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Introduction to Everything IT Support
Computer systems are a part of any company’s day-to-day operations from processing orders and storing customer information to running websites and hosting a variety of software applications just to name a few.
However, computer systems aren’t always perfect even though they make running your business a seamless effort. Technical errors are likely to arise at any given time and you’re going to need an expert who can troubleshoot and solve the problem.
The question then becomes whether it makes sense for your business to have in-house or outsourced IT support that addresses your computer, telephone, mobile and internet issues.As time and technology progresses, more and more companies are moving towards outsourcing their IT support.
However, every infrastructure requires a different amount of support there is no right answer when it comes to deciding between on-site or off-site IT support. It all depends on where your business is at, what your IT needs are, and what you can afford. For example, using outsourced support can lower your overall costs while raising the level of support.
Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
Throughout this guide, we’ll be outlining the benefits of outsourced IT support vs the realities of in-house IT support. What will you get? Everything you need to consider and discover what IT solution works best for your business. Read along, email it to yourself, or find a section that interests you:
- What Are the Different Types of IT Support Solutions?
- How to Know if You Should Hire an IT Support Company
- The Benefits of Outsourced IT Support
- The Bottom Line of Outsourced IT Support
- The Reality of Internally Housing Your IT Support
- How to Determine Which IT Support Solution Works Best for Your Company
- Your Checklist for Transitioning from In-House to Remote IT Support
Different Types of IT Support Solutions
When considering business IT solutions, it’s important to choose the solution and provider that best suits your business and your unique goals. Ensure that you focus on a long term fix, not a band-aid on the bigger problems. Focus on the cost, the actual IT support you need and the timeframe you will need as well as the results you’re looking to achieve and the long term partnership. Learn more in our “How to Choose Business IT Support Solutions” blog.
1. In-House IT Support
In-house support is an IT technician/staff that you hire to work at your company. It can benefit your company if you want a technician on-site 24/7. However, you have the funds to hire and support your own employee, you have the time to manage them, and you have enough tasks for them to work on.
2. Outsourced IT support
Speaking of a well-rounded pro, outsourced support refers to the expert technicians that work with a managed IT provider that you hire.
3. Onsite IT Support Services
Onsite IT is a type of business IT solution that gives you a designated IT technician in your office. Depending on your provider, you may have access to other add-ons such as remote help-desk, back-up or server maintenance, and license and hardware management. This option is typically for companies where their workload might change frequently.
4. Remote IT support
5. Additional Business IT Solution Offerings
- Data Protection Services
- Virus Protection
- Cloud Services (Learn more about “How to Set Up a Small Office Network in the Cloud“)
- Hosted Voice Over IP (VOIP)
- Managed Offsite Backups
- Common Computer Problems
- Printers Errors and Solutions
- Wireless Access Points
- Two-Factor Authentication or Multi-Factor Authentication
How to Know If You Should Hire an IT Support Company
What are some of the key signs that indicate whether you need to use an IT provider? We don’t want you to wait until a server goes down or you get hacked by a attacker. While computer systems are a part of almost every company’s operations, your computer systems don’t always make it easy for you to run your business. Technicalities arise at any given time, so having an expert on hand who can troubleshoot and solve your problem can be extremely valuable.
Here are the top six reasons why you might need to hire a managed IT service provider.
1. First, are you already spending too much on IT?
With an outsourced IT support team, you can can lower your expenses and manage them better because it provides consistency in your month to month costs. It’s important that you have a review of your technology expenses (service contracts, hardware costs, repair expenses and repetitive issues) to reduce costs and streamline processes. (You can learn more about a cost efficiency analysis here.)
2. You might lack the expertise in day-to-day demands
It takes time to learn new skills in technology. You might be able to learn some of it quickly, but the majority of skills require an experience IT professional. When you’re dealing with computer issues on a frequent basis and don’t know how to solve them, this is when it makes sense to outsource your IT support. IT experts can handle the troubleshooting, backups, software and hardware maintenance, and never-ending questions from your users or employees. Learn more here.
3. You want don’t want to take the cybersecurity risk (or you’ve already had an attack)
What are the chances of a threat to your systems? Regular tech audits will help you identify gaps in your infrastructure. But if you don’t have the expertise to identify what attacks you’re up against and an IT strategy to prevent it, then your company could be in jeopardy. In fact manufacturing and healthcare industries have the highest chances of being attacked.
