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Have you outgrown your IT Service provider?

June 13, 2017 | Scott Meeker

BerganKDV Business Technology Consultant Scott Meeker talks about having meaningful conversations with your technology services provider. 

Technology does not have to be complicated. 

I will admit that often, I am painfully guilty of using too many acronyms, and relying too much on technical buzzwords.  Are you considering an Office365 migration? What are you doing for MDM and BYOD policies?  Or, have you created a BDR preparedness plan?  Maybe you want to build a private cloud, or to implement FWaaS, understand the impact of RPO & RTO, improve VPN performance, or update AV definitions. Honestly, sometimes digesting it all makes my head spin a bit too.

Make no mistake, technology is crucial to the success your business.

Most of us rely on computers and technology platforms for most of what we do during any given day.  We all understand the importance of maintaining and securing these systems because we all know what happens when we lose connection to the Internet, or cannot send an email, lose data, or our computer hangs when we are working on a deadline. We have all been there.  Preventing these interruptions, addressing issues pro-actively and responding quickly to outages is paramount to the success of your company.  This is why it is important to talk these things through before they happen, to understand the impact on your business, and to make sure you have the right solutions in place.

Are you having the right conversations with your current technology provider? 

If your business is evolving and your current IT service provider is not, it is time to start having the right conversations.  Here are five things your current provider should be talking to you about:

  1. The cloud.  Whether you have an old server that is no longer under warranty, or if it is time to upgrade your email server, or the contract for your phone system is about to renew, you need to understand your options.  The cloud is not always the right answer, but your provider should help you understand the benefits and ROI of cloud solutions and whether it makes sense for your business.
  2. Backups and disaster recovery.  This conversation starts with understanding the impact to your business if data is lost, if systems are down, or what it means if a true disaster would become a reality.  Make sure you do not overlook the simple stuff too.  Your provider should be routinely testing your back-ups to check for data integrity and that system can be restored and provide business continuity as promised.
  3. Cybersecurity.  This is all about mitigating risk, by implementing multiple layers of protection.  The security landscape is constantly changing, so make sure that your security strategy keeps pace.
  4. Education.  Is your provider transferring knowledge to you and your employees?  Have they provided continuing education around data security best practices?  What things to do, and what NOT to do?  Simple reminders or informal training is a quick and easy way to keep security and productivity top of mind.
  5. Your business.  Are conversations dominated by technical specs? Does your provider understand the non-technical parts of your business?  Have you talked about plans to mitigate risk, to meet compliance, increase work productivity?  How about ERP, 401K planning, tax preparation, an audit, or payroll?  All these things affect your bottom line, and having an advisor with the vision and team to help lead your business can make all the difference.

If you are not having these conversations, you should start now before you are stuck dealing with preventable interruptions to your business. Contact Scott today.

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