There has been a huge shift over the past few years towards users being able to self-serve digitally. Users want to go to a website and find the answers to their questions, purchase products, procure services and access portals quickly, easily, and most importantly, securely.
Businesses understand this. The nature of running a 24/7 global operation means that they need to invest in digital support and develop their understanding of online security.
What is 24/7/365 support & how do we do it?
24/7/365 support is exactly that, it’s break-fix, reactive support any time of the day or night, year-round, and when you need it the most. It’s the comfort blanket in the background that allows you to operate in your market – safe in the knowledge that your business continuity is secure and that your customers are best served.
In the video below, Andrew Wallace, Operations Director at Mando, explains why support is business critical, the topics that a support contract and agreement covers and the pitfalls of not having support in place.
If you can get your governance in order and build a backlog of optimisations and developments then you have the foundations for security, positive user experience and building brand trust.
Are you fully supported and if not, which questions should you be asking a support partner?
To ensure business continuity and that you can offer services and information to your audience when they need it, there are some key considerations to make. Investing in a support partner has many benefits and below we’ll highlight some of these.
The first consideration, when embarking on a support agreement, is to make sure that you present the ‘as-is’ and current state of your digital estate. Transparency here allows you to look at the possible pain points you may encounter, and the impact of your site not being fully supported. If you are clear with your goals and KPIs at this stage and you understand the importance of support, then being onboarded becomes easier. Choosing a support partner who has a proven track record in delivering 24/7/365 support is a sound investment and allows you to operate business as usual.
It is important that at this stage or when procuring the services of a support partner you understand how you report incidents and the workflow around these incidents in terms of priority. Some of the benefits of onboarding with a business like Mando include:
- A self-service portal where users can log and track their tickets
- Automated ticket routing and incident closure
- Email updates following incident status changes
- Well-established response and SLA management
- Increased end- user customer satisfaction
- Meet requirements for IT service availability
If and when your site or digital estate is hit with an outage or falls victim to a cyberattack it is imperative that you manage the incident quickly and efficiently. This would be classed as a P1 (priority)
For incidents of a lesser significance (P2-P4) which may, in some cases, present little to no business impact then it is vital that you have a robust incident management process. A typical SLA (service level agreement) would classify incidents as follows:
An issue with the application which renders either the entire application unusable, or a business-critical component unusable.
An issue with the application which significantly impairs a business-critical component.
An issue with the application that degrades a component but remains usable.
An issue with the application that is either cosmetic or minor, such that business-critical components are not impaired or that any other component is not significantly impacted.
Ask yourself if you can currently support and update the website and content and consider the risks of unexpected downtime. It’s also important to consider if you can get messages out quickly, especially to those customers who may be vulnerable or who have issues around digital accessibility. Maintaining a well-running, up-to-date, inclusive website is a must.
An effective release management process helps identify and manage functional changes through build and test environments to a production environment successfully and in a scheduled, predicted manner. As these activities are recorded and therefore visible, better decision-making can result in future release cycles.
Think about updates that you may wish to make or may have to make, as a result of services out of your control. Do you have the resources to facilitate these demands and are you confident that you can make changes and roll out updates with minimal disruption?
Something that is often forgotten by those looking for support is uptime monitoring. This service is in place to ensure the availability of services including website URLs, SSL validity and API availability 24/7/365.
The key benefits of firing alerts to a support partner are as follows:
- Reassurance for the client that if the website does go down an alert will be generated to inform a partner to support and resolve.
- Reassurance that your support partner can act on alerts received to bring the website back online
- Reassurance that if any third-party APIs were to break then your support partner would be notified of this to advise the client.
- Reassurance for 24/7 clients that their websites are monitored and restored if it goes down outside of office hours.
Consider here, if you are actively monitoring the performance, speed and availability of your site and what the downside is of not having a fully functional site live 24/7.
Businesses want to make sure that the support they are receiving is not only of the highest standard but that it conforms to the industry's best practices and that you are in safe hands. At Mando, we are fully ISO 27001 accredited and work with ITIL best practices as standard. Our Service Desk implementation provides a single, robust, ITIL-aligned solution to manage and control all incident activity, including the ability to view and interact with incidents in real time through our customer portal.
Having trusted partners means that you can ‘hang your hat’ on their credentials and put faith in the knowledge that their accreditations fulfil your requirements.
Need more help?
Here at Mando we have a proven track record in supplying support services to some of the most recognisable brands in the market and have built trust with companies operating in various sectors from telecoms and utilities to manufacturing and charity.
We know the importance of supporting your customers when they most need it, and as such have invested considerably in our support offering. We’ve recently launched a consultative ‘Digital MOT’ product, offering you the chance to unpack any areas where you feel unsupported and where security issues and downtime could have a detrimental effect on your business.
Would you like a free ‘Digital MOT’, to audit the current support you have in place?