Most businesses consider their information technology (IT) infrastructure as a cornerstone of their operations. Successful entities today rely on computer systems to gather, store, transmit, and manage information. These processes are crucial to making effective business decisions. For this reason, a problematic IT system can cripple a business.
If you’re a small business, you can choose to troubleshoot the problems hounding your system on your own. But that will take time. If you don’t have an IT background, you’re going to face a steep learning curve. For larger enterprises, having an in-house IT team can be an option, but it doesn’t guarantee that system issues will not occur. Besides, hiring your own people can dramatically affect your bottom line.
For many businesses that want to avoid the headaches of system shutdowns, hacking, and other issues related to computers and network systems, using managed IT services provides the perfect solution without breaking the bank.
Managed IT Support Services
Third-party IT companies provide managed support services. Under this arrangement, your business gets a suite of solutions that will keep your computer and network systems working, but without the burdens of hiring your own IT team. You get unlimited support at a flat monthly rate. Therefore, you can focus on growing your business and not on IT issues like recovering login details or choosing the right backup service on your own.
Typically, the service provider will be responsible for ensuring that your IT infrastructure and equipment are functioning properly. As the customer, you pay a small recurring fee. Essentially, having managed services takes all aspects of your computers and networks out of your plate.
Common Services Included
IT support service companies offer different types of service packages. Some offer a full range of services, while others specialize only in certain areas of information technology. Customers are encouraged to check the terms laid out in the service-level agreement, which describes the types of services you can expect from the provider. The contract should also identify how performance by the provider will be measured. Below are the most common offerings included in third-party IT support.
- Remote monitoring of equipment like desktops, laptops, and servers
- Network maintenance
- Server management
- Disaster recovery and business continuity
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and other cloud computing solutions
- IT Security management
- On-site response
There’s no limit as to what types of services an IT support service company can offer. Some agreements may even include IT consulting, voice, telephony, or other communication services.
Why You Need An IT Support Service Company
As computer systems, networks, and solutions become more sophisticated, so too are the issues that come with them. When your IT infrastructure is down, or your data has been breached, your business will start losing money. Depending on the size of your business, the cost of unresolved IT problems can run up to hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.
A managed support service provider will make sure any problems—potential or existing—with your system and networks will be dealt with accordingly. Your organization will be safe from data breaches, and your applications will always run optimized. Keeping IT-related problems at bay means having more time to grow your business.
5 Ways To Get The Most From Any IT Support Service Company
Here are 5 ways to get the most from your IT service company:
Get Unlimited Support Online And On-Site
A good support service company should have remote management tools to deal with any type of IT disruption. Gone are the days when getting support meant talking back and forth to a technician over the phone to try to resolve issues via voice calls. Now, you can get help using online helpdesk portals or even cloud computing. Such tools can protect your organization from experiencing disasters related to IT infrastructure anytime and anywhere.
If the issue you’re having cannot be solved remotely, you want a support team that can be dispatched to your location 24/7 and at no extra costs to you. Always make sure to get an IT support that can give you total peace of mind.
Find A Local IT Support Company
Many of the pressing issues you’ll experience will require rapid response. Your business is at stake. So, when your infrastructure goes bonkers, your IT support company should be able to address your problems any time of the day or night. To get the most out of a service company, it’s a good idea to hire one operating within or near your place of business. You can get faster service even if the technician needs to fix troubles on-site. For instance, if you’re around the Washington DC area, you may consider a company like Shipshape IT Support.
Go For Comprehensive Monitoring
Choose to get comprehensive monitoring. Ultimately, your IT system should allow you to do business seamlessly. From manufacturing all the way to customer data gathering, having a well-planned and well-maintained infrastructure will be indispensable to your business performance.
If you want to ensure your systems can meet your needs, thorough monitoring should be in place. It’s only possible through a comprehensive IT support service. Many support companies offer comprehensive Management-as-a-Service (CMaaS) solutions that allow you to mix and match various management options to define outputs clearly in every stage of your business.
Execute Complex Problem Solutions
Automation is the name of the game today. You’ll use much of your infrastructure to gather and collate data, run sophisticated algorithms, and analyze business information at a click of a button. Your system should be able to execute smart applications that will keep your business running smoothly. Having an IT support service company that allows you to maximize the use of your infrastructure to come up with complex business problem solutions can be a gamechanger.
Work With Superior IT Staff
To get the most out of any support service company, you need to make sure that they only hire the best IT people. It’s like getting your own staff to take care of your systems without worrying about added payroll costs or even the IT industry’s high attrition rate. A support service provider with an experienced talent pool will ensure that your company’s systems and infrastructure will remain in tiptop condition.
