Are you convinced your IT service provider is doing their job? This is of the most interesting questions when it comes to outsourced IT support.
Interesting? Yes, and contentious. Contentious because most executives don’t even know what they should be expecting from their IT suppliers. Or do you? You don’t; I guessed right. You are probably thinking of something in the line of ‘management’. But management is a general term.
The question is interesting because we tend to confuse it with a marketing strategy far too often. And reasonably so, it has a thick layer of market-speak slapped on its surface. But that’s not what this article is about.
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If you ask any business manager or owner why they settled on going for outsourced IT support, 9/10 will tell you that it guaranteed better security for their networks.
Online threats have become such a thing in the modern workspace that cybersecurity is no longer just about a few patches here and there.
Some of the most basic cybersecurity services you’d expect from your service provider include:
- Helping you with the implementation of password complexity and expiration regulations.
- Institution and management of DMARC protocols and DNS filtering tools to protect your users from malicious sites and phishing attacks.
- Regular upgrading of your software and platforms. Progressive companies like Microsoft usually add extra security features in their new versions to respond to identified risk areas.
- Deployment of two-level authentication protocols for the company’s and employees’ devices.
These security measures should not just be reactionary. Your service provider is supposed to develop and share with you a strategic proactive security plan. The strategy should highlight both preventative and response measures.
Also, under security is the training of your staff on cybersecurity issues. Having a security plan that your employees don’t understand is not any better than having none at all. Since the security measures are bound to change with time, training sessions should likewise not be a one-time thing.
It’s not only your staff that may require help once in a while; the modern-day end-user also demands explanations — and they demand them on the spot. Putting up and maintaining around-the-clock support service system is also the responsibility of the IT support company.
Depending on your subscription, the help desk service comes in various tiered models. The most common arrangement is having the service provider to manage your networks for an agreed bundle of hours, either remotely on-demand or on-site. For example, they could be handling the work overflow when your in-house team is overwhelmed, or at night when the staff is not in the office. The other option is a full help desk service with unlimited time frames.
Your IT supplier should be in a position to deliver an online support portal, ticketed support, or helpline whenever you may need them.
Communication Vendor Management
The success of your business is dependent on the efficiency of your communication channels, both literally and otherwise. A lot of times, we concentrate on customer support services and assume the vitality of in-office communication. According to everyonesocial, 60% of firms do not have long-term in-house communication strategies.
As many businesses are migrating from the conventional landline communication to VoIP, your service provider should be at the forefront championing such transformative moves.
Many IT support companies still rely on third-party dealers to provide cloud-based, VoIP, or PBX communication services. Even then, it is still their responsibility to assess and identify your communication needs. They should then help you find an established vendor and oversee the smooth running of the process.
Management of Your Network and Infrastructure
When we talk about IT management, what usually comes to mind is the management of infrastructure. Although very important, the network is often given a back seat.
As your IT supplier advises on the latest equipment and software, they should equally seek ways to improve your networks. One such method is by helping you adopt the more effective, safer, and cost-efficient IP Virtual Private Networks. This is the future of network and infrastructure management. It saves you on operation costs by eliminating the expensive SLAs associated with LAN or WAN.
How do you know that the service provider is managing your networks efficiently? It’s as simple as having your daily business operations running smoothly.
A recent study by phoenixNAP found out that 50% out of the surveyed companies had experienced a day-long downtime. The report further reports that inadvertent downtime can cost firms up to $17, 244 on average.
Is your support firm doing enough to shield you from these risks?
Beware of any IT support company that is hesitant to help your company move to the Cloud. It’s either they do not have the requisite talent to help you through this process or have not invested in such technologies.
Gone are the days when one could say the Cloud was the future of business computing; it’s now the present and the new normal.
Some of the apparent benefits of the Cloud include:
- It has a real-time backup, which is healthy for disaster recovery.
- Flexibility — you can easily scale without any complications if you are using the cloud.
- Cloud services guarantee top-tier data security.
- Unlimited data storage space.
The Cloud is as useful as it is challenging to implement most of the services without it. The migration should not be hurried; it must be strategically planned and well-executed.
Now That You Know What To Expect, Is Your IT Company Doing Enough?
IT plays such a crucial role in the success of your organization that you cannot afford to have an underperforming service provider.
There are several IT support firms in Dallas. How do you find the right one? Check out our guide on How to Find the Best IT Companies in the Dallas Metro Area.
When you find the right IT company in Dallas, you can trust that your organization will gain access to the skills and solutions needed to reduce costs, improve efficiency, and increase overall customer satisfaction. Integrated365 can help by becoming a true partner for your business, creating synergies with your current solutions, and recommending options that will help create a stable and secure base for your operations.