For a business to be successful in a very competitive market place a good, trusted, IT support partner is vital.
Every business has a unique approach and sometimes very individual business methods or models. It is very important to recognise and appreciate that there is no singular IT solution that can be applied to all businesses.
We take time to understand the individual needs of each of the businesses we work with. We carry out detailed needs analyses that address current requirements, whilst making provision for potential future changes.
Choosing an IT support partner can be a tricky business. Look for a company with a proven track record, preferably in your sector although beware of possible clashes of interest.
Where possible, talk to some of your proposed business IT support partner's existing clients, check out their social media accounts and if you get a recommendation from one of your contacts that's a great place to start.
Depending on your business, you may need to consider Disclosure for the Business IT support staff. This would be relevant for staff who may have access to confidential data, bearing in mind compliance and data protection requirements.
An area that often causes problems is on-line or cloud back up. It's all fine while both parties are speaking but what happens if your backup provider or indeed your IT Support partner ceases trading. The best solution for all involved is to make sure that the backup data is held in escrow and is accessible by you, the client, at any time.
Medical, dental and personal finance data should not leave the UK so make sure you know where your backups are being stored - it might surprise you!
Which ever IT Support company you choose, they should and you should, insist upon having the access details to your cloud backup. Incidentally this access should be included in your Business Disaster Recover Plan.
For the protection of both parties you should have both of the following in place
1. A Service Level Agreement (SLA) which will detail availability, responsibility and accessibility as core values.
2. A Support Contract which will detail a full list of the services, hardware & software which ae supported, the level of support you will receive and response times
If you use a hosted Exchange business email solution, make sure that you have full visibility of and Master control of the service's Control Panel. You'll be amazed just how many companies do not detail all of the access details so that when the muck hits the fan, they are dead in the water.
The access details, URLs, procedures etc MUST be fully documented and stored securely in places that the key personnel can access readily in a crisis . Such details will form the foundation of your Disaster Recovery Plan.
If your business does not have a Disaster Recovery Plan, then make it a priority to get one and keep it updated, possibly every month.
Your Business IT Support Partner should be able and willing to help you with this vital task
Lastly, if you have any doubts or questions, its good to talk, so ask your potential business IT support provider until you are happy.