What should SMEs look for in an IT Support Provider?
Choosing the Right IT Support Company for Your Business
IT support is an imperative cog in the machine of day-to-day business operations. We often take for granted the support IT administrators and teams provide. IT support companies provide unparalleled service to businesses, and without IT support, a business can fail to operate efficiently.
IT systems can crash, causing business downtime. IT assets such as hardware can become dated and software often needs to be regularly updated. Businesses IT networks also require regular maintenance and optimisation.
However, engaging an external IT support company to assist you with your businesses IT needs can be a daunting task. Especially, if you’re not knowledgeable about IT infrastructure in general and the requirements for your business.
We’d certainly advocate learning the basics of IT, including cybersecurity, hardware management and support requirements so that you can hold a conversation with an IT support team and understand their advice.
There are also some key aspects you’ll need to consider when choosing the right IT support company for your business of which have been detailed below.
Where is the IT Company Based and What Areas do They Cover?
First things first – IT support doesn’t need to be local anymore. Support can be covered from remote access to your hardware through system operation administrations and applications.
However, more often than not, business owners like to know a face-to-face contact is just around the corner in case of an emergency. That’s why it’s good to know if a business has local IT disaster recovery services. For example, a business in Oxford might require a BCDR plan from a local Oxford IT company that can provide on-site assistance if necessary.
This is equally important if asset management is part of the IT support service provided by your IT company. Should a piece of hardware malfunction or become redundant and need replacing, it’s equally important to know that the replacement hardware can be provided quickly, often making local IT services a key component of an IT support provider.
Can IT Support Solutions Be Bespoke?
No business or IT requirement is the same. The variables will always differ, from the type of laptops or keyboards you’re using to the operating systems and versions of software. There are plenty more variables to consider and this is why packaged IT support services provide a baseline to work with.
The best IT support companies provide bespoke IT solutions that marry the minimum requirements of any IT support service with the business requirements to operate securely and efficiently for their businesses.
Three types of service contracts are:
On-Demand IT Support Services
Retained IT support services ranging from essential support on-demand tasks to regular maintenance.
IT security-focused programmes both for cybersecurity training and safeguarding your companies’ IT systems through cybersecurity auditing and detection.
Managed IT Services
Managed services offer a more strategic IT support service to your business, including virtual IT director and managed hosting services.
Guaranteed Response Times
Most IT support companies will provide a service level agreement with a dedicated response time from an IT help-desk service or IT engineer. Typically, there is an IT support ticketing system set in place which arranges the priority of your support requirement in order of a queue depending on several variables.
A lot of IT support companies offer anything from immediate to 24-hour response times. Typically, a good IT support company will at least provide acknowledgement/receipt of the ticket within the hour and respond to the support ticket within 24 hours depending on the severity of the issue.
Dedicated Support Teams
Great IT companies can provide dedicated support staff who can provide account management services and engineering support to their clients. This allows clients to establish relationships with their support team. This also allows them to stay calm in the fragile moments of a hardware malfunction or cybersecurity breach.
Additionally, it’s imperative to have dedicated staff for your clients as this allows for continuity and stability with the client. Rotating account managers and IT engineers who aren’t up-to-date on the client’s IT system nuances and history may miss quick fixes and put a strain on the relationship.
Dedicated staff can develop with you as your business grows. They’re able to build systems and processes that suit the development of your IT operations.
Learn more about IT Support Companies
Here at Firstline IT, our experienced team can support you and ensure that your business continues to operate smoothly through our IT support services. Learn more about our IT support services and how they could benefit you or contact us today if you have any questions.