When a prospect approaches us about managing their IT support or helping with a project, the first thing we do is conduct a technology assessment.
The process looks like this:
1. Install diagnostic tools on the network (servers and PCs).
These tools assess the age of your hardware, the types of computers and operating systems, network speed, and bandwidth among other things. The more access we can get to your network, the better our recommendations will be. Some companies are hesitant to turn over so much control to an outsider so early on. We understand that. We are happy to provide references to backup our reputation, and to sign a one-sided Non-Disclosure Agreement binding us to confidentiality for any information we gather about your company.
2. Interview the IT staff or the person in charge of managing IT spending in the organization.
I can do these interviews over the phone, but I prefer on site visits. I like to meet people face-to-face, and when I’m walking through your office or facility I often identify issues that I wouldn’t have known about without seeing them in person. For example, a server might look good on paper (new hardware and operating system), but in reality it is sitting in an overheated closet, caked with dust. I can also see how your processes are broken down by seeing employees in action and can identify ways to make them more efficient.
During our interviews, prospects tell me about nagging issues they are having, like their computers running slowly. We also might discuss your upcoming projects, or the feasibility of moving to the Cloud.
3. Compile quantitative (diagnostics) and qualitative (interviews) data and prepare recommendations.
By this point, I have gotten to know how your business and your network works, and I make recommendations geared towards solving your problems.
- Here are some of the most common issue I see:
- Insufficient antivirus software
- Network vulnerabilities (e.g.- no firewall)
- Old hardware and software (e.g.- computers that still run Windows XP)
- Limited drive space on the server
- Insufficient backups*
*A note on that last issue: I encounter organizations all the time who think they have backups in place. After testing the backups, we find that they have been failing each time they are set to run at night. This is why we have notifications setup for our clients’ data backups. If a backup fails, we find out immediately.
4. Agree on the next steps
After you have reviewed our recommendations, we will discuss what we will do next. If you are signing up for N-Care Flex managed IT services, we start our new client on-boarding process. If you just need help with a project, our recommendations have laid out our project plan and we can go ahead and get started.
How long does all of this take?
That all depends on how quickly you need to get moving and how complex your network is. The timeline from initial contact to signing on with N-Care managed IT services usually lasts between 1-3 months.
Is Your IT "Swimsuit Ready?"
It’s that time of year when a lot of us start panicking. Spring is in the air, and it’s finally getting warm enough to take a dip in the pool or a trip to the beach. But there’s just one problem—these fun-filled activities involve wearing a swimsuit.
If you would rather be buried in the sand than be seen in a bathing suit, you might be considering some changes to your diet or exercise plan. But what about your IT? Is your website worth showing off to customers and prospects? Are your servers in tip-top shape? If not, it might be time for an IT assessment.