If you’ve been using the same IT systems for a few years now, or you’ve grown a bit and your current systems or provision isn’t quite up to the job anymore and is getting unwieldy, then it’s time for a review.
Many people choose to have a review when they change their IT support. It may be that you’ve had an in-house team or person for years and this is no longer working as well. You might be looking to outsource as this makes life more flexible. You’re in Hemel Hempstead and your IT support in Birmingham, for example.
Whatever your reasons, a review will look at possible future issues and give you the information you need to make your next decisions.
You need a review if…
- your IT needs have changed and you’re looking to outsource;
- your current provider isn’t enough anymore;
- you feel you’re paying your provider too much;
- you know you need more support but you don’t know how or where;
- you’ve been running the same systems for a while and no-one’s looked at them;
- you feel you’re not getting the most out of your current set-up, and
- performance issues are growing.
What a review will show you
It’ll give you an overview of all your network and system machines at the domain level; this means you don’t need to perform manual checks on each device, which can take ages.
It can show you the weaknesses and strengths of your IT infrastructure, as well as vulnerabilities and areas where you could improve performance.
You should also ask for your key performance indicators and security issues in order of priority – ones to sort immediately, the ones to address when the time comes and the ones to leave be.
How is a review performed?
You could ask for an engineer to visit you to examine your existing infrastructure and gather information about it. He or she will talk to staff members and find out what problems they face daily and to work out how you use your tech.
Generally, a review will take two or three hours, maybe more if your network is on the larger size. All the information is taken away and analysed, then you’ll get a review report with an action plan for the future.
Is it safe?
Of course, you may feel wary about letting a third party into your networks, so you should ask for references from the company conducting the review. You can also ask to talk to its other clients and companies. Your reviewer should offer a non-disclosure agreement and be registered with the Information Commissioners Office.
What you’ll gain
You’ll have a detailed system and infrastructure analysis, you’ll find out your key metrics and how much disk space you’re using. You’ll also get an overview of your antivirus protection, down to each device, as well as a review of your firewall and antispyware protection.
All active and inactive users will be analysed, as well as your domain and all your passwords. Any patches that have happened in the past will be listed and looked at, as well as your apps, their versions and how many have been installed.
In short, you’ll find out how much at risk you are to external events or attacks, understand how your use of your IT affects your productivity, and learn about any weaknesses and gaps that you could plug.