It is a common scenario; you are working on your computer, and suddenly it crashes. It refuses to turn back on, and you need to access important data and software. You have business to do, but suddenly you don't have the technology to do it. In stressful times like these, you need effective IT support.
Outsourcing small business IT support is a common option because most companies do not have the resources to manage it in-house. But not every support provider is capable of handling any problem at any time. Keep in mind these important considerations when you design your IT support plan.
Responsiveness is critical in small business IT support. If you have problems, your entire business operation may be interrupted. It is crucial to get these problems fixed quickly and completely so you can get back to business.
If you work with an outsourced IT services provider, make sure you know what kinds of support they are capable of providing. Are their support hours in line with your business? Do they offer support over the phone, online and in person? What kinds of resources are they willing to dedicate to fixing your problem? Work with the company that has the support levels that are in line with your business operations.
Remote Monitoring and Management
One of the most positive advances in IT support in recent years has been the growth of remote monitoring and management. IT professionals can monitor your IT infrastructure remotely, and identify problems before you are even aware of them. For your most critical systems this service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, this way your IT provider is aware and working on a resolution to the problem to keep your business systems running.
You do not have the time or the inclination to be constantly looking out for weaknesses, vulnerabilities or malfunctions in your technologies. That is the job of your managed IT service provider. Round the clock monitoring is now so ubiquitous that there is no reason to work with a company that does not provide it.
Managed Updates and Expansions
IT support is not only about responding to disasters. Computers and networks require regular maintenance and updating to operate at their peak. Doing this work is both time consuming and more complicated than it appears. Instead of trying to handle your own software updates and upgrades, leave it up to your IT service provider.
This service is also valuable when your infrastructure needs to grow. When you purchase four new computers or a high-tech piece of machinery, who will get this equipment set up and working compatibly with your existing technologies? With good small business IT support, it is easy to expand the size and capabilities of your computing power.
Experience and Expertise
You probably have someone one your staff who is good with computers, but do they have the time and the knowledge to handle all of your IT support needs and still be effective at their primary role in your company? The greatest service that your IT partner can provide you with is experience and expertise.
When you have an issue, you will want to turn to someone that has seen it before and knows exactly how to fix it. This saves you time, stress and the complications that can come from mismanaged repairs. Instead of trying to troubleshoot problems yourself, leave them up to IT professionals.
IT support is not a luxury, it is a necessity. If you are thinking of hiring a company to manage IT issues for you, learn about the vetting process in our white paper “The Ultimate Small Business Guide to IT Outsourcing.”