Don’t Let Your IT Guy Hold You Prisoner
Here’s a question to think about: If your IT guy were to go away, would you know where all of your passwords, data, software licenses and disks, key codes, and other important information were stored? Do you know the process to log into your server? Do you know the passwords needed to access your employee’s workstations? Do you know where your offsite data is stored, and how to access it? Is your network documented so that another IT person could come in and pickup where it was left off? If not, your IT guy may be holding you prisoner.
If he’s doing his job well, you might not mind too much; however, you should require that they document your network in the event that they don’t show up for work one day.
Occasionally I’ve run across potential new clients who aren’t truly happy with their IT guy’s work, but stay with them out of fear. As one business owner to another, this is NEVER a good reason to stay with your current provider.
If you can’t trust the person with the most access and power over your computer network – the core of your business – you need to find someone you CAN trust. A truly professional person or provider would NEVER hold their client hostage or do any harm in handing over the “keys” to another company. In addition, any good IT Professional should be able to walk you through the transition to prevent that person from doing any damage.
How To Know If Your IT Is Doing A Good Job
Another reason business owners stay with their current IT solution, is simply because they don’t know what good service really is. Time and time again, I’m absolutely SHOCKED by the incompetence and irresponsibility that I discover when auditing most business networks. In 98% of the computer networks I review, I find faulty or non-existent backup systems, security loopholes, half-helpful reporting, and broken or flawed systems that simply cost more to maintain.
Why do so many businesses pay for substandard computer support? Simply because they don’t know how to truly verify that their network IS secure and they end up having to take someone at their word.
Here’s a quick test to see if your IT guy is doing his job well. If your technician does not score a “yes” on every point, you could be paying for substandard support
- Do they answer their phones “live” and respond to support issues in one hour or less?
- Are they remotely monitoring your network 24-7-365 to keep critical security settings, virus definitions, and security patches up to date?
- Do they INSIST on monitoring an offsite as well as an onsite backup, or are they letting you rely on outdated tape backups?
- Do they INSIST on doing periodic test restores of your backups to make sure the data is not corrupt and could be restored in the event of a disaster?
- Do they consistently (and proactively) offer innovative ways to improve your network’s performance, or do they wait until you have a problem to make recommendations?
- Do they explain what they are doing and answer your questions in terms that you can understand (not geek-speak)?
- Do they complete projects on time and on budget, or does every project end up taking longer and costing more than you expected?
- Do they offer any guarantees on their services?
- Do they have other technicians on staff who are familiar with your network in case your regular technician goes on vacation or gets sick?
- Do their technicians maintain current vendor certifications and participate in ongoing training, or do you feel as though they are learning on your dime?
- Do you have to manage their progress on projects, or do they provide frequent updates, status reports, and follow-up calls and e-mails?
- Do they take calls from other clients while working on your network (and on your dime)?
- Do they offer flat-rate or fixed-fee project quotes, or do they give themselves an open playing field with “time and materials?”
If your current IT solution failed This test, we would like to give you a FREE Network Assessment to ensure things are done correctly!
If you’re NOT happy with your IT person and have a suspicion that they aren’t doing the best job possible, then call us for a second opinion. At no cost or obligation to you, we’ll come to your office and conduct a network assessment to look for problems with your backup, security, speed, and any other problems that could lead to data loss, downtime, and high repair fees.