Existing customer: 01865 598 100
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IT Support Analyst Running Diagnostics | IT Services Help Desk | First Line IT

What does an IT support company do?

What makes a great IT support company in this instance is their ability to work out a best estimate for the average number of hours per month that your business will need for hourly rate IT support.

What does an IT support company do?

Outsourcing IT to an IT support company may feel like an unspeakable luxury, but if none of your staff know much about IT, then outsourcing to an IT company could be one of the best things you do for your business.

Of course, there are many benefits of outsourcing your IT to an external company.

But to name two key ones; outsourcing your IT ensures that you have access to up-to-date experts within the field, all for a price that is suitable and tailored to your business. 

You can buy just the services your business needs, at levels you can afford.

This ranges from fire-fighting IT services to hourly IT essential support or through IT consultancy.

The important thing is that there is an IT support solution for each stage of your business’s IT strategy.

This allows you to plan the development of your IT resources based on a clear, resource defined development plan. 

In knowing this, you can plan your business’s IT support strategy by knowing what sorts of things could you expect an IT support company to do for you.

Essential IT Support for Small Businesses

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 a contract IT support model aimed at smaller, more budget-conscious clients that require ad-hoc or varied IT services. 

This support model allows you to essentially pick ‘n’ mix your IT support based on individual services you require.

These services will range from access to an IT help desk from 8am until 6pm or long-term IT advice or IT asset management support.

What makes a great IT support company in this instance is their ability to work out a best estimate for the average number of hours per month that your business will need for hourly rate IT support.

Then, this 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 your pay as you go IT service.

IT Help Desk Services

The basic help desk service keeps things working within your IT infrastructure.

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 the issues out.

Typically, issues that require IT help desk support can be resolved within 24 hours through a straightforward troubleshooting process.

A good IT Support company will have a very high success rate in responding to and solving IT help desk support tickets.

This is usually around the 99% depending on the type of issues a business is raising with it’s IT support company.

IT Issues will range from the simple, such as not being able to login to your account, to more complex IT issues such as sporadic network access that will require an IT engineer to take a deeper dive into solving the problem. 

The great thing is that 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 Businesses

For a monthly fixed fee, you can employ an IT Support company for managed IT services. Managed IT support services is the next stage up from essential IT support and this type of IT service incorporates a more technical approach.

The types of services that this type of IT support offers ranges from server performance monitoring and software updating through to daily back-ups and cyber security monitoring

This approach is important for small businesses who are increasing in man-power and required resources for their IT infrastructure.

Managed IT services will allow your external IT provider to take full responsibility for your company’s IT requirements so you don’t have to.

This support offering also  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 there will be no nasty hidden surprises or costs.

Management of Data Backups 

What’s great about outsourcing IT requirements to external providers is the ability to delegate tedious and routine tasks.

This allows you to optimise your businesses performance efficiency, focusing on delivering to your clients and not your internal IT requirements. 

One of the most tedious and routine of all IT basic tasks is the daily back-up.

This actually has enormous complexities so it’s good to have an expert IT engineer on the case to make sure that data backups and processing run smoothly every day.

This is also important so that your business can restore from the back-up should the need arise.

The most effective way to map out and implement back-up processes is to set up a Business Continuity Disaster Recovery plan.

Often, planning for disasters slips the mind of small businesses and their IT support needs, and this is where businesses can often put themselves in danger long term.

Losing data can be fatal for any business, which is why it cannot be stressed enough to have a BCDR plan in place

The Most Popular and Useful IT Support Contract Services 

Hardware Repairs

It’s becoming less cost-effective to repair things in IT these days.

However, there are instances where using your outsourced IT provider to fix your computer hardware is an important cost to the business.

From fixes to servers through to new laptop screens, often having a repair service implemented into your IT contract can be a really cost-effective solution for your business. 

Upgrades and Maintenance to Computer Software and Hardware

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 IT software needs a surprising amount of attention lavished upon it. Software updates need to be installed and security patches applied on a regular basis to consistently safeguard your computer and data against hackers.

Often, upgrades and maintenance include antivirus and computer system updates, software checks and maintenance, down to the finite details of archiving old files to optimise RAM speed and performance. 

From an IT engineering perspective, having an outsourced IT supplier contracted to help with this work, along with hardware upgrades, such as memory extensions or increasing your wifi range is a super efficiency and effective IT strategy for your business. 

IT Asset Management: Software and Hardware Supply

As 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 any computer software/hardware for your business.

That’s what an IT support company can provide – they will make sure that you get the right computer hardware that performs best for your business requirements and works with the rest of your network.

For example, buying a computer with the wrong operating system that won’t install on your network can be an expensive and frustrating mistake.

IT Asset Management in this sense means the supplying and management of everything from subscriptions to Microsoft Office and Norton Antivirus through to hardware such as Central Processing Units, Hard-drives and optical drives to optimise hardware performance for your employees needs. 

Cyber Security Services to Keep Your IT Infrastructure Safe

IT security is so important to a businesses operations and yet it’s often looked at when small businesses are considering IT help from a supplier.

Cyber security breaches are still one of the main dangers a business IT infrastructure faces.

There has been a 238% increase in cyber security breaches since COVID19 with 80% of companies seeing an increase in attacks to their security systems. 

In this regard the importance of utilising an IT support provider’s cyber security services cannot be stressed enough.

If this isn’t considered, you risk data breaches, ransomware and information leaks from potential attackers and that is something you do not want your business to be liable for. 

If you haven’t got a plan in place or no little about cyber security, read the complete guide to cyber security for small businesses >>

IT Consultancy and Advice for Small Businesses

You may just buy a few hours of Help Desk time from them normally, but the impact  of IT consultancy and advice on your businesses performance will be ten-fold. 

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. 

Additionally, an external IT supplier will have an understanding of an array of businesses and operational needs.

This allows them to tailor their IT solutions based on your needs. 

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 long-term IT development plans for the IT department in your business, taking the responsibility of IT related matters off your hands.

IT support companies are able to tailor the IT support your company needs whatever the size of your business.

This 12-24 month strategic IT plan allows your business to operate with minimal downtime.

The Virtual IT Director often acts as the strategic partner to your business at a director level.

This approach to IT support ensures that your supplier’s strategy matches your business growth and development both in the immediate and not too distant future. 

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.

Want to discuss your organisation’s needs?

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Existing customer: 01865 598 100

New business:01865 598 145