IT support is a form of technical support that helps organisations overcome specific issues.
In the modern age, where IT is at the heart of most businesses, this support has a new-found significance. After all, if anything goes wrong with your IT, you stand to lose time, money and data that could disrupt your operations.
Traditionally, IT support sits within companies, using their existing staff and resources. However, since it’s become more integral and complicated, many companies utilise third-party support. This puts their systems in the hands of experts and offers around-the-clock care for IT emergencies.
But to determine what your organisation needs, you must know exactly what IT support does.
What does IT support do?
Many things. Here’s a specific list of the various areas IT support may cover:
- Logging, answering and responding to support calls from staff across the business.
- Installing and configuring computer hardware, software, systems, networks, printers and scanners – as well as troubleshooting when required.
- Planning and implementing maintenance upgrades.
- Onboarding staff with systems and processes, including set up accounts and solving password issues.
- Analysing reported problems to find the root cause, including liaising with staff facing the problems.
- Responding to breakdowns and outages.
- Fixing computer software and hardware faults.
- Repairing equipment and replacing parts.
- Setting up security measures, like firewalls.
- Ensuring systems are protected against cyber risks, and responding to potential threats.
- Keeping the whole organisation trained in the best IT practices, including how to maximise their personal cyber security.
In short, IT support covers a lot. And all these areas need to be taken care for efficient operation – you can’t just choose a few. That’s why IT management requires extensive skills and sufficient capacity.
Types of IT support_
You may choose to let your internal team handle everything related to IT. However, due to the sheer amount of ground they would need to cover, many organisations choose to outsource all or part of their support.
There are a few different types of IT support you might choose to implement, including:
- Remote IT support
- On-site support
- Help desk
- Staff augmentation
- Cloud services
- Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
- Monitoring services
- Email services
- Data storage and management
The support you get will depend on your needs as a business. For example, if you have a hybrid working model, you’ll need remote support.
If you have good resource in-house, you may only want specific services. Alternatively, many partners will offer services across multiple areas, providing a comprehensive solution. These tend to be more cost-effective and protect you against all risk.
It’s also important to review the level of support you receive as some companies will provide more detailed assistance than others. It’s possible to choose between on-demand (meaning you only get help when you ask for it) or managed services (which follow a bespoke service plan for regular maintenance and support).
The benefits of IT support_
There are many benefits to having comprehensive IT support available when your business needs it.
Most significantly, you’ve got someone to prevent and resolve issues. This means that IT outages will be rare. When they do occur, downtime will be minimised by faster resolutions, leading to reduced risk of falling productivity and financial loss.
Beyond this, adequate support will also:
- Improve cost-efficiency by ensuring IT processes work correctly, allowing people to do their jobs without disruption.
- Ensure correct set-up when working with new technology for a faster start.
- Offer better return-on-investment from hardware and software solutions, which consistently work well.
- Keep your systems secure and safe from cyber risks.
- Allow you to store data correctly and avoid compliance issues.
- Improve customer experiences by reducing digital barriers.
It’ll keep everything running smoothly, making daily business life much easier.
Choosing an IT support partner_
As we’ve already mentioned, your organisation has the choice over internal IT support or outsourcing it to an external partner.
Keeping it in-house is often seen as the traditional choice. However, it’s reliant on you hiring the right people and having enough resource.
Highly technical IT skill is hard to come by, which can leave many organisations facing gaps. If you don’t retain the skill, you’ll be left to face disruption. There’s also a significant cost associated with this, especially when you factor in recruitment and staff overheads.
Due to this, more companies are choosing to outsource their IT. The benefit is that you can leverage expertise, reduce internal pressure and benefit from consistent cover. It also tends to be more cost-effective to have an IT contract rather than bring it in-house.
If you are choosing an external partner, remember to select one that fits your business needs. Start by understanding the level of support you want and what it needs to cover, then find someone offering the appropriate service.
Ideally, you’ll want 24/7 assistance for emergencies and regular maintenance as per a tailored service plan. They should also promise maximum security. You can read our full guide to choosing the right IT support company here.
Infinity Group is one of the UK’s leading Managed IT Services providers. Our expert team deliver solutions across a wide range of IT areas, allowing you to benefit from tailored services that fulfils your needs.
With affordable pricing, fast response times and proven security, we can manage your IT strategy – or extend your existing team for greater results.