Best Questions to Consider During an IT Review
Periodic reviews are always a good thing to consider. Employees, for example, expect annual reviews. We also should regularly take time to evaluate where we are in our business plans so that we can adjust our course accordingly. The same reviews should be conducted on a regular basis with your IT team, whether your team is in-house or managed by an MSP.
By making these reviews, ideally on a quarterly basis, you will be able to keep lines of communication open with your team regarding any current or future projects.
While any sort of communication is likely to be beneficial, the following questions are important ones that should be part of each review.
Are regular, successful backups being completed? When was the last one done?
Your data is constantly at risk from a wide variety of factors. Consider what might happen in the event of a fire, system infection from ransomware, or a natural disaster if your data has not been backed up, and you will understand the need for consistent back up to a secure off-site location.
The US Bureau of Labor reports that 93 percent of companies go out of business within 5 years of a significant loss of data. Without regular backups, your company need only face a single emergency before suffering an untimely demise.
Are service-level agreements being met consistently?
Service-Level Agreements (SLAs) outline the level of performance for services, as well as the expected response times. For example, when an issue presents itself, the SLAs determine how quickly a technician is expected to begin working on the problem, as well as the acceptable time-frame for resolution.
I you find that SLAs are not being met, it is most likely due to other issues that need to be addressed. Perhaps the SLAs were not realistic in their expectations, or you are lacking the resources to effectively deal with problems as they arise. It is a potential indicator that your team’s efficacy has somehow diminished.
If you are dealing with an MSP, they are responsible for ensuring that they have sufficient manpower to meet your needs. If, however, your IT team is an internal one, you may need to evaluate whether you are in need of another team member, or if you might need to split the workload between your internal team and an MSP.
Is your hardware and software up-to-date?
It is generally well understood that technology is evolving at a rapid pace. It is therefore quite possible that your state-of-the-art technology from 5 years ago has started to lag in comparison to what is on the market today. There may no longer be support for products from the companies that made them a short time ago.
Discuss with your team whether the tools that they have available to them are still suitable to the tasks at hand. They should be monitoring more than just workstations, but also your servers, switches, wireless access points and any other devices connected to your network to determine if they are in need of replacing either now, or in the near future. Devices may be nearing the end of their life cycle and your IT team should be up to date on the best possible replacements. Likewise, they should be aware of any software patches or new programs that will improve the functionality of your systems.
How proactive is your IT team?
Your team should not only be monitoring your hardware and software, but proactively keeping informed of ways to improve performance. Are they keeping abreast of current infection threats and how to combat them? Are they aware of possible network upgrades that would benefit your growing company?
If you have hired an MSP and they are merely responding to issues as they arrive rather than proactively anticipating them and keeping your technology functioning at maximum potential, then they are not a true MSP.
How well are you communicating with your IT team?
This is a vital question.
While your IT team requires the ability to work autonomously, they should also be reporting to you on any current projects, future needs, or potential problems that they are facing now, or expect may come up in the future.
You need to maintain open and easy communication with your IT team, regardless of whether it is an internal team or an MSP. Hold regular meetings if you can or find other ways to ensure ongoing communication. There should never be a time when you feel that you cannot approach your IT team with questions or concerns. If there is, then you should take some time to re-evaluate your working relationship.
Your IT team is an important part of your success, and like any other part of your company, should be reviewed regularly to ensure that everything is running smoothly for the benefit of your business.
For professional IT services, contact Safe Harbour today!