Managed IT services are intended for those with serious professional needs. Most home internet users would never need this sort of thing, but a large business cannot afford to be without them. There are many reasons for this fact, but none of them are more serious than the need for a business continuity plan. This is basically your backup plan in case of disaster. No matter what kind of disaster may occur, you need to have a response plan in place. Let’s talk about how managed IT services can play a vital role in such a response plan.
1. Providing Off-Site Backups
Whether it’s the result of human error, malicious action, or a glitch in the technology itself, data disasters can happen easily. When they do, huge amounts of important data can be lost. Needless to say, there can also be legal consequences if you are found to have been negligent in the handling of said information. Before something like that happens to you, it pays to have an off-site backup location.
This kind of thing is particularly handy in the case of a ransomware attack, in which someone literally steals your data and holds it for ransom. However, they cannot demand a ransom for something you already have. Thus, you can tell them what you think of them before wiping the affected systems and re-installing them from a recent backup. If you try to keep your backups in-house and on-site, they could be lost, corrupted, or even stolen. If they are stored on the network, a ransomware attacker will likely go after them immediately.
2. Emergency Technical Help
When you are dealing with a crash or some other data disaster, your managed IT provider might be able to send some emergency help. A few extra experts on hand will surely be a good thing as you work to figure out what went wrong and what can be done. Yes, a lot of support can be provided over the phone, but some tasks require an in-person role. A managed IT service provider is a great source for outside IT workers, mostly because you know they have already been vetted and trained.
3. Use Of Cloud Resources
When your own computing resources are down for the count, access to a cloud network can be a real lifesaver. If nothing else, it can allow your business to resume operations while recovery efforts are underway. The cloud represents the single most convenient way to store your backup data, although you will want to make sure that your cloud has sufficient security to make this option safe. Your IT provider might also have an emergency cloud network that can be used in bad situations.
Your managed IT provider should also help you to create a secure cloud, as this is highly essential. Storing your backups in the cloud becomes a very bad idea if the cloud has become compromised. However, the good news is this: A cloud network can be just as secure as any other network, but only when properly configured. That is why you need the help of qualified experts to configure a cloud network properly.
4. Auditing And Testing
If a managed IT service provider is really serious about giving you the best possible service, they will want to audit and test your network, hardware, and software. This kind of proactive thinking is always a good idea, as it’s much easier to solve a problem when it’s caught early.
Perhaps the best kind of test is a penetration test, which can be conducted by any competent IT company. Basically, they test your system for vulnerabilities by attempting to exploit those vulnerabilities. In other words, it’s a controlled hacking attempt that is designed to expose any flaws or loopholes that may be present. Penetration testing has become popular with businesses because it’s the best way to verify that your data is well protected.
5. Planning And Analysis
When speaking about a business continuity plan, we should talk a little bit about the planning itself. Such a plan should be made with diligence and care because you have to consider a great many problems. You can’t just get sloppy and make a loose plan: You need specific steps and measures that can be done reliably and quickly. When a disaster occurs and you’re trying to fix the results, time is of the essence.
When you are making such a plan, it pays to enlist the help of your managed IT provider. They have probably done this sort of thing far more than you have, as it’s part of their business. In all likelihood, you can get their advice without having to pay any additional fees, especially if you confer with them over the phone.
Apart from this, most IT providers can also help with the analysis of existing data. This will provide useful information to guide your financial decisions. For instance, on the subject of business continuity, your IT provider can help by presenting you with a business impact analysis (sometimes called a BIA). This is a report which tells you exactly how your business will be affected in the event of a disaster. When you know what is more likely to go wrong, you also know what will likely be required for the correction of those problems.
There are numerous ways in which a competent managed services provider can help with business continuity. From the planning phase all the way until the moment when the plan is needed, they should be willing and able to help in every possible way. They can also provide valuable tools and resources to help out in the event of a crisis. Of course, that will only happen if you choose a company that is educated, professional, and competent. If you don’t have a business continuity plan, we would strongly recommend that you call PCH Technologies at (856) 754-7500 for a free consultation.