If there is one thing that COVID-19 has made readily apparent, it is that every business needs a continuity plan and IT team ready to keep the business running despite global disruptions. 

We can look back and say that no one could have planned for a worldwide pandemic, but there are IT service companies who did and protected their clients during this unprecedented time. 

If you want to make sure that your company is protected against all manner of interruptions in the future, then it’s important to look at your IT service provider and ask yourself if they actually succeeded in preparing you for COVID-19. The following are 3 key indicators that can help you answer that question.

1. Ready Remote Solutions

COVID-19 caught a lot of businesses by surprise. Many of them didn’t have the resources they needed to stay open. Other businesses, however, were prepared due to major preemptive steps that their MSPs took to protect their companies. 

One of those steps was to ensure that clients had remote solutions at the ready as soon as things started going south and the office (or traditional workplace) was no longer a viable place for business. These MSPs saw the potential for necessary remote work and prepared your business for the transition by preemptively organizing remote solutions for your teams. 

Remote working has become a fact of life for many businesses and employees alike since the pandemic. However, many businesses simply weren’t prepared for it. 

If your IT service company already had secure and reliable remote solutions available when everyone had to go home, then they helped you immediately face one of the biggest challenges that companies across the country were trying to deal with.

However, remote solutions are essential for any kind of business interruption that hits the workplace, from power loss to natural disasters. An IT service company should know to make it easy to set up remote work once it becomes necessary. 

If they fail to do that, they are neglecting one of the biggest concerns of all for most modern companies using digital technology: the cost of downtime. Your IT service company should understand the need for your business to stay open, especially when your customers are looking to you for answers. 

If your MSP didn’t have remote solutions ready for your business, it may be time to consider switching to a provider who is ready for any and all disruptions that could threaten your business. 

2. 24/7 Cybersecurity

Since the majority of the workforce went remote, cyber attacks have been on the rise. The nature of remote work means that a lot of security vulnerabilities opened in businesses. 

Connecting external devices, such as home laptops and desktops, to business data and applications could serve as a backdoor for opportunistic hackers.

However, if your IT company had already been monitoring your existing systems 24/7 for hacking and other cyber threats, then they were ready to act and to pounce on any potential data breaches as soon as they happened. 

If your MSP already had protective measures in place, they were doing their job. If they only started ramping up security after everyone started remote working, then they were probably not prepared for a situation such as COVID-19. Protect yourself and your business by partnering with an MSP that has every outcome in mind and protected solutions ready to go. 

3. (Actually) Helpful Tools

Your MSP should have been doing more than simply providing a secure way for you to work. They should have been helping you adapt to a remote working organization that still maintained good levels of efficiency and productivity even despite the working conditions.

As such, a decent IT service provider should have recommended easy to use, accessible tools that promote productivity. These tools could include new devices, new platforms, the use of cloud software and storage, or even faster internet connections and networking technologies.

Did Your MSP Do Enough for You?

If your current provider met all three of the key indicators above, then they did everything they could to help you prepare for COVID-19 and are likely worth keeping around. However, if it seems like one of the above indicators is missing, it might be time to consider moving to another IT service company after all. 

We never know what’s coming around the corner, we can only hope to work with those who keep us as prepared as possible in every respect.