Tuesday, 3 July 2012

IT Support for your business

The development of the IT sector has grown massively over the last decade. As a result, the face of companies is shifting and businesses are becoming increasingly dependant on their IT. Businesses use IT for everything from running their accounting software to filling out timesheets.

Whilst the high majority of the workforce are what is often termed as ‘IT literate’ only a small percentage are adequately trained to deal with the IT problems, when the systems go wrong. Problems can be as simple as loading new software packages, unlocking systems rights or as complex as viruses wiping information. For larger companies, it is practical and simple to have an IT department to be on hand to deal with all the arising problems. Unfortunately this is rarely cost effective or practical for smaller business with perhaps only 1-20 employees.

The options an employer is therefore faced with, is either to entrust the responsibility of IT support to an employee and provide costly training to fulfil the duties, or alternatively to source an IT support contract with a local IT company. Most IT companies have a range of support contracts and can tailor the service to the size and needs of your company. If you would like a lot of services, the IT technicians can be regular visitors to your business or if your IT needs are much smaller and you just require a technician you can call when something goes wrong, then smaller support packages are available.

Why is it better to have an external IT support than an internal IT support? Well firstly, the probability is that a technician from an IT company will have much more extensive knowledge and not to mention experience than an employee of your own. Also a professional IT technician can also suggest improvements you can make to your IT systems and provide support that goes further then just fixing things. It generally works out much cheaper to have a support package externally then the costs of training staff and keeping their knowledge and expertise up to date.

How do you chose the right IT support company for your business? If you want the technicians to visit your offices, it is important to choose a company that is local because most companies will need to be charging travel. Decide on your budget then shop around for support packages that meet your criteria but are a price you think is suitable for the service. Particularly if you will have the technicians visiting regularly, meet with them and make sure you will be happy to have them in your office. Have in depth discussions about the costings to clarify what additional services might then become additional fees.

In conclusion, it is advisable to have an external IT support contract to ensure you have a support system in place for when problems arise and to keep your business running at optimum speed.