The reporting that most IT service providers give you isn’t great. This week I sat with a potential client that was frustrated with their current IT provider because they asked for a hardware inventory. What they got back was a long list of computer names and IP addresses. It honestly looked like nonsense to the client. There was no hardware specifications or warranty dates. Nothing to indicate the age of the hardware either. Nothing actionable.
The problem is that most “reporting” provided by your IT Provider is not going to be actionable. Multiple pages of jargon and text that doesn’t say much to a nontechnical executive. From a tech perspective, that’s totally acceptable. From your perspective, it’s useless.
Many IT providers have convinced themselves that their clients do not care about reporting. Which isn’t true. They (you) just prefer good actionable reporting on the state of your systems and what you need to pay attention to.
Every provider should be providing a monthly report of the following information:
This should be simple. What devices are being backed up and have the backups been successfully tested and completed? How often is this done? Ensuring your data is backed up is not a technical thing and does require staying engaged to ensure this is getting done. If you’re working with a good provider, you should not have to worry about doing this. However, it would be concerning if they have not been providing these reports.
How do you know how many computers you have in place? What is their age? Who is working on these computers? What other devices is your provider managing for you? If you are not getting this report, ask your provider to start ASAP. This should be a proactive report indicating which computers should be considered for replacement in the coming quarters so you can budget properly.
It is difficult to cut out all of the technical on these reports, so some may come off as intimidating. However, as long as they have simplified the important parts into GREEN or RED, you should be in good shape. Either way, make sure your systems are being patched on a regular basis. Ironically, this is one of the most powerful tools for the IT provider to show their value. Look at everything we’re blocking!
There is a lot of value that can be derived from service ticket reporting. How many service tickets has your IT team completed this month? Have they identified any trends? Do they have any recommendations based on those trends? Service ticket data can be leveraged for continuous improvement.
A good IT provider is looking forward, so reporting on past tickets may not be on their mind. That’s okay and they really shouldn’t be dinged for this. If this report interests you, you can request they set this up for you or that you are provided access to the client portal with this reporting.
This list is not extensive, but it’s an excellent start. If your provider is consistently sending you favorable reports in each of these areas then hold on tight, you found a good one!
If your provider is not providing these reports and gets offended if you ask, congratulations! You just discovered you have a less than mature provider and it may be time to get a second opinion. i.t.NOW is ready to help.
Reach out today and let’s see if we can partner together to help your business excel.
Photo by Lukas: https://www.pexels.com/photo/two-white-printer-papers-near-macbook-on-brown-surface-590016/