The Coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown have presented severe challenges to businesses the length and breadth of the country. The IT sector is no exception, with many IT providers likely feeling the strain of increased workloads at a time when morale and operational effectiveness is being tested by remote working.
However, as an industry, the IT sector is better equipped than many to deal with the operational challenges presented by the pandemic. You should, therefore, continue to expect a certain level of service from your IT provider. While their capacity and elements of their operation may be tested, you should expect your MSP to step up to the challenge as much as practicably possible.
What should I continue to expect from my IT provider?
Timely support and maintenance. Basic support requests should still be dealt with in a fairly timely manner. That means not waiting days for simple connectivity issues to be dealt with. Some delay is inevitable due to unprecedented demand for IT support, but if your business operations are severely affected by inadequate support it may be time to look for a new provider.
Solutions that are appropriate in terms of scale and cost. It is hard to say how long lockdown restrictions will continue to affect working arrangments but it is safe to assume that life isn’t going to return to normal in the near future. That’s why it is important that your IT provider provides solutions that are adequate as opposed to compromised stop-gap solutions in the expectation of a quick return to normality.
If accessing data is a priority you may want remote access to your office network or a business-level cloud storage solution. You shouldn’t rely on physical storage devices, email attachments or personal cloud storage accounts if these solutions are inadequate, unworkable or potentially put your data at risk. Similarly, if communication is fundamental to your business your IT provider should be able to set up collaboration platforms or even a VoIP phone system so that you can continue operating effectively.
Essentially, your IT provider should have enough knowledge of your business to tailor requirements that meet your needs and are economically viable.
Secure and Compliant Solutions. Many businesses have to comply with a substantial amount of compliance regulation both industry-specific and more general legislation such as GDPR. Compliance isn’t taking a holiday! Before the lockdown, the Financial Conduct Authority made it clear that companies should ‘take all reasonable steps to meet their regulatory obligations.’ Your IT provider should therefore only offer solutions that allow you to operate in adherence with any regulatory compliance obligations you currently have.
For many businesses Compliance largely concerns personal data, and how it is used and stored. Your IT provider should be able to source hardware such as Laptops and ensure that they are secure, updated, backed up and feature adequate anti-malware protection. They should continue to carry out proactive, preventative maintenance to monitor for cyber threats and counter them before they are able to inflict damage.
Consultancy. Your IT provider should continue to be available for advice and guidance. Their service desk should be open and reliably manned at the hours they specify and any emails you send them should also be answered promptly.
Ultimately you should feel like your IT provider ‘has your back.’ If they are conspicuous by their absence right now – when you need them most – it is fair to assume that they will let you down in the future.
The global crisis we all find ourselves in may have you feeling charitable or you may be slightly more inclined than usual to tolerate poor service…but you shouldn’t. If you are experiencing any of the issues above ask yourself whether or not your IT company is really up to the task of supporting your business through adversity, and if not it may be time to look elsewhere for an IT partner.
We’re Team Metalogic
We’re Team Metalogic, a managed IT services provider offering outsourced IT services to SME’s across the UK. With a proven track record, with extensive experience and a full portfolio of industry accreditations & certifications.
Our stress-free solutions don’t complicate things, in fact, they improve efficiency and save money.