Simply put, a lack of IT support will hurt your business and severely affect your daily operations. Instead of focusing resources on more urgent matters, you’ll be tied up with problems that shouldn’t be there in the first place. Plus, without dedicated IT support, the best you can hope for are “quick fixes” – but those “quick” fixes are often no more than a Band Aid, with more costly problems looming.
Just one problem: In-house IT support can be costly. Among the problems you may face are budget constraints, keeping up with the trends and finding the right people. That’s why it’s beneficial to get outside help.
What’s in It for Your Business?
Outsourcing IT support will help you control costs, increase productivity and minimize risk.
- Controlled costs: Monthly expenses for IT support are fixed so you’ll know exactly how much goes out of your pocket. You will also be able to foresee possible expenses and allocate funds appropriately. As a result, cash flow is managed better.
- Increased productivity: Instead of finding the one or two employees who “know a thing or two” about troubleshooting, those employees can focus on their own projects and deadlines. That, in turn, leads to increased productivity.
- Minimized risk: When things go wrong, either with your hardware or software, business shuts down. Now, you’re facing a potential loss of profits, expensive repair costs and once-loyal customers who are now concerned about working with you. And that doesn’t include the possibility of security breaches, both for you and your clients. Working with an IT company gives you peace of mind.
Steps to Find the Right Support
- Create a plan: What is your main goal? Why do you think seeking professional help will benefit your business? Is there a specific area you wish to improve or a problem you want resolved right away?
- Who’s using them?: Before hiring anyone, go to their respective website, and see if they list previous and current clients. Are these businesses similar to yours? It’s better to work with an IT company that has helped similar companies because you’re more likely to have the same needs and issues. Word of mouth is also an effective way to find the most competent people.
- Are they certified?: Make sure anyone you’re considering is certified. You can usually find this information on the company’s website or various social media sties. Look for those who are Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP), and Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS). You should also look for those with CompTIA Network+ certifications.
- Narrow down your search. Once you’ve pinpointed several finalists, reach out to each company and ask questions. Document everything so you can go back to and discuss with the team before you make the final decision.
- Think of your business’ future. Find a provider that will be in it for the long haul. IT system maintenance is essential to your business – and you need someone who will stick with you for several years. You need the right people to maintain reliable IT systems for years.
Things to Watch Out For
- Tech people who only speak in jargon: These people are either hiding something or masking the fact that they don’t really know anything. Reliable IT providers will ensure that you know what you’re getting into, so they’ll explain what needs to be done in simple and clear language.
- Support providers who don’t like to get their hands dirty: IT support providers must be willing to get involved in your business’ daily operations. They need to immerse themselves so they can figure out the best way to take care of your IT needs.
- Those who like using quick-fixes and insist that their solutions are the ONLY ones that matter: Short cuts are dangerous because not every detail is scrutinized. Avoid support providers who like doing these. At the same time, those who refuse to seek a second (or third) opinion and insist on doing only what they are familiar with will only cause you more problems.