As a company or organization grows, its reliance on company data, IT systems and technology as a whole increases as well. To keep up with the demands of business growth, successful management of the IT environment becomes a key strategy for continued success and productivity.
Managed IT Services should be considered by companies looking to streamline operations and simplify complex systems. In this post, we discuss a simple way to evaluate and measure IT services success through tracking the submission and resolution of "Support Tickets," or service requests.
Improving the IT Environment
Many times, a Managed Services provider is sought out because there are problems with the performance and reliability of an IT Network. These problems can make the IT environment a major challenge for business. Some of these include old equipment, lack of investment, inconsistent software release levels, the inability to proactively monitor and manage systems and sub-par network equipment and infrastructure.
Growth can be diminished when unreliable or overly complex systems get in the way of business operations. In this type of environment, the number of outstanding support tickets can be very high.
In this case, hiring a new Managed Services provider can help to improve the IT environment and reduce the negative impact this situation can have on organizational productivity.
Measuring Performance and Reliability
Once you've invested in Managed IT Services, how can you evaluate and measure the performance and reliability of your network and your provider? A simple, but insightful, way to understand this information is by looking at the Support Ticket Volume and Resolution Rate for each year you work with a Service Provider.
This involves measuring performance results by tracking certain “Support Ticket” statistics over a period of time:
- The total number of organization IT Support Tickets submitted each month and annually to your IT Services Provider
- The number of tickets resolved, or closed, as compared to those submitted
- The number of Support Tickets and resolved tickets at the start of service with a new provider compared to the number of tickets and resolutions by the end of the first year of service.
The desired result from your provider is to get the number of Support Tickets down to a number that is consistent from month to month over a period of a year. The key indicator is if the number of Support Tickets is dramatically reduced over time from the original number occurring when the Service Provider started.
A dedicated Managed Services provider should work with you to “Standardize, Simplify and Make Repeatable” your business IT Environment. This strategy is proven to dramatically improve all aspects of the IT environment, including:
- Customer systems
- Network reliability
- Time-to-problem resolution
- User productivity.
Consider the results achieved with the approach described above for three customers:
1) Customer: Service Industry
Description: Six sites, multiple servers and over 50 computers
Strategy: Took steps to document, upgrade and standardize systems with consideration to customer's budget. Productivity increased with systems being more available.
Result: Started with a total of 277 Support Tickets for 2013 and the number was reduced to 154 in 2014.
2) Customer: Auto Dealer
Description: One site, multiple servers and 25-30 computers
Strategy: Standardization was a key effort to improve system reliability
Result: Started with a total of 92 Support Tickets in 2013 which was reduced to 50 in 2014.
3) Customer: Dry Cleaning Company
Description: Six sites, one server, 10 computers
Strategy: Improve environment through network standardization and simplification
Result: Started with 34 Support Tickets in 2013 and reduced the number to six in 2014.
A Managed Services provider should be able to proactively manage and monitor servers and PCs through support technology, cloud-based solutions, routers and wireless access points and a reliable data back-up and disaster recovery plan.
For example, TCC uses the tecLINK Infrastructure Support Technology to manage and monitor clients' systems and implements comprehensive data back-up and recovery solutions. This provides enhanced reliability, faster troubleshooting, problem resolution and data recovery, using the best tools available, shown below. This approach has proven to result in tremendous value for clients, who benefit from standardization and simplification of their IT environments.
Maintaining IT Services Success
In terms of the occurrence and resolution of Support Tickets, general reduction and consistency are the goals. The numbers may vary upward from one year to the next as an IT environment grows through additional hiring and added computers. Outside issues that are out of a Service Provider's control, like internet service interruptions, power outages and storms can also spike the number of Support Tickets in a certain month or two.
Still, these situations can be handled effectively based on a reliable and comprehensive approach to IT managed services, using the above tools and philosophy. Overall, a key indicator of success is that the volume of Support Tickets settles at a consistent number on a month by month basis.
Want to learn more about why your should protect your company data with Managed Services and a back-up and recovery plan? Check out our free e-book below.
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