What is an IT support company?
IT support companies essentially offer support for Information Technology which includes, computers, mobile devices, servers, software, telecommunications, cloud services and website support. An IT support company like CiS is comprised of a series of engineers who are specialised in all aspects of IT and can support your business with network setup, VOIP services, helpdesk support, cloud management and repairs, amongst many other services. IT support companies can be an important addition to a small or medium enterprise whose business is growing, meaning they are using more complex technology, but are not able to justify the expense of employing an in-house IT team.
Outsourcing the IT support can be a great alternative to an in-house team as it not only provides a full team of skilled engineers and an around the clock service, but it also is a fraction of the cost of an in-house team and the associated employment costs. Additionally, you only pay for the services you need, which can be changed to suit the growing needs of your business.
What does an IT support company do?
An IT support company provides your business with a remote team that would far exceed the skill set and customer service of an in-house team for a fraction of the cost. Each member of the IT support company has a range of skills and expertise ensuring your business gets the support and guidance it needs to run smoothly, efficiently and securely.
An outsourced IT team can offer support in all aspects of your IT infrastructure from hardware and software, cloud support, to server and data management. There are also additional services such as IT audits, penetration testing as well as 24/7 monitoring of your systems to ensure they remain secure. They tend to work in two ways; reactive and proactive. Not only do they solve IT problems when they occur, but they also put preventative measures in place, to limit the problems your IT systems could face. Essentially, an IT support’s main role is to reduce any potential downtime your business could face due to a system outage for whatever reason.
What to look for in an IT support company
There are several things to consider when you are looking for an ideal IT support company for your business. Also knowing whether you wish to just outsource one aspect of your IT services, or all of them is useful when starting discussions. However, there are some key things to consider:
- Location – Although a lot of IT support can be carried out remotely, there may be emergencies where you require an engineer onsite. This is much easier if they are local to you, especially if you require a quick response.
- Diverse skill set – One of the benefits of outsourced IT support is the large pool of skills. Make sure they offer more services than break-fix, as if this is the case they may not be able to help with network set-up or VOIP systems.
- Availability – An IT support service should be available 24/7 or at least be on call out, and they should be transparent about the average response time to emergencies.
- Security – As cybersecurity is key to a successful business, it is vital that your support service takes cybersecurity seriously, offering testing, monitoring and updating.
- Backups – Data security is an important aspect of IT support and therefore an efficient support supplier will offer daily or weekly data backups as well as a robust data recovery system.
- Helpdesk support – Helpdesk support is more than someone at the end of the phone when you call (although this can be a valuable tool). It is in fact, a sophisticated and efficient piece of software that keeps all tickets logged so a service history can be created for each device further speeding up response times.
- Third-party contracts – Many IT support companies work with third-party providers. Whilst this means they are experts with those particular products it can, to a certain extent, limit the options you may have when choosing services.
- Personal services – Consider how hands-on customer support is. Will you have a dedicated engineer or account manager? Will there be a person to speak to on the phone rather than only email or chat?
- What is covered in the contract? – Most IT support contracts are very clear on what is covered in the contract (e.g. services and the number of users) but it is always useful to know what is not covered and what could incur additional costs.
What IT support services are available?
Each IT support company offers a different combination of services, but the majority will offer:
- Managed IT support services – This is a service for businesses where the entire IT infrastructure can be managed by a third-party supplier. This can range from low-level support of software application and system monitoring to high-level support which will include network support, data analytics and technical support.
- Consultancy Architecture – A consultancy architect will look at the overall business objectives and provide a bespoke plan to ensure your IT infrastructure will take your business where it needs and wants to go.
- Design and Implementation – A service to design and implement new aspects to your infrastructure but with the bigger picture in mind. Implementing new features without integrating them into legacy systems is inefficient and expensive and can be avoided.
- IT Training – There is little point in introducing new, bespoke joined-up IT systems if staff are unsure how to use them as well as how to keep data safe from security threats. Additionally, learning how to use all of the systems’ benefits will only help your company to grow. Regular training is therefore vital for the future of your business.
- IT Audits – This service offers an IT audit of all your hardware, systems, processes and controls to identify any weaknesses within them as well as assess and manage the risks. Often they can uncover incorrect configurations, security weaknesses and other significant risks to the business which have accumulated over time often without the business owner being aware.
IT support companies can provide all the help you need when using technology to run your business. They can be the person at the end of the phone to help with IT enquiries, but they are also the people who fix your computers when they go wrong and spot any abnormal behaviour that could indicate a problem is about to happen, therefore stopping it before it does. They are there to limit the amount of downtime your business has should there be an outage by being efficient and skilled about finding a solution.
Everyone, at some point, will require IT support, and having managed IT services means it is that little bit easier knowing it is in the hands of experts.
If your IT infrastructure is getting too big or complex to handle in-house and you are considering outsourced IT support from a support company head over to our website IT support services or give a member of the team a call.