Any successful small business is likely to use technology in order to enhance its operations. Technology allows us to take advantage of opportunities and enhance convenience, but it can also lead a number of challenges. Having support for your technology, however, can increase your understanding of the issues you encounter, help you to overcome them and, most importantly, help you get the most out of it.
There are many different levels of IT support, all with varying costs and considerations, so it’s vital that you know which kind of tech support is right for your company. Let’s address some of the key questions you should be discussing within your team in order to decide which level is right for you.
Does my business need IT Support?
Regardless of the type of small business you are running, IT support will likely benefit you in some form or other. Usually, this will depend upon the type of technology you are operating (both hardware and software) as well as your in-house team’s own IT competencies.
If you’re using technology on a very small scale, for instance, operating a website or social media accounts, you may still encounter issues that can disrupt business processes. If a customer is unable to purchase your products online or find your website this can instantly impact profits. Therefore, having IT support in place will help you resolve these issues quickly and resume business as usual.
Ultimately, unless you’re operating a completely offline venture, IT support will be of benefit to you and your team. Now, let’s take a look at the different types of support you can choose from.
What type of IT support is right for me?
If you require a rapid response rate and a high level of technological stability, you may want to integrate IT support into your in-house team. However, this option does require considerable investment as the average base salary of a highly experienced IT manager is around £44,000. Realistically, therefore, only larger or particularly prosperous organisations will typically be able to justify going down this route.
If in-house support isn’t what you’re looking for, you may wish to consider outsourcing your IT support to a company that works with lots of different clients. This would be less costly and would be better suited if your technological issues are infrequent or your budget is more limited. Services can be provided on a monthly subscription service, also known as managed services, where support is available 24/7 and companies pay a standard monthly fee. Opting for this type of service means you will receive response and support for every issue logged, whether this is 1 problem or 100 throughout the month. Depending upon the company opted for, this may help you resolve multiple issues much faster than an in-house professional, as the outsourced company can commit more resource to finding a resolution.
Another way of implementing IT support into your small business is to choose a service that charges you on a case by case basis. This is perfect if your IT issues are reasonably infrequent without a large element of risk attached.
However, if you’re in the early stages of your business and don’t have the funds to commit to any of the aforementioned models, you may need to utilise some of the free online services available. The internet provides a wealth of free resources that may help you overcome smaller issues and guide you through troubleshooting processes. While this is the cheapest option, it will take significantly more time and effort, and is not a realistic long-term solution.
Your final option is to seek IT support through your tech function providers, for instance a website host or hardware supplier. Companies will often have an associated company tech support function to which you can submit your issues and queries. Microsoft, for example, offers a support line for those using Microsoft products. However, you may encounter delays in response and you will require a basic understanding of the issue you’re encountering in order to adequately explain to their support teams.
We can help
It’s clear that before you make any IT support decision, it’s important that you have a strong understanding of your business requirements and financial stability. Technology is constantly changing and innovating, making it vital for small businesses to future proof themselves, stay relevant and safe online. The more technologically advanced your business gets, the more issues you are likely to encounter, some of which you simply won’t be able to overcome alone. At E2E technology, our team can help you discover the perfect IT support for your business. Get in touch with our team today to discuss your options.