What is IT Support, and Why is it Essential for your Business?
More and more companies are becoming reliant on using technology to not only keep in touch with customers but to help employees carry out their work efficiently and thoroughly.
No matter the size of your business or the industry you work in, IT support is essential to keep your business running smoothly.
But what is IT support, and what does it entail? Join us as we take a look.
What does IT support do?
It’s probably easier to ask the question, ‘what doesn’t IT support do?’
IT support is responsible for ensuring all the technology a company uses runs smoothly. The tasks carried out will vary from business to business but generally include:
- Procuring, installing and configuring hardware, software and networks. This can be anything from a laptop, computer or mobile phone, all the way through to a server room!
- Maintaining, monitoring and upgrading systems and networks
- Resolving service issues as quickly as possible
- Setting up new starters with the technology they need and ensuring leavers are taken off the system
- Training staff to use systems and technology
- Providing technical support to customers
- Leading on information security and data protection (for example, keeping the company GDPR and PECR compliant). To do this, they will need to work with other departments like marketing, finance and sales
- Leading the modernisation and optimisation of systems across the business. This work will help the company save money, manage data more efficiently and increase customer satisfaction
The amount of support needed can vary. In smaller companies, one person may be dedicated to all aspects of IT support, and it may be a role they carry out alongside other roles in the business.
In larger companies as well as those with more of a focus on IT, there may be a larger team in place, with different people dedicated to various aspects of support. For example, you may have 1st line support who will be the first point of contact when an issue arises, and 2nd and 3rd line of support that deal with more niche and specific matters.
Should I have inhouse or remote IT support?
Some businesses have their own in-house support while others use third-party services to provide support on their behalf. There are advantages and disadvantages to both.
The benefits of having an in-house support team are that issues can be resolved immediately. As the support team is based inhouse, staff can not only build up a rapport with other people in the business but can get to grips with all the different hardware and software you use too.
The disadvantage of in-house support is the cost – not only are you paying their wages, but you are also paying for their benefits, holidays and training too.
The benefit of having remote IT support is the cost – you are only paying for the services that they provide, making it an excellent choice for small businesses who may not be able to afford to recruit in-house staff.
There is also an element of flexibility too. You can pay for as few or as many hours of support as you need month-on-month. The disadvantage is that issues may take more time to get fixed, and as you are not their only client, you may not always have their undivided attention.
The support system you use ultimately depends on your business size, goals and budget. As long as you have some sort of IT support in place, that’s the critical thing.
What to look for from a support person or company
Whether you want to have an IT support team in-house or use a third-party company, there are things you need to consider to ensure a high-quality service.
Here are some of the things to look for when choosing who to work with.
- Experience: Has your IT support person of choice got experience and knowledge in your