4. You’re task oriented – not strategy oriented.
Strategy helps you uncover which areas to prioritize and grow, resulting in the greatest impact on productivity. So if you already have an IT professional but they are swamped with everyday tasks, how can you strategize? Don’t wait until something big breaks and your IT professional lacks the skills to fix it.
5. Your users can’t do things in the systems and always ask for help
Are your employees wasting time with technology or IT issues and less on their REAL job? Is network performance slow? Is it taking forever get equipment installed? These items are all clear indicators that you need a managed IT service provider to come in and provide you IT solutions.
6. Last but not least, you’ve lost a key IT employee
When you’ve lost a key IT employee that has been with your company for a long time – it hurts. Simple as that. They had the expertise to handle your tech support and network needs. In fact, they built the network. Finding a professional with that same knowledge and technical know-how can be challenging. With the skills shortage in IT talent, you get an IT solutions professional who can quickly learn how to navigate your infrastructure, answer your employees’ questions, and solve critical issues fast.
The Benefits of Outsourced IT Support
"Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don't think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without talking about the other."
We only mentioned one example of why businesses are choosing to outsource their IT support, but there are several other reasons.
1. Lower & Better Manage Your Expenses
Technology covers a broad spectrum of services which are also susceptible to minor or major problems that slow your business production down. Not only does hiring an outsourced team of IT support lower your expenses, it also helps you efficiently manage them because it provides consistency in your month to month costs.
2. Feed Money into Other Areas of Your Business
Alternatively, retaining in-house support doesn’t justify the cost if they are only needed when a problem arises. Without the costs of hiring an additional employee, you’ll have more money to supplement other areas of your business, such as marketing, product/service improvement and ultimately growing your business. If you don’t need IT support around the clock, then outsourcing makes sense.
3. Stress Less, Focus on Revenue-Generating Activities
Even if you hire an in-house IT professional, it still makes sense to outsource the minor IT tasks and here’s why. No one likes their day to be tied up in mundane to-do’s when they could be doing something more innovative that results in company growth; the same concept works for IT pros who, if they are in-house, could be working on initiatives that support revenue growth or cost controls. When you outsource support, you focus your company’s resources on revenue generating activities. You can let the experts handle the troubleshooting, backups, software and hardware maintenance, and user problems, while you grow the business.
4. Save Time with Experts
As you most likely know, technology is rapidly progressing and changing which means that IT pros need to have continual cyber security advancements, training and education to enhance their knowledge and skills within their field of expertise—with in-house employees, this can get expensive, not to mention being a hassle for you. By outsourcing your IT support, you can truly focus on growing your business and keeping up with the day-to-day demands with improving your company. Plus, hiring a reputable company with IT security pros ensures that your organization is protected from major security threats at all times and that you are maintaining compliance with the appropriate regulations.
The Bottom Line of Outsourced IT Support
Outsourced IT support technicians see the same issues across multiple accounts making them more equipped to efficiently resolve your IT problem.
Think of them as a technical peer group whether they’re tackling the mundane tasks while your in-house focuses on growth initiatives or if they’re servicing all your IT needs to ensure you can focus on your company’s revenue while reducing your expenses. Outsourcing also frees up you or your HR team from the hassle of allotting time for vacation, training, or company benefits and costing a fraction of what a full-time in-house IT support employee(s) would. Plus, using a 3rd party will source the appropriate technical skills needed based on the IT issue you are experiencing.
Bottom line, if you check at least three things you’d like for your company’s IT support, then you may want to consider outsourcing as your solution:
- Access to high quality, up-to-date skills for a lower cost
- Efficient cost management to keep the budget under control
- Unleash resources to focus on driving sales and growth
- Up-to-date skills and expertise
- Focus critical resources
- Reduced Cost
"We love having a whole team supporting us, not just one person. Their broad bank of knowledge helps pull their expertise in different areas to give us great results."
- Outsourced IT Client at Netsafe Solutions
WITH OUTSOURCED IT, YOU GET ENHANCED SECURITY & REDUCED RISK
At the end of the day, with Outsourced IT Support, you get:
Enhanced Compliance & Security
- Access to high quality, up-to-date skills for a lower cost
- Upscale with short notice
- Staff expertise and capability
- Proactive maintenance
- Increase internal efficiency
- Improve your company focus
- Gain access to new capabilities
- Better allocation of funds
The Reality of Internally Housing Your IT Support
Retaining a few IT professionals in your business can make sense if they aren’t bogged down with menial tasks, but instead are able to focus on growth driven initiatives for your business while an outsourced team handles the basics.
