COVID-19 has caused an unprecedented shakeup for businesses around the world. Although working from home was manageable for many companies, for others it became a logistical nightmare. A lot of businesses were unprepared for the extent of the lockdown.
Modern IT can be a minefield, particularly for those who aren’t technologically minded. An IT solutions expert or team is an absolute must for almost every business. Companies without adequate IT expertise have suffered throughout the pandemic.
For other businesses, they may have experienced incompetency from their IT team or company. Quickly enabling a workforce for remote operations should be something that any worthwhile IT solutions company is prepared for. Being let down by IT when you need them most can be frustrating at the very least.
If your company suffered from unfulfilled service level agreements at the hands of your IT provider during the pandemic, here are some things you should know and why you should pick a new provider:
Why Your IT Company Should Be Held Accountable
The main reason for hiring a professional IT company is to provide high-level solutions in a key area that you’re not knowledgeable in. Aside from set-ups and maintenance, their core service to your business is to solve issues that you can’t. The pandemic itself is a prime example of why you need an IT team. Your business relies on them to establish a remote network so that business can go on as usual.
If there is any company capable of operating during the pandemic, an IT company with the technical knowledge and expertise should be able to. Your IT company should not only be able to enable your business during the pandemic, but they should also have a comprehensive plan to do so while maintaining your service level agreement (SLA).
Neglecting Service Level Agreements Is Unlawful
Part of an IT company’s responsibility to you is to continue its services in times of emergency or unexpected circumstances. Although the pandemic has made things difficult for all businesses, IT is one of the few industries that have the means, knowledge, and expertise to crossover to remote work seamlessly. Apart from the initial transition, IT companies have no reason to be unable to provide regular services.
Other than face-to-face or onsite visits, your IT solutions company should uphold their SLA and provide the support that you need at this time. SLAs are contracted agreements, so if your IT company isn’t delivering on them, they’re breaking a contractual agreement.
Lack of Adequate Support Can Have Costly Consequences
If an IT team fails to establish a remote network with viable communication systems for your business, it is essentially impossible to operate. Companies simply can’t survive if they are unable to operate for an extended period under the new conditions posed by social distancing and the pandemic. Revenue and the ability to pay staff is completely reliant on productivity and regular service.
Further, businesses need to be up-and-running virtually at all times. The average cost of IT downtime is $5,600 per minute, and although this figure varies across businesses, it demonstrates the impact of companies being shut down in the short term.
An incompetent IT company that doesn’t fulfill its SLAs during the pandemic can therefore put your business at serious risk. A contingency plan should be in place to maintain its services.
Security Breaches Are a Serious Threat
If your IT company has enabled your company to function through a remote network but isn’t providing the necessary upgrades in security, your business might be in serious danger of a cybersecurity breach.
With the vast majority of business and information functions now being accessed digitally, the potential rewards for hackers have increased exponentially. With that, we’ve seen an astronomical rise in cybercrime over the last few months as social engineering attacks increase because businesses working remotely have become more vulnerable.
While office networks may have firewalls, anti-virus, and cybertheft preventative software in place, home networks are particularly vulnerable to cybercrime. Now that businesses are operating remotely, added IT security is needed.
Serious information breaches containing customer information, financial documents, or access details can have detrimental consequences on those who are affected.
What You Should Do If Your IT Provider Broke SLAs
Failing to meet their SLAs is a big red flag that your IT provider isn’t offering adequate support, which can pose serious risks to the future of your business. You should consider instead hiring a more reliable Managed Service Provider (MSP) who is trusted within the industry and has a reputation for fulfilling SLAs at all times—including during the pandemic
While your IT strategy should enable your business to thrive in the current environment, it should also help you prepare for the future. A reliable IT provider will be prepared to offer service continuity during many emergency situations to ensure you’re ready for any disruption that comes your way.