Although successful business owners are often cut from different cloths, one factor that many share is constantly measuring and assessing everything involving your business. From the profitability of particular departments, to equipment lifecycles, to the various expenses your company pays each month, the key to sustainable growth is by understanding what works and what doesn’t.
Your IT is no different, and there are specific KPIs you can measure to gauge the success of your technology infrastructure. These include the cost to maintain it, the cost to train your staff to use it properly, the cost of downtime (and how much downtime you suffer from), the costs of adding your next few users, and just how effective it is at allowing you and your employees to be productive.
There are plenty of other reasons to take a look at your current IT:
– Your business is growing but your current technology is holding you back.
– You are suffering from regular downtime.
– You need an IT consultant who’s more aligned to your business instead of just a computer repair person.
– You simply feel like you aren’t getting what you deserve out of your IT investment. (Those gut feelings are important!)
Is the current system in place working? Is your current support provider delivering the level of service your business deserves?
Here are a few questions you should ask yourself when reevaluating your existing IT support provider.
Do they actively manage and maintain your IT or do they wait for it to break and for you to call them?
Many computer support companies (including Midnight Blue) have done away with the traditional break-fix business model. As it turns out, computers crash far less often when they are properly maintained and monitored. By taking on a proactive approach, it can save your business from surprise bills and expenses, not to mention downtime.
Do you feel like you are suffering from regular downtime and computer issues?
This is a big one. Downtime is expensive. If your employees can’t work productively because of network or computer issues, your business is losing money. You still pay your employees to do their job even if they can’t get that job done because of downtime.
If you are suffering from downtime issues, it needs to be investigated, as there are many reasons that could be causing it. Our professional team of IT experts can assist you and evaluate your network to determine why you are suffering. If you’d like to know more, give us a call at 412.342.3800 before downtime strikes again.
Does it feel like your computer guy makes the most money while you are suffering?
We have a phrase for this, it’s “Kicking you when you are down.” If the person who’s managing your network and computers starts shopping around for a new Porche when you suffer from a major outage, it’s time you start shopping around for a new computer guy. All joking aside, this is the model of some computer support companies. While you are paying your employees to not get work done, losing revenue, and falling behind on quotas, you are being charged hourly for support.
Midnight Blue believes in taking the proactive approach, and with our managed IT services, you pay a flat-rate for us to prevent downtime. In other words, we’re the ones losing money if you suffer from downtime
Do they respond to emergencies in an hour or less?
Again, if you or your staff can’t do your job because of computer issues or network downtime, it’s a huge problem. We consider it an emergency and act as quickly as possible. In many cases, we know of issues before our clients do, because we detect it during our active remote monitoring. Sure, issues can still happen, but a huge number of problems can be picked up and resolved before they cripple your staff.
Do they document and understand your specific needs or do you have to explain things over and over again?
One of our biggest peeves is undocumented IT solutions. Some IT companies make it difficult and expensive for a business to drop them because the network isn’t properly documented. This includes software license and asset management, device configurations, network maps, cable labeling, and much more.
To be frank, at Midnight Blue, we’re OBSESSED with proper documentation and project tracking. We want to be as efficient as possible, so that any of our technicians can quickly evaluate issues despite the specific nuances on your network. The same goes for projects and new technology implementations.
Are they absolutely religious about backing up your data?
Any experienced technician who cares about your business will ensure that your data is backed up before doing anything. Not only do we want you to have a data backup solution in place, we check it regularly to make sure it’s doing it’s job and properly backing up your data. An untested backup may as well not exist in the first place.
At Midnight Blue, we also think beyond the backup, and can help you establish a business continuity plan that will help you get back on your feet in the event of a major disaster.
Does it feel like you are paying them to learn their trade?
It’s one thing to include research and development for a new project, but if it feels like you are paying for your computer person to spend most of their time searching the web for a solution to a problem, you aren’t really getting the value of working with an expert.
Do they meet with you regularly to discuss and review their performance as well as your business plans and how it all ties in with IT?
Is your computer support only there when things go wrong, or do they take their understanding of your business and apply it to your IT? Do they regularly meet with you to discuss the future of your network and help you establish a budget for growth?
At Midnight Blue, our account manager can act as your virtual CIO. Your account manager understands your business needs and can help align your technology to fit those needs.
Can your staff submit a support ticket without worrying about an additional, unexpected bill?
Although not every business wants to work this way, there are benefits to letting your staff submit support tickets to get technical help when they need it without going through a manager first. Plus, with our remote monitoring and maintenance services, thorough documentation, and knowledgeable staff, we offer the most cost-effective support in the area. Whether your agreement covers help desk support or it’s outside of the scope of your agreement, we strive to provide the highest level of service.
Do they work with you to actually reduce your unexpected IT costs?
This scenario really irks us – does it feel like your current computer support guru is just selling you expensive services without worrying about how it improves productivity or saves you money? All too often, we see businesses running too many servers or using solutions that are overkill. Whenever possible, we try to recommend IT solutions that will save money or even help you become more profitable in the long run.
Want to learn more about what the team at Midnight Blue can do for your business? Give us a call at 412.342.3800 for a no-obligation, non-invasive consultation and tell us about the IT issues you deal with on a regular basis.