Importance of IT Support for a Small Business
It doesn’t matter how large or small your company is, there’s no escaping the fact that a good IT infrastructure is essential to ensure that your business will be a success. However, it doesn’t matter if you have the best software and hardware because that will quickly prove to be worthless when things go wrong if you don’t have the best support structure in place to ensure that your IT systems are running smoothly when you need them.
While computers are generally easier to use today than they were several years ago, and many users are capable of resolving minor issues, there are still very few companies who have staff in-house who can double-up as tech support. While most users can install new software and hardware with relative ease, problems can develop if more serious issues arise. For example, most virus checkers can eradicate the most common viruses, but the more virulent ones can take more extensive work and effort. In addition, if PCs need to be added to a network or faults do develop, staff don’t know who to turn to.
It’s not just about supporting your existing systems though. Eventually you will need to upgrade or replace hardware once maintenance is no longer a viable option. Or you may need new software to meet new business needs and you will need to seek advice on what your best options are. There is the risk that going directly to suppliers may not provide you with impartial advice, but a dedicated support team will know your business and your needs and will ensure that you only purchase what your business will actually use.
Getting Your Business Online
Every business will agree that they need some form of online presence, whether it’s a website or through social media. However, while social media pages can be created easily, not every computer user is able to design effective websites. Even if you use a hosting company that offers free site building tools, these won’t give you the best sites which will promote your company and there will be times when your needs will outgrow the facilities your host can offer. Alternatively, you may want a more elaborate site from the beginning so you may need to look to a professional site designer from the start.
Storing all of your important data and software on local machines can be a large risk. All it can take is one hardware failure, a virus infection or theft and your business could lose years of work, customer details and email communications, and financial records having a devastating effect. With proper support you will be able to maintain reliable backups for your files and emails to ensure that nothing is lost under any circumstances. If you need further protection, all of your files can also be protected from unauthorised access.
Look To The Cloud
Another option that businesses can consider is using Cloud based options for business-critical data. Primarily this can improve reliability and remove the need for on-site backups as it will be handled by your support company or the Cloud service provider. It will also improve business efficiency as it will enable home working for staff as they will be able to access files and emails away from the work environment. Many support companies can extend this type of support offering remote technical support to resolve many PC issues without requiring physical system access.
As small businesses it goes without saying that you won’t necessarily be able to afford to have your own IT department. Outsourcing your IT needs to a support company who can offer you support when you need it can reduce costs considerably. Also, with proper support, you will be able to reduce your day-to-day IT costs and find the best solutions for your business. That will ensure that you are getting value for money and not spending money unnecessarily.