Your IT Provider needs to be more in 2018
Welcome back to a new year full of enticing challenges and exciting developments.
2017 saw an increase in malware attacks targeting Small Business, unfortunately, this trend is expected to continue and even increase in 2018. Due to these new threats, the IT industry has been pushed to shift its thinking and a new generation of Services Providers have emerged - implementing even more security into their current support practises.
Unfortunately though, many IT providers that have been around for a few years, aren’t changing with the times, and this is leading to businesses increasingly becoming the victims of cyber attack.
Cyber attack means downtime, lost productivity and loss of revenue. Your clients want to know that their information in safe in your system – only a strong and secure network can provide the security needed for you and your customers.
Change is hard; for many IT providers it is enough to just keep going as they are, with a loyal client base that puts up with low level IT service. And a lot of the time businesses aren’t not aware of the holes in their systems and unaware that their service is of substandard quality.
What are next generation IT Providers doing differently?
The Next-Gen IT providers are Technology Service Providers (TSP’s)
They provide more that simple managed services and IT services.
They offer a holistic approach to network management, customer service and system security, that is able to provide your business with a clear and current understanding of your systems – putting you back in control.
It is no longer good enough to put out bush fires as they happen; provide band-aid fixes, install new equipment without planning, have little contact with customers, take on new customers when you don’t have the capacity to support them, hope that Windows update looks after itself. This is how many IT providers currently go about their support of their customers.
I cannot express enough, my disbelief at the number of times I have been engaged by a potential client to audit their systems and provide some recommendations, only to find that Windows updates are not running on servers and PC’s; anti-virus software is not installed or is disabled, firmware on routers and switches is years old, there is no email security, there is no web security and the list goes on. Yet the IT provider still invoices monthly for “managed services” and often bills extra for onsite support.
Do pay hourly, or do you pay a monthly managed services fee?
Hopefully, you’re paying a fixed managed services fee!
If you pay by the hour, your IT provider has no incentive to keep your system healthy and running well. Every glitch and poorly running program is another call out to your IT company that they are able to charge you for.
If you pay your IT Provider a fixed monthly managed services fee, it is in their best interest to keep your system in perfect working order. Your system will be MANAGED, not patched up.
Today, a TSP needs to be in regular contact with your key personnel. They need to keep you informed of the status of your systems and of the plan going forward for the next 6 months to 12 months and even 3 years! We constantly audit our clients’ systems to make sure your IT system complies with best practises.
The audit process should generate a report for you, that should be discussed with you. Providing you with a constant cycle of audit – consult – implement – support.
John Martiniello, the vCIO at MLogic, provides our clients with all the information they need, an excellent vCIO should know your technology setup inside out, and be able to discuss audit reports and changes as required. John is also the link between our helpdesk and you, making sure that your businesses support needs are completely fulfilled. A well-qualified vCIO should understand your business, so that technology recommendations are made in line with the business objectives.
Most importantly everything your TSP does, needs to be done with security at the fore. A secure system is more productive.
The 6 essential layers of security must be implemented and kept up to date, automated patching must be implemented and monitored, cloud backup routinely monitored as an essential safeguard and should be implemented in the overall security approach. Automation of your system should be implemented to bring efficiency to these layers.
It is vital to ensure that the automation used by your TSP is set to discover of all of your devices on the network; be able to detect malware and viruses and offer comprehensive virus prevention, offer software deployment and access control, provide detection and remediation of system problems, and produce quality auditing and reporting.
- Most ransomware attacks occur on unpatched computers. A quality automated patch management system will keep your computers patched and up to date.
- Ransomware is a virus that is invoked by clickling a malicious link in an email or visiting a malicious website. The 6 essential layers of network security will protect you from these. Click here for more infomation on MLogic’s 6 essential layers of network security and also our multi-layered approach to security.
- If your system is struck by ransomware, cloud backup is the best way to prevent data loss. Click here to read more about MLogic’s Cloud Backup for Business.
To find out more about MLogic's Next-Gen Managed Services - Contact MLogic
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