Top Tips To Get The Best Support Service Every Time
Getting the best IT support company and trying to get the most out of their services will be all for naught if there’s a disconnect between you and your technician. Avoid this pitfall if you want to ensure that your issues are always dealt with efficiently.
Respect The Support Service Staff
Respect begets respect even within the IT support industry. That said, you need to treat the technician on the other end of the line with respect. Sure, you may be facing problems with your system, and you need to vent your grievances. It’s normal to feel frustrated. But keep in mind that working in any support help desk in any industry can be incredibly stressful. Countless stories describe the nightmare that is IT support.
In short, try not to be overly emotional when talking to your service provider. It can only end in resentment. Worse, it may not even solve your problems. If you want to get results, try to play nice. Above all, don’t play the blame game. The support technician doesn’t want anything wrong to happen to your IT infrastructure, but bad things do happen. If indeed your troubles are caused by the support technician, then you can hold them accountable without resorting to emotional outbursts.
Always Give Full Details When Reporting Issues
Even the best support service staff will have a hard time solving your issues if they don’t know what’s going on. Make it a point to provide as much detail as possible when submitting tickets. You must answer all the basic information gathering questions or the Five W’s (what, who, when, where, and why) when reporting system problems. By doing so, your IT support staff can answer and provide solutions to your concerns more efficiently.
Your Support Technician Deserves Your Honesty
Think of your IT support like you think about medical doctors. When you see a physician because you have trouble breathing, you want to be honest about your smoking habits or asthma since childhood. Your doctor will only be able to develop a suitable treatment plan if you come clean about your habits and health history. If you keep secrets, they will serve you no purpose.
The same is true with your IT support service. They’re there to ensure your infrastructure is in excellent condition and prevent unnecessary interruptions to your business. So, tell them anything that you think you’ve done wrong. Instead of covering up your mistakes, you should let your IT support know about anything that may have contributed to your issues so that they can address the problems efficiently.
Choosing The Right IT Support Service Company
Not all IT support service providers are the same. It’s why you need to choose the company you’ll use carefully. More than being trustworthy and reputable, the provider should fit the business you’re running. Here are some questions you need to ask when choosing a service company:
Is the Company Experienced In Your Industry?
Some industries require redundant backups, while others want the best IT security. One industry may use a different set of IT standards compared to others. The point is each sector has different support requirements. Thus, before you sign the service agreement, you need to ask if the provider has worked with your type of enterprise. Better yet, ask if they’ve been certified to offer services to businesses like you.
Can They Handle The Size Of Your Business?
Some service providers only work with large enterprises, while others can only handle small businesses. A provider focused on big companies must have several teams of technicians and engineers who can quickly work on any support issue coming from an organization with a hundred or more employees. It’s logical to assume that the services they provide could be a bit more expensive for a small neighborhood business.
Meanwhile, a service company that only works for businesses with less than 20 employees may not be able to handle a large enterprise. It’s important to know if the provider you plan to sign up with has the resources and capability to give you the support you need.
Can They Work With The Software You’re Using?
Not all companies run on Windows software. There are countless applications that any enterprise can use. Some organizations even have customized software. It’s crucial to ask your IT support service provider if they have the expertise or the experience to work with the types of software and equipment you’re using.
It’s not to say that your third-party support service company should know how to operate your in-house software. What’s important to know is if they can troubleshoot the IT infrastructure of your business.
Do They Have Certifications?
As with most service providers in the IT industry, valid certifications and accreditations go a long way in racking up trust points. A reputable third-party IT support company knows this, and they’ll work hard to obtain the necessary certifications. It would also be best if their technicians and engineers have relevant papers to prove their expertise. Working with a certified company will let you sleep better at night.
Do They Offer 24/7 Support?
Problems can happen at any time. Issues like data breaches need to be resolved at the soonest possible time, or your business can suffer irreparable damage. A 24/7 access should come with any IT support service agreement. Make sure to ask if their help desk can always assist no matter what hour of the day or night.
Having an IT support service company is increasingly becoming indispensable for businesses both big and small. The performance of your computers, networks, and software will make or break your business. Doing your own IT support can eat up a big chunk of your time, which can be used in other profit-generating aspects of your business. Setting up your own IT department can mean hiring additional people, which can affect your bottom line.
Protecting your organization from problems like system shutdowns, hacking, and hardware problems can be done with third-party support service providers. For a flat fee, you get qualified troubleshooters who can fix your IT problems fast, 24/7. But all the benefits of having an IT support depends a lot on how you pick your provider. Make sure to ask questions and get to know the company before signing the service agreement.