Variety might be the spice of life, but predictability – when it comes to running a business or office – prevents you from reaching for the TUMS.
There are few things that can be as stomach churning unpredictable as information technology. While technology today is absolutely amazing; we've also all experienced the downsides of lost connections, a sudden laptop crash and lost work, and the annoyance of updating software and apps (even though that “annoyance” is often as simple as pushing a button and waiting a few seconds for our phone apps – we really have gotten spoiled!).
What is annoying or distracting on a personal level can have a much greater effect across an entire office or business.
Technology users – whether using personal or business IT – want to push the button and have things just work.
They want predictability.
As a business owner or head of IT, your job is invest in technology that will meet that expectation so your staff can focus on work – not how annoyed they are that the network is down (or the copier needs maintenance AGAIN).
You want predictability in the productivity you can expect from your staff, supported by IT. You also want predictable
- response, and
Managed network services provides predictability for all three.
Your network is monitored 24/7/365. This allows for issues to be spotted before they cause network downtime. Proactive maintenance of servers and software similarly means better up time. Your network is there, working, whenever you are.
Of course, it's technology and perfect, foolproof IT products haven't been invented yet. Service level agreements set the expectation for response time. For instance, if you need to restart from backup – the SLA will dictate the speed at which you'll be operational again. Depending on your business needs, this could be minutes or hours.
The service desk will also have response tiers based on the effect on your business operations. To read about how we respond to each of four priority levels, read How to Get the Best IT Help Desk Support.
This is almost certainly better than the response of your IT guy (who is probably moonlighting for you and has a full-time job somewhere) who will respond “in a few hours” – unless it's on the weekend, he's sick, on vacation, or working at his day job.
Managed network services helps you with your cash flow. You'll know what you're going to pay for your network services every month. Depending on your contract, you need to know if services are an “all you can eat buffet” or “prix-fixed, but drinks are extra.”
What I mean by that is that some managed network contracts will provide for X hours of service. Any hours for service you need over those hours will be extra. Other contracts are “all you can eat.” If you need 2 hours of service or 20, you don't pay extra.
Dare to be predictable and boring – at least when it comes to your network.