Did your IT support provider deliver during lockdown?
The past few months have been tough on businesses.
But as we emerge from lockdown and begin to count the cost of COVID-19, one of the key areas that organisations need to address is business continuity planning.
The questions you need to ask are:
Future-proof your business with a reliable IT support provider
Nobody knows what will happen in the next 6-12 months.
It seems plausible that the UK could face a second wave of COVID-19. It’s also entirely possible that we’ll enter a recession.
The point is this – the uncertainty faced in 2020 is only going to continue, so you need to try to control the variables within your sphere of influence.
That freelance one-man band you rely on – are they going to be around in 6 months’ time? Do they have the capacity to put your business first, if they’re working for other companies too? What are your plans if you (or your IT provider) fall under a local lockdown? Have they informed you of their procedures?
These are the sorts of questions you should be asking in order to future-proof your business against uncertainty.
Your IT support provider cannot predict the future, but what they can do is provide you with the support, technology, and confidence to continue doing business as normal. Or at least as normally as things can be!
Has my IT support provider supported my business effectively?
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Was my IT support provider always available, with minimal disruption?
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Do I have a robust continuity plan in place to protect against the uncertainty of local lockdowns?
Does your IT support provider inspire trust and confidence?
Consider the following:
If your IT support provider is a one-man band, or only serves local customers, what will they do if a local lockdown comes into effect? If they’re an external, ad-hoc contractor, will they still have the capability to support the increasing demands of your business? And will they survive the uncertainty?
When you agree to work with an IT support provider, you are placing trust in them. Trust that they’ll be there for you, especially in the hard times. Their continued existence is essential to your own survival.
This is why you need a strong, reliable IT support provider to have your back, no matter what. This can be the difference between survival and business failure.
How to identify a reliable IT support provider
Look at testimonials and case studies, especially ones for businesses in your sector. The chances are, you probably face quite similar challenges, so it’s an excellent opportunity to see how the IT support provider navigated these.
What partners do they work with and accreditations do they have?Accreditations like ‘Microsoft Gold Partner’ and ‘Cyber Essentials Plus’ are good indicators of quality.It shows that the IT support provider is respected in the industry for a start. It also demonstrates that they’ve passed rigorous testing from external parties and that their staff are experts in the field. Quality assurance should be a critical factor when choosing who to work with.
A good SLA (service level agreement) score is a key indicator of reliability. You’ll find that reliable, trustworthy IT support providers publish their SLA statistics on their website. If they’re good at what they do, they typically want to shout about it!
This enables our customers to focus on the other numerous challenges posed by COVID-19.
Hope for the best, plan for the worst
Support is just the tip of the iceberg though. A decent IT support provider should be ensuring that you have a robust business continuity & disaster recovery plan in place.
This is because business continuity planning is, realistically, no longer an option.
Did your IT support provider offer a business continuity provision? If so, did it work as well as it should have?
Simply put – did you suffer any downtime due to the pandemic?
If so, you need to discuss this with your IT support provider and reconsider your business continuity plan. A good IT support provider will have been proactive in talking to you about this.
So by all means, be optimistic – hope for the best! But always, always plan for the worst.