Health Check 101
Technology providers offering IT Services often provide "health checks" as a way to assist new or existing clients with understanding the state of their system. Are these gimmicks meant to use fear to drive a sales pitch; or is there real value to be found in the advice that is being given?
- Trust is invaluable when it comes to counsel received from an IT Services Provider
- Take steps to gauge whether the advice is genuine
- Second opinions never hurt
- Realize hardware and software do have a lifespan
The Full Scoop
COVID-19 has all of us considering what preventions could have been taken to prevent this from happening. As individuals and a community, there is always more you could be doing to prevent and prepare from a disaster. The same applies to the technology we use each and every day.
Over the years we've worked with vendors who have often suggested Health Checks to their client as a way to gauge "system readiness" for the future. We have often done the same with our clients, going in with the intent to provide an assessment of existing hardware and software systems; with the end resulting being an actionable list of recommendations for our clients. It is a careful balance between coming off as salesy, while at the same time trying to stress to a client the changing technology landscape and the benefits of making an investment today.
Trust is undoubtedly the most important aspect of performing and receiving a Health Check. Whether it is for yourself physically or your company technically, do you trust the person giving you advice? If there is no trust and you feel like you're being sold, you can choose to either ignore the counsel or to dig a little deeper.
Keep in mind that IT Service providers ultimately do want to keep your business, and there is always more you can be doing to protect and harden your systems. You as the owner of your company will ultimately have to choose whether an investment is worth making today, but it is important to understand the risks and tradeoffs for not moving forward on a proposal.
IT Service providers are often willing to provide an assessment of your technology stack free of charge. The upside to them is the opportunity to meet a potential new client, for you it is an opportunity to learn and see if the advice your current provider is giving is in alignment with the opinions and processes of another provider. Take the time to learn whether advice you are being given is genuine or is out of sync with the trends occurring within your industry.
Keep in mind, hardware and software do have lifespans; a good gauge is 3-5 years. This applies to personal computers as well as servers and network equipment. Cyber Security threats are real and change regularly, older systems are not prepared to handle many of the newer threats that we seeing today.
As disasters will occur, it being not a matter of if but when, remember that older undocumented systems can be much more challenging to bring back online. Small investments made over time can pay off in the long run, without causing downtime to your business when you need IT systems up and running the most.
If you have not had a health check of your system recently, reach out to your IT Provider and ask them what recommendations they have - you may be surprised to hear what they have to say, and knowing why will help prepare you for the future.