Does Your IT Company Do What They’re Supposed To Do? Your Questions Answered.
Does your IT company come in, quickly install some computers, tweak a few things and call it a day? Maybe they installed a backup solution, but maybe not? Perhaps they deployed some cybersecurity measures, but maybe they didn’t do this either? If you and your staff aren’t technically inclined, you rely on your IT company to do the right things. Essentially, you’re at their mercy. If they aren’t doing what they should, it can be bad for your business or healthcare/dental practice. But, what should they be doing? Don’t worry…We’ll tell you here.
What Should An IT Company Do?
Depending on the Managed Services Plan you signed up for, your IT company should, at a bare minimum, be installing hardware and software, managing it, maintaining it, using remote monitoring tools, assuring the integrity of your backups, and using best practices for IT security.
They should have an excellent working knowledge of your hardware and software, your IT inventory and how your staff uses technology to achieve your business goals. They must manage software patches, security features, and all necessary updates for your company’s workstations.
Do they offer Network Design and Planning Services? It’s best if they have IT strategists who can advise on what IT services and solutions will benefit your business. These strategists can develop an IT Roadmap that will take you three years into the future with quarterly and yearly updates so you know that you’re investing in the right IT assets.
Do they offer Cloud and Virtualization Services that will save you money and provide the remote access your team requires to remain productive?
And, if you’re not paying for these things, they should at least be recommending them.
How Do We Know If Our IT Company Isn’t Doing What They Should?
It’s not always easy to tell this if you’re not experienced in IT Service & Support. But here are a few signs that may tip you off:
- Your IT company and techs are slow to respond to your requests.
- They don’t completely resolve IT problems and have to come back again and again.
- You experience long periods of downtime or frequent IT issues that they should be preventing.
- Your system and computers are getting infected with a lot of viruses.
- You experience extended delays when you need for them to come onsite.
- They only provide reactive IT service and not proactive services.
What IT Security Measures Should They Put In Place?
Security measures should include, at a minimum, a firewall, anti-virus software, encryption, and more. For example, ask your IT company if they’ve implemented the following:
- Vulnerability Assessments
- 24 x 7 Remote Monitoring, Detection & Threat Elimination
- Next-Generation Firewalls & Network Segmentation
- Email Security and SPAM Filtering
- Endpoint Security
- Mobile Device Management
- Patch Management & Automatic Updates
- Security Training For Your Employees
- Security Reporting
- A Cybersecurity Response Plan
Note: If you run a dental or healthcare practice, make sure that your IT Provider also complies with HIPAA and presents you with a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) ensuring this.
How Often Should Our Data Be Backed Up?
It’s best practice to perform backups several times each day. An automated image-based backup solution will give you the best chance of restoring your data completely within a short amount of time.
Your IT company should perform network, server and workstation backups so if there’s a failure, you won’t lose any of the data you need to operate. And make sure they are testing your backups. This is essential to ensure your data is always recoverable.
Should We Have Access To Information Regarding Our Backups?
IT companies should fill you in on how often they’re backing up your data and information. You should always receive confirmations of backups and that they’ve been tested for recoverability.
Plus, they should also provide complete Backup and Disaster Recovery Services so your staff knows what to do when a natural or manmade data disaster occurs. The goal is to reduce your downtime to close to zero so you don’t lose business when there’s a disaster.
What Should We Do If Our IT Company Isn’t Doing What They’re Supposed To Do?
If they’re not doing everything they should be, it’s time to switch IT companies. Ideally, your current company will transition everything over to your new IT company.
As a consultant to dental practices, I help my clients maximize what can be done with their technology to maximize production and profit.