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Every healthcare practice has its own goals, needs, and challenges when it comes to technology. The right managed service provider can determine the failure or success of those IT goals. How do you find a MSP that understands your specialty and has a strong pulse on your needs? Let’s look at seven questions you should ask before partnering with a new IT provider.
1 – Does the MSP have a healthcare focus?
Working with a MSP that has a proven specialization in healthcare can dramatically reduce the steps to issue resolution and move through the ticket queue. By having a single vendor support your practice’s IT, you can consolidate issues to one call.
2 – Is the MSP active in the healthcare industry?
To really understand your business, the MSP must demonstrate involvement in the healthcare industry. What healthcare or specialty-specific events or conferences does the MSP attend? Are they active in the associations or communities you are a part of?
3 – What does the onboarding process entail?
Onboarding sets the foundation for the partnership with a MSP – for better or for worse. Make sure you get a clear answer on what happens during onboarding, who is involved, and what steps come afterwards.
4 – How are ticket escalations handled?
Escalation can be a hidden cost when working with an IT provider. Be sure to get information on how out-of-scope or complex IT requests are handled and if they incur additional costs. Even more important, you need to have the IT provider define what they consider to be an escalation. Is a nurse or physician calling outside of business hours considered an escalation? This could impact your ability to provide care and your IT bill.
5 – Does the MSP understand HIPAA compliance?
Challenge your potential IT partners on how they address HIPAA compliance – and possibly even other healthcare frameworks. They must have knowledge of the Security Rule as well as Privacy Rule to understand their responsibilities.
6 – Does the MSP have a strong security posture?
If a MSP has access to your data and systems, you need to understand their security posture. Perform your due diligence to ensure that they have proper controls implemented and stay up to date on security trends.
7 – Will the MSP be committed to your success?
How deeply does the MSP understand your business? You must have a discussion about your business objectives and growth plan so that you can determine if the MSP aligns with those goals.
At Dedicated IT, we welcome you to ask these questions and more when considering us as your IT provider. We consider our relationship with clients to be a valuable partnership that requires this type of transparency.
Building Your Long-Term Technology Roadmap
What is a technology roadmap and why does your business need one? This is a strategic, living document outlining the technological direction of your business. A good technology roadmap helps communicate the “what” and the “why” of IT to decision makers, and also guides your IT department by providing the master list of IT projects that need to be completed. We recommend developing a technology roadmap with longevity in mind. A three-year plan is a great place to start.
Why Does Your Business Need a Technology Roadmap?
Your decision makers, or even your IT staff, might wonder why you need to go through the process of developing a technology roadmap. Every department at your organizations needs some direction, and a technology roadmap can provide that to IT. It gets everyone on the same page. It changes your IT department from being in reactive, fire-fighting mode to predictable, proactive action. Meetings will transition from deciding what to do to knocking out tasks and roadblocks.
A technology roadmap can be an attractive project to your executives because it budgets technology expenditures and sheds light on what sometimes is boring and unimportant areas of the practice.
How Do You Build a Technology Roadmap?
Dedicated IT builds a three-year technology roadmap for every client during the onboarding process and has honed the development process into seven steps.
- Conduct a technology assessment. To learn the landscape of your technology, document your assets, inventory, software, licensing, and who uses what types of technology.
- Complete a Security Risk Assessment. This process will result in a remediation plan, which provides you with categories of risk prioritization.
- Assess vendor management. Meet with your vendors to learn exactly what they do for you and what their security and IT best practices are.
- Talk to your staff. You need to learn from the people who actually use the technology and experience issues daily.
- Make the technology roadmap document. Consolidate this information you’ve collected thus far and start organizing the items by priority and impact.
- Prioritize the technology issues you’ve discovered into low, medium, high, and critical items.
- Finalize your roadmap. Organize it by quarter, knocking out the critical items first. Write a narrative for each item on the roadmap. Determine which projects can be run internally vs. requiring a vendor. Provide an estimate of hours, and the suggested resource for projects that can be handled internally. Present the finalized roadmap to your decision makers.
Pitfalls for Building a Technology Roadmap
Building a technology roadmap is a valuable project that involves several parties. To get the most out of this process, it’s important to follow best practices and avoid pitfalls, including:
- The foundation of the technology roadmap is based on an IT assessment conducted by a company trying to unseat existing IT vendor or internal IT department.
- The technology roadmap is too technical or doesn’t align IT projects with business objectives.
- There is no calibration, alignment, or accountability to the team responsible for the technology roadmap
- Budget is not accounted for in the technology roadmap.
- Too many outside or second opinions are taken, rather than making data-driven decisions.
- There is a lack of long-term vision for how IT can support company goals.
- The IT leaders are not invited to business discussions.
- Your IT leader or partner lacks healthcare knowledge.
When you’re ready for a technology roadmap to inform IT strategy, Dedicated IT will be ready to help. As a Dedicated IT client, the first thing we will do is develop a thorough technology roadmap and conduct benchmarking. You will leverage our comprehensive approach to IT and our team of in-house IT professionals that are ready to improve your IT function.
It’s Time to Invest Better Resources into Your IT
As a business leader, it can be hard to identify when your IT isn’t growing alongside your business. Oftentimes, it’s a case of simply not knowing what you don’t know or don’t see because IT is the forgotten or unseen heavy lifter behind your operations. High-growth companies must understand that any IT problem needs to be corrected so that staff and customers do not feel the impact of a lacking IT strategy.
8 Ways to Identify When Your IT Needs Extra Resources
How do you determine when it’s time to shift your IT strategy and take an outsourced approach? Typically, there are several signs, including:
- There is no guarantee of a response from IT when employees need help. If there is a response, it’s often very slow.
- IT does not understand the urgency of employee support requests or how to prioritize tickets.
- As a leader, you are uncertain if IT proactively addresses needs and risks – which makes you question your company’s security posture.
- IT seems to be unable to get to the root of issues that cause company-wide outages, which means they keep happening.
- Executives must constantly remind IT to communicate updates, needs, and even best practices. IT begins to feel siloed and unintegrated with the rest of the company.
- Leadership has not been able to implement accountability for your IT department.
- Setting a budget for it is a mystery.
- Your IT department doesn’t know how to scale the technology to match business growth.
Have you seen these signs or felt this frustration with your in-house IT department? So many organizations struggle with this, even when there’s a solution: outsourcing IT to a managed service provider. To overcome operational hurdles, to support your growth, and to protect the data you are responsible for, utilizing an IT provider could be in the best interest of your company.
Are you ready to level-up your IT staff and strategy? Let’s discuss how Dedicated IT can augment your IT with our team of in-house technology specialists.