To solve persistent IT problems, you must first identify three trouble spots.
Organizing your business enabling technology into simple buckets is one of the best ways to track, score, report, and collaborate with your MSP.
The term “trouble spots” appears in the title of this article because each of the following areas becomes problematic if you don’t grasp the general terminology and reach a consensus with your MSP to remediate weaknesses.
Do you want happier, more productive employees who don’t waste time submitting help desk tickets?
If you read further, you’ll also avoid cyber-attacks, bad publicity, legal exposure, and additional insurance liability.
IT Problem #1 – Unmanaged IT Assets
Your MSP should monitor and manage every IT asset in your network.
- ISP Gateways
- Windows Laptop
- Windows Workstation
While your MSP can not manage your network copier/printer/fax machine like the vendor of record, they know when it’s offline.
They can also troubleshoot integration issues with their technical counterparts at the copier company or any third-party IT provider.
Their resolution activities improve operating efficiencies, identify root causes of issues, and provide insights for modifications.
Your MSP should list all IT assets covered in their Service Level Agreement to ensure your entire digital estate is monitored with software and represented on your IT Roadmap.
If your organization has any shadow IT footprint, your MSP will have trouble supporting your needs, creating meaningful reports, and protecting your information.
They can’t monitor and support what they can’t see. Your MSP should map, track, and report on everything.
Your MSP can also keep you up to date on warranties for your workstations, laptop, and mobile devices.
You’ll want valid warranties on each item to get expedited service and repairs from the manufacturers. This detail becomes more critical as equipment ages.
IT Problem #2 – Gaps with Security Monitoring
Highly functioning, up-to-date antivirus protection is imperative for every device connected to your network. What risks do you face when coverage and threat definitions lapse?
- Malicious dialers
- Hacking tools
- Email hoaxes
- Data theft
- Ransomware attacks
Windows patching seems simple enough. All windows devices on the network need up-to-date patches to avoid security risks. This process is automatic when you have current and supported operating systems and your users respond to update alerts.
Here’s the challenge: PCs don’t continuously get updated when employees work from home on laptops. They may be offline, so their machines are temporarily unavailable.
Other people don’t like to follow update prompts and reboot their machines. Who can blame them? It’s never convenient. (Years ago, I was less excited about this exercise and didn’t alter my behavior until I started working for an MSP.)
Either way, your MSP will track antivirus and Windows patch update status and automatically generate tickets to effectuate compliance.
Your MSP can also oversee third-party patch management to ensure security coverage is up to date with non-Microsoft applications. Everything that touches your network is a potential point of entry for threat actors.
IT Problem #3 – System Performance
The software your MSP uses to monitor, manage, support, and secure each endpoint on your network pulls granular data to create health and wellness reports for your servers and workstations.
Both product categories are vulnerable to capacity and resource consumption limits. When your server is oversubscribed, its response time lags, creating a ripple effect on everyone’s productivity.
The same logic applies to every device accessing file shares on the network: slowness, more user tickets hitting the help desk, and a frustrated workforce.
Your MSP puts all this data into executive summaries with dashboards and critical KPIs reflecting the IT services you consume.
I hope I succeeded in putting a name and a face on a three-part framework to improve the way you organize, understand, and evaluate the effectiveness of your IT stack.
Your IT provider does a lot more than provide reactive technical support.
Behind the scenes, a team of certified network engineers employs a portfolio of automated tools to manage all moving parts that compromise your digital estate.
This combination allows clients to understand the correlation between system health, user support requests, and more.
The goal is always fewer support requests. How is your score?