Have you ever thought that the response times you experience with your internal IT personnel, outsourced IT support company or Managed IT Service Provider (MSP) are currently or have been slower than your expectations?
Do you end up listening to voicemail every time you experience a minor IT problem? Tired of that?
Did you know that there are global standards for IT response times? If they are not being met, you might want to find out why and what you are paying for.
As a world-ranked MSP, our response time is a measure of our own success. MSPs are continuously reviewing and improving our response times. Evaluate the following factors when considering response time:
- Ability to work remotely: Greater than 80 per cent of IT support can be handled remotely.
- Capacity: How large is your IT department or company? Smaller companies and departments are often impacted by illness or vacation time. Employee retention can also be a challenge at some IT support companies.
- Verifiable service levels: Ask your provider about their response time commitment? What processes and tools are in place to ensure their commitment is met? What metrics do they use to measure prompt service?
- Proactive IT service: Proactive IT service focuses on achieving optimal stability which decreases the number of help desk support tickets that your organization submits. Just because your computers are currently running doesn’t mean that your IT approach is proactive. Often big IT problems result in many minor computer issues and thing called technical debt. A dedicated proactive IT team will identify and develop plans to improve your systems.
Smart Dolphins created an initiative to ensure that we have excellent technical staff who are empowered with the time and capacity to be responsive on the phone — yes, we have people answer the phones live.
This new level of service disrupted — in a wonderful way — client expectations. We are now answering 72 per cent of calls being answered live, This has been the most powerful service level impact adjustment made in years.
Service Level Agreement (SLA)
So, how is that going for you?
SLA metrics depends on how many staff that your business employs and the nature of the issues. It will also depend on the software and hardware that the company is using as well as staff knowledge.
Easy issues can be attended to very quickly by almost anyone. As mentioned, recurring or a high quantity of so-called easy issues are likely the manifestation of a festering larger issue.
More complex issues will take more time. If a one-person operation or an employee do not want to deal with a larger issue or are anchored down by a high-paying, larger client, you are not getting centralized service or an IT roadmap to plan your future. Your company, if small-to-medium sized (SMB), should receive the same level of service that any other business does.
At large corporations (2000-plus) you may have someone just take phone calls like an IT coordinator who can direct calls and manage expectations with tickets to a group within IT.
At smaller corporations, say for example, 500-1000 employees they may just have a few staff perhaps five or six in IT — this is stretching enterprise level support though.
At Smart Dolphins, we apply all the benefits of proactive enterprise-level support that you may see at a large corporation, and we scale that proactive work, service and support down to the SMB community. We scale it to businesses with as few as 10 computers and up to as many as 100 (or a little more).
Setting SLA standards is part of what we do, as is having our virtual chief information officers (vCIO) craft, well-planned IT roadmaps containing long, medium, and short-term targets. With a well thought out plan, service is required much less often, and some aspects of an SLA become moot.
We have a dedicated and robust IT helpdesk. Our virtual IT managers, professional services team and vCIOs all focus on proactively managing your IT so that your business can focus on what you do best.
What is an IT roadmap?
An IT roadmap is a tool that lays out the big efforts required to meet your overall business-IT objectives. Included is the timeline for implementing features and requirements that align with your strategy. IT roadmaps should be separate from other planning but should consider many aspects of general business planning. Those conversations with your vCIO inform what goes on your roadmap, after careful review and consideration from you.
Roadmaps evolve. You should adjust yours throughout the lifecycle from time to time in consultation with your vCIO, based on shifting needs, technology changes, software advances and privacy and evolutionary cybersecurity best practices as well as market demands Government regulations will have influence too. Forward-thinking IT managers see a roadmap as more of a dynamic compass than a rigid guide.
Why is road mapping important?
Road mapping is an essential part of your strategic planning process. The exercise can be a forceful factor for conversations about where you will invest and why. Your Smart Dolphins dedicated vCIO does all the heavy lifting. Your formal meetings are quarterly, or a reasonable adjustment to fit your schedule.
Connecting your IT strategy to implementation drives alignment and keeps everyone focused on the work that matters most to achieving your business vision.
Our work and our relationship with you may impact other groups within your organization. You may or may not need their input and participation to deliver a complete IT experience. Therefore, the best roadmaps include at least whoever is assigned to deal with IT and other stakeholders when and if necessary. For example, if your business is small, it may be the owner or partner or office manager. However, if you have 30-50 computer users this may be the task of the CFO or COO. Toward 100-plus computers, a dedicated IT employee may be required, where a co-managed relationship with Smart Dolphins comes into play.
The more inclusive our road mapping process is, the greater organizational alignment and support you will have when you experience world-class IT management.
About Smart Dolphins IT Solutions
Smart Dolphins is now and has been for several years a world-ranked IT company in the Managed Service Provider category.
If the response time from your IT provider, contractor or employee(s) is not measuring up, what else may be missed or not attended to in a timely fashion? We don’t know what we don’t know.
Contact us, we will be more than happy to discuss Smart Dolphins’ unique process and outcomes.