What does an IT support company do?
Outsourcing IT to an IT support company may feel like an unspeakable luxury, but if no one on your staff knows much about IT, then engaging an IT company could be one of the best things you do for your business.
You can buy just the services you need, at levels you can afford. You can opt for only the most basic fire-fighting service with hourly IT essential support service, or bring them in on a consultancy basis to advise on IT strategy and the development of IT resources in the business.
So what sorts of things could you expect an IT support company to do for you?
Essential IT Support
Essential IT Support is a pay as you go IT support model, allowing you access to expert IT support at an affordable price. Essential IT Support is our contract targeted at smaller, more budget-conscious clients. We work out a best estimate for the average number of hours per month that you will need for hourly rate IT support. And then it is a rolling contract, paid monthly in advance. If you happen to need more hours one particular month because of an office relocation, or a cyber attack, then you can use our pay as you go IT service.
Help desk services
The basic help desk service keeps things working. If a monitor goes on the blink, or a PC starts making a funny noise or refuses to fire up, you can put a call (or an email) through to your IT Support company Help Desk and they will sort you out. These days, most problems can be fixed by an engineer logging on remotely and ‘taking over’ your computer; if something’s physically broken or you can’t access the internet, only then will a site visit be necessary.
Managed IT Services
For a monthly fixed fee, you can employ an IT Support company for managed IT services. They will take full responsibility for your company’s IT requirements so you don’t have to. This includes delivering day-to-day help and well as long-term advice regarding the IT in your company. Your IT support company will define with you the terms and services of your managed IT contract so they will be no nasty hidden surprises or costs.
Management of back-ups
One of the best things about outsourcing is that you can often delegate the most tedious and routine tasks. In the world of IT, the most tedious and routine of all is the daily back-up. This actually has enormous complexities so it’s good to have an expert on the case to make sure that things run smoothly every day and that you can restore from the back-up should the need arise. Some of the most popular and useful services included with IT support contracts are outlined below.
It is becoming less and less cost-effective to repair almost anything these days, especially in IT. But some things, such as replacing a hard drive or putting a new screen on a laptop are worth doing – and your IT support company can do it for you.
Upgrades and maintenance
Nowadays, network maintenance does not involve checking the physical condition of the server and associated devices. It’s all about keeping the installed operating software systems working correctly.
Even the simplest software needs a surprising amount of attention lavished on it. Updates need to be installed and security patches applied: all rather worrying for an amateur, but just in a day’s work for your IT support company’s engineers.
They will also help with hardware upgrades, such as memory extensions or increasing your wifi range.
Supply of software and hardware
Tempting as it may be to pop down to PC World and grab yourself a bargain, it is usually better to get some objective, expert advice before buying anything – and that’s what an IT support company can provide. They will make sure that you get the right kit that does exactly what you want, and works with the rest of your network. Buying a computer with the wrong operating system that won’t install on your network can be an expensive and frustrating mistake.
You may just buy a few hours of Help Desk time from them normally, but if you want to think more deeply about how to develop your network to meet the needs of the business, your IT support company should be your first port of call. They have experience of a wide range of systems; they keep up-to-date with new technology; and – best of all – they understand your business.
Virtual IT Director
As your company develops and expands, so will your IT needs. IT support companies will be able to grow with you, with many companies now offering virtual IT director services. Their IT consultants develop a long-term plan for the IT in your business, taking the responsibility of IT off your hands. IT support companies are able to tailor the IT support your company needs whatever the size of your business.
About First Line IT
First Line IT is a full-service IT support company based in Oxford, serving companies all over the UK. We have nearly twenty years of experience and offer a range of managed services and support packages that are expert, responsive, transparent, and fair.