Responsibilities of Your IT Company
On a regular basis, we get calls from dental practices looking for a better quality of IT support. They’ve been working with their current provider for years, and have finally gotten fed up with the ongoing problems.
You wouldn’t believe some of the horror stories we hear, and some of the messes we see in server closets, under desks, and on their systems.
The question is: are you getting the level of service you need from your IT company? If you’ve been with them for a while, it’s easy to get complacent. It’s easy to go with that old assumption – “better the devil you know than the one you don’t”.
Allow us to give you some perspective…
What Should Your IT Company Be Doing For You?
- Your IT Company Should Be Responsive
One dental practice we were recently in touch with had looked us up because they were tired of the issues they had with their current IT company. Of the many issues they brought up, the first was how unresponsive the IT company was.How many times have you arranged for a technician to show up that, in the end, didn’t?
No matter how long you waited, at what point did you call your IT support company again to find out where your technician was, and when to expect him? How many times do you think it’s acceptable for this to happen?
The fact is that, the more you let them get away with it, the more likely it is to keep happening. They really only have to be there on time often enough to ensure you don’t decide to take your business elsewhere. That’s why it’s your responsibility to hold your IT support to task – or to find a more reliable one.
- Your IT Company Should Be Proactive
Beyond the problems with the cabling, the hardware and software in use was long overdue for replacement.Lazy IT companies (and cheap businesses) often rely on cheap, second hand or inherited technology. Or, they don’t even bother upgrading when expected, and use the same old computers for years on end, even after they start causing problems.
What you may not know is that saving money by buying cheap may cost you more in the long run. The fact is that cheap computers typically don’t last very long – you might get a couple of years of service out of one, whereas better-made brands can last more than 5 years.
Their IT company should know that and should have taken the initiative to replace their hardware, and make sure they’re kept at peak efficiency.
- Your IT Company Should Keep You Compliant.
As a member of the healthcare industry, you can’t overlook the importance of HIPAA compliance – and neither should your IT company.At another dental practice we visited, we found that all the hardware and software in use was long out of date, making it noncompliant. The antivirus software hadn’t been updated in almost two years. The hardware had reached end of life six years ago.
One of the most common ways cybercriminals get into a network is through loopholes in popular software, applications, and programs. Despite how advanced modern software is, it is still designed by humans, and the fact is that humans make mistakes.
Due to this, much of the software you rely on to get work done every day could have flaws — or “exploits” — that leave you vulnerable to security breaches.
Many of the most common malware and viruses used by cybercriminals today are based on exploiting those programming flaws; to address this, developers regularly release software patches and updates to fix those flaws and protect the users. This is why it’s imperative that you keep your applications and systems up to date.
Is Your IT Company Delivering?
All of this is to say – are you getting what you need from your IT company? If not, then it’s time to do something about it. Find an IT company you can rely on to take care of your technology, answer when you call, and keep you compliant.
Like this article? Check out the following blogs to learn more:
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As a consultant to dental practices, I help my clients maximize what can be done with their technology to maximize production and profit.