriate pace that aligns with your objectives and budgets.
7. Staffing assessments. We work side-by-side with your internal IT staff or outside IT provider to ensure they have access to best practices. We help them conduct a gap analysis and help you determine what technology services make sense. With your goals in mind, we discover whether your current IT provider is giving you the support you truly need.
We know. You’re thinking, “I don’t want my current IT provider to know I’m doing an assessment of their work!” It’s all how you present it. If it’s part of your own business due diligence, if any provider refuses to have their work evaluated by a third party it may be cause for concern. Because after all, if they are doing their work well, there is nothing to worry about, right?
What to Do About a Poorly Performing IT Provider
If your IT provider fails to meet these best practice standards in the assessment, it may be time to start looking at other providers. If your internal staff needs help keeping up with your growing business’ technology needs, it may be time to start looking at a managed service provider that can support them.
What should you get from an IT managed service provider?
- Multilayered security solutions that meet today’s standards
- A team of experts with in-depth knowledge to help guide your IT strategy
- An IT budget you can use to inform your business strategy
- A plan to appropriately invest in IT for your company
If you are not getting these services from your current IT provider, they can actually be hurting your business instead of helping it grow.
Evaluate Your IT Provider for Business Growth
Accelerate provides a full suite of IT assessment services. We’ve been trusted by many Indianapolis-area businesses to evaluate their internal IT staff or outside managed service provider to ensure compliance, locate any gaps and offer recommendations for improvement.
If you think your IT provider is exposing you to risk or slowing your business down, contact us for help. Not only can we assess your current IT infrastructure for issues, but we can also evaluate your IT provider’s performance to give you an expert third-party evaluation.
If you’d like to experience the expert IT strategy, service and support other Indianapolis-area businesses receive from Accelerate, get in touch with us at 317.596.3650 or online. Let us help your IT staff or outside provider become your organization’s heroes.