Why Paid Assessments Are the Key To the Future of Your IT

by

November 7, 2022

Here at Integris, we believe most potential clients should hire us to do a paid assessment before they start working with us. After that, we recommend another maintenance assessment every year. For many MSPs, this would be a pretty bold stand to take with their clients. But we don’t see it that way.

Here’s why. A thorough IT systems assessment can be the difference between having an IT operation that runs smoothly and stays on budget and one that doesn’t. They can also be an essential part of the communications process with our clients, which helps everyone get the job done right. But before we get too far down the road, singing the praises of IT assessments, let’s first define what a competent IT assessment is.

 

What Is an IT Assessment?

Put simply—an IT assessment is a thorough review that finds the gaps in your systems. Then we put those gaps into a business impact framework, so you and your executive team know where to start. Our comprehensive assessment starts with a visit from our engineers, who come onsite to review your entire network, governance system, and documentation. We check your hardware, licenses, and protocols, comparing them against best practices for your size and industry. We also look at the security and usage needs you’ll have in the future based on current threats and traffic patterns.

 

What Does a Paid IT Assessment Include?

Our assessments cover your entire IT enterprise, including:

  • Cybersecurity protocols
  • Hardware/software recommendations
  • Regulatory compliance
  • System traffic analysis
  • System vulnerability
  • Backup and disaster recovery
  • KPI and data collection

When we’re done, we’ll provide you with a gap analysis, a plan for next steps, and a budget covering your comprehensive needs. We’ll show you exactly how to achieve a responsible IT architecture for your company while keeping your costs scalable for your growing company.

 

What a Paid IT Assessment Is Not

Sounds great, doesn’t it? It is. However, it’s important to remember that an assessment, at its root, is simply a gap analysis for your entire IT operation. It doesn’t do everything, and it is certainly no “be all end all” for every organization.

Many clients hear the word assessment and think we’re doing a security penetration test for their business. But a penetration test is a very different task, involving simulated security attacks against your organization and the analysis of your defenses. It’s important not to confuse the two.

 

Six Ways a Paid IT Assessment Can Help Your Business

A good IT assessment involves onsite visits from our engineers and takes several hours to do. It can be a bit of a headache digging out all your documentation and allowing our team access to your systems. But with a bit of work on the front end, your business can reap significant benefits. Let’s break those benefits down.

 

Benefit #1: They’ll Help You Create an IT Infrastructure Plan for the Future

What is usage like on your system now, and what do you think it might be in the future? This is a critical question we’ll ask in the assessment process. We’ll look at your current traffic rates, compare that against your upcoming business goals, and recommend what your IT infrastructure will need to achieve those goals. With information like that, you can make buttoned-up arguments about resource allocation and set yourself up to operate proactively, not reactively.

 

Benefit #2: They’ll Help You Stick to Your Budget

Once you have an accurate picture of your future needs, creating a realistic budget is no longer a tricky exercise. As your MSP, we can paint an accurate picture of your expenses so that you will have a predictable monthly IT expense. And who doesn’t like to come in on budget? Our goal here is to come out of the assessment with IT, your executive leadership, and Finance all on the same page about the needs of the organization, and what it will take financially to get you there.

 

Benefit #3: They Help You Stay Ahead of Your Regulatory Burdens

Most businesses have protocols around the use of their data. For instance, an online retailer may have strict GDPR regulations about how they store and share their customer data. Manufacturers have CMMC regulations, and healthcare has HIPAA.

Or, maybe your data handling policies are governed more by your industry expectations than regulatory bodies. Law offices, for instance, have strict confidentiality rules and enormous consequences should their data fall into the wrong hands.

Either way, you need to understand and be mindful of the details regarding compliance. During your assessment, our experts will look at your current practices, comparing them against where regulations are now and where they are likely to go in the coming year. You’ll never have to worry about making the right infrastructure choices because you will know you have.

 

Benefit #4: They Keep Your Reports on Point for Your Cyber Risk Insurers

Anyone who has tried to get a cyber risk insurance policy for their company knows they have strict requirements for the clients they take. Insurers will ask your company to have a long list of cybersecurity tools and operation practices before they consider taking you on. During an assessment, we’ll do a gap analysis to see if your company is meeting the cyber security standards your insurer is enforcing. They will have a pretty good idea of what they’re likely to be asking for in the coming years and can help you prepare for that. When it comes to your insurance policy, who wants surprises?

 

Benefit #5: They Find the Gaps in Your Security

Because we look at your usage levels during an assessment, it’s easier for us to see the gaps in your security. We can analyze your traffic too, and gaps in your configuration. Then from there, we can determine whether you have enough security firepower to cover all your endpoints and threat vectors. As part of your assessment, we’ll recommend any security tools you might need to implement in the coming year. When you make your budget ask, you’ll know what you need and why.

 

Benefit #6: They Boost Your Productivity

Does that seem like a big claim to make? It’s not. In fact, a good assessment can reveal where the bottlenecks are in your system. We’ll look at where your traffic is getting clogged and where your IT procedures could use cleaning up. We’ll give you strategies and new tools for addressing those problems.

Of course, clients who start working with us usually find we’ve taken so much off their plate that they can focus on getting on with their business. Your assessment is the first step to getting there.

 

What Will a Paid IT Assessment Cost?

The cost of an assessment will depend significantly on the size of your company, the complexity of your organization, the number of locations you have, and the number of endpoints in your system. If there are several onsite visits at different locations to consider, that will also impact the price.

For most clients, assessments range in price between $1,500 and $10,000. Usually, our team can complete a paid assessment within a month, depending on everyone’s schedules.

Put Your Paid IT Assessment to Work for You

So, as you can see, the gap analysis you get from an assessment can be your perfect planning tool. Once you have that information in hand, everything gets easier. We’d love to be the partner that helps you implement our findings. However, if you only want us to only provide an assessment, we can do that too. After all, we pride ourselves on offering our services as part of a full-service stack or a la carte.

We’d love to talk to you about it. Contact us to set up your paid assessment today.

Anthony serves as the Chief Revenue Officer at Integris, responsible for national sales and marketing for the company.

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