When you’re the one running your business there is a lot of responsibility on your shoulders. You’re the one who ultimately makes the final decisions and who decides the direction your business should take.
This is especially true if you have others working for you, whose wages you pay and who depend on you to pay the bills.
And while you have a hold of the functions that make your business tick over, there’s no way you can be expected to be an expert in everything and if there’s one field that you fall behind in it’s IT. Hundreds of hours are lost each year thanks to faulty IT and the true cost of IT downtime means you stand to lose money and motivation every time this happens.
There are ways to prevent this, of course, and in this blog we take a look at where you’re going to go for IT support.
What better place to start than in your own team? It might be that you have someone among your existing staff who has a great knowledge of IT and whose skills might be better used supporting your network and software and that of your team.
This is great for when you need ongoing maintenance but when you’re facing a serious cyber threat or have a complex problem with your hardware, you’re going to need some more serious firepower.
In which case maybe it’s time to hire in someone to sit among your team and make their full time job supporting your staff and meeting their IT needs.
If the budget stretches to this and you’re happy to create this role, then you may have found a solution that works for you. On the flip side, however, if you run a small business and you only need to make sure that your network is safe but requires little more support than that, then you may feel that a full-time position is a waste of your resources. Unfortunately, a part-time role doesn’t work either as you can’t guarantee that your software problem will only occur on the days they’re actually in.
If this scenario doesn’t work for you then you have the alternative option of an outside provider.
Hiring in help from an outside source might feel like an expensive way to go about things but it may be the answer you’re looking for.
Unlike your in-house appointment, they have access to greater resources and more staff to help solve the problem you’re facing. Even when handled remotely, most computer issues can be solved over the phone with a mixture of guidance from the IT support staff on the phone and by giving them remote access to your computer.
Most support companies will guarantee an onsite visit within a set number of hours if the problem can’t be fixed remotely. But while this is an excellent option, there are still downsides for the business owner to weigh up against the alternatives.
Firstly, unless you pay a retainer fee, monthly or annually, you may not be able to get access to your support as quickly as you like and find yourself in a queue waiting for support. A one-off fee is costly and can soon mount up if you find yourself facing repeat problems with your IT.
The second issue to consider is that of security. While you have the guarantees of your IT support provider that their staff won’t access your secure data, you have no control over cyber attacks on their company and can’t guarantee the safety of their own cyber defenses.
This is a particular concern if you’re a business that handles sensitive data or secures a lot of your customers’ payment details among your files.
Whether you choose in-house support or opt for an external provider, you’re facing advantages and disadvantages in either choice. Go for in-house if you have multiple IT needs and can combine their ongoing IT support with other skills, such as website optimization or data collection from your websites. Then you may feel that you’re getting the best value for your money in that role.
Go for external support that gives you guaranteed instant access, that doesn’t keep you hanging on the end of a telephone line waiting to speak to someone while your IT system is failing all around you.
Losing time and money to IT downtime is a problem you need to avoid so find a solution that works best for your business.