7 Questions to Ask When Evaluating Your IT

Are you looking to get your current IT
situation under control? Whether you are dealing with repeat issues, slow
response times, or you are simply looking to grow and upgrade what you
currently have, it’s important to know what you are up against and have an idea
of where to go next.

You can get a pretty good idea by getting
answers to the following questions:

Does it feel like you are dealing
with repeat computer issues or regular downtime?

This might seem pretty obvious. If your IT
isn’t working, then what are you
paying for? In fact, if your staff experiences regular bouts of downtime, you
are actually losing revenue. Downtime can come in a lot of flavors, ranging
from the entire network going down to a particular application not being

Does it feel like your IT is being
actively managed and maintained, or is your current IT provider waiting for you
to call them?

If a user comes into work and their computer
doesn’t boot up, or users can’t access files on the network, is your IT person
contacting you to let you know they are aware of the issue and taking care of
it? Granted, IT can’t see every issue as it happens (we don’t know, for
example, when a shortcut to open Microsoft Word gets removed from your
desktop), but big things like connectivity issues, downtime, and problems that
affect multiple users should be actively monitored at all times, and smaller
issues like errors and required updates need to be managed frequently.

Are emergencies treated like,
well, emergencies?

We mentioned this before with downtime, but
does it feel like downtime is being handled with the utmost seriousness?
Downtime is extremely expensive. If you have 10 employees that can’t work,
that’s 10 paychecks you are still writing out at the end of the week, plus the
loss of revenue those employees would have contributed to. Is your current IT
provider responding to emergencies within an hour or less? Is every effort
being made to get you back up and running?

Can your employees get support
without being worried about costing the business money?

There is nothing worse to an end user than
having to deal with an annoying computer problem that’s stopping them from
simply getting their job done. It’s demotivating, especially when they don’t
feel like they can get anything done about it. Ideally, if a user reports an
issue to you, you should tell them they are welcome to put in a ticket and to
let you know if it doesn’t come to resolution.

Is your network fully documented?

Is there documentation for each device on your
network? That includes desktops and laptops, servers, printers, routers, access
points, switches, VoIP phones, and other devices. This documentation should
include purchase/installation dates, who installed it, model and serial
numbers, warranty information, and access information.

Is your data being backed up?

It doesn’t matter how busy your IT staff or IT
provider seems to be; your data should be their very first priority. If your
data isn’t being meticulously backed up, and if those backups aren’t being
checked regularly, it’s time to find someone who will take things seriously.

Is your IT firm working with you
regularly to discuss and review their own performance?

IT isn’t just about fixing issues, it’s about
making technology work for your business. If you don’t have an account manager
who’s keeping you in the loop when licenses are expiring or software is getting
out of date, you won’t be able to budget out your IT roadmap. On top of that,
they should be checking in to listen to pain points that might not inherently
be related to support. For example, maybe you are having an issue with a
particular partner because you need to share large files that are too big to
email - your IT provider could easily help you solve that, but it might not be
something you think about putting in a ticket for. A good IT account manager
should be willing to share the burden with you and step out of the “computer
tech support” box and design solutions that will help your business grow and

If you need help with your IT, or you think you aren’t getting what you deserve, don’t hesitate to contact Emerge at 859-746-1030 to see how we can take care of your business.