If youâ€™re satisfied with the service you are receiving from your current MSP and see no room for improvement, here are five things you can ask them to make sure they are looking after your business.
As a business owner, it’s essential that youâ€™re satisfied with your IT provider’s services and capabilities. Many businesses weâ€™ve contacted are happy with their relationship and service from their IT service provider but when we ask them if thereâ€™s any room for improvement, thereâ€™s always something. Or, they simply donâ€™t know if thereâ€™s anything they should be asking their provider as theyâ€™re not technically inclined or up-to-date with regulations and new technologies.
If thatâ€™s you, here are some questions to ask your current IT provider to just make sure everything is on the right track, and why they’re important:
What recommendations can you give me to improve my IT infrastructure?
An MSP should be helping support the growth of your business so they should be helping your business to achieve its goals by looking at security, technology, the customerâ€™s perspective and workplace transformation effects. You might even be on track and already have a lot of the latest tech, or might simply not find value in anything new, so they may have barely anything to recommend. As long as theyâ€™re open and transparent with you about this, you know youâ€™re with an MSP who has your best interests at heart.
How are you implementing the Essential Eight Cyber Security strategies into my business?
Data breaches can be devastating for businesses, not just for owners but also for customers and staff. Essential Eight is currently a framework recommended by ACSC (Australia Cyber Security Centre) for your business to get started with when implementing Cyber Security strategies to protect your businesses. As itâ€™s likely to become mandated in the future, ask your MSP how they are implementing the strategies and how your business ranks in Cyber Security maturity. You may not need to fully implement all the strategies either as you might not deal with data that is deemed â€˜high riskâ€™, but you should not be at Maturity Level Zero, so make sure the MSP is helping you improve.
How often are you backing up my data?
Backing up your data is critical to ensure you can quickly recover in the event of data loss or system failure. Losing that data can be a devastating blow, potentially crippling your business and erasing years of hard work. That’s why it’s so important to have a solid data backup and recovery plan in place. Understanding your provider’s backup and disaster recovery solutions can help you evaluate their ability to restore your data and minimise downtime. Backup is important, but restoring is equally, if not more, important. Make sure your MSP conducts regular restoration tests so that nothing is corrupt and youâ€™re rest assured that your business will be back up and running in the event of a disaster.
What happens if my infrastructure goes down?
Itâ€™s one thing to know your MSP is backup up your data regularly but another to know what happens if infrastructure goes down. This is a key concern for stakeholders in any business as this affects production and trade, and enables potential data breaches. The consequences can be disastrous. Therefore, your business needs to know exactly the processes the MSP has in place for an attack or outage, such as remotely accessing data to restore systems and bringing you back online.
How are you staying up to date with the latest technology trends and best practices, and can you give me some examples?
Technology is constantly evolving, so you want to make sure youâ€™re partnering with an MSP that is constantly educating itself and staying current with the latest trends and best practices. Ask them if theyâ€™ve implemented any new technology into your business or if there have been any new solutions that could improve your business’s overall IT strategy.
Communication is also key in any relationship, so donâ€™t hesitate to ask any questions you may have, whenever you have them, no matter how dumb they may seem. Your IT provider is meant to work alongside you in your growth and since youâ€™re their client who theyâ€™re making money off, they should be doing everything they can to ensure the longevity of your business.
Asking these questions can help you evaluate your current IT provider’s services, identify areas for improvement and ensure that you’re getting the most out of your IT investment.