Hiring both an outsourced team and an in-house team isn’t always the case. Some businesses want to avoid the “o” word, outsourced, in all areas of their organization and will only retain in-house IT professionals which is perfectly fine and may make sense. However, there are several realities you should consider when internally housing your IT support. This includes expenses and what your business must do to initiate and implement an onsite team. Here's what you'll need to do to hire an in-house IT support team:
- Identifying, hiring and maintaining qualified employees
- Pay wages, payroll taxes and benefits
- Train and certify IT staff—as needed
- Create a physical workspace
- Purchase and install the necessary/required equipment
- Cover any additional telecommunication expenses such as in-coming toll-free calls
The Bottom Line of In-House IT Support
IT support lack the opportunity and exposure to see and resolve a variety of issues in a pinch because of the sheer fact that it’s not something they’ve had to previously handle. You, or your HR team, are now tasked with allotting them time for vacation, training, or company benefits ultimately costing the same as a full-time employee and they may not even be needed as frequently as full time employees.
Here are 5 guarantees of hiring an in-house IT support technician:
- Solve issues as they arise
- Sole resource left to solve issues independently
- Vacation/Training and Benefits Pay salary based on market rate for FTE
- Non-technical manager hires based on what he thinks the requirements are
IN-HOUSE IT SUPPORT HELPS YOU SOLVE ISSUES AS THEY RISE
How to Determine Which IT Support Solution Works Best for Your Company
The next step is determining which works best for your company: in-house, outsourced, or a combination of in-house and outsourced IT support.
Start by asking yourself some questions:
- Can your business efficiently create, maintain and manage an in-house IT team—more so than outsourcing it?
- Do you want on-site or off-site IT support?
- Is it worth it to limit the knowledge of your IT technicians to only your company’s problems or would a well-rounded pro be more appropriate and efficient?
- Do you need customized service occasionally? Some tasks can be performed several times a year, such as upgrading software. Does your business need a full-time employee for this task?
- Are the expenses to outsource support lower than hiring staff to perform the functions in-house?
- Do you need a commodity service that outsourced IT staff can perform more efficiently?
- Is your business scaling at an increasing rate so that you need to free up internal resources to respond rapidly?
Next, consider these three things:
- The cost
- The actual IT support you’ll need
- The timeframe you’ll need assistance
By asking yourself these questions and considering your needs, you’ll be able to determine and see
the competitive advantages of this crucial decision.
Interested in switching IT providers? Click Here
Your Checklist for Transitioning from In-House to Remote IT Support
Want to switch from in-house to outsourced IT support?
If you have an in-house team of IT technicians and are considering either making the switch to fully outsourced support or a combination of both, these are some things to mull over before making the transition.
- Is your business in turbulent transition?
- Do you need to upgrade existing technology infrastructure?
- Have the goals and objectives of the company recently changed?
- Have operations shifted due to a merger or partnership?
- Are you facing greater competition or an increase in consumer demand?
- Is your consumer base expanding globally?
Don't want to get screwed over by an IT provider?
Do you need an all-encompassing IT Support solution?
There are plenty of things to consider and ask yourself to determine the best solution for your business. Strategically crafting an all-encompassing IT support solution may mean a combination of in-house and outsourced professionals or solely outsourced or in-house.
As an IT support company, we’ve worked with several businesses and have heard it all which is why we know that the best results come from an internal and honest look at what IT support looks like in your company.
At NetSafe, our technicians are wholly equipped to handle several business needs, including:
- Full Outsourced IT Support
- Remote or Help Desk Support
- Combination of the two
TAKE AN HONEST LOOK AT YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS, AND PUT TOGETHER THE RIGHT SOLUTION FOR YOUR COMPANY
AT THE END OF THE DAY...
Your needs should influence your scope of support. We know that every businesses’ technology needs are different. (That’s why we don’t offer cookie cutter plans.)
Before you get a contract from an IT support company, make sure they take time to get to know you, your infrastructure, your business processes and IT needs. This way, you’ll feel more comfortable that the company you choose, is the best for your business.
At Netsafe, we will never sell you on services you don’t need and we will never just “wing it.” Our services are meant to truly help your business. Contact us here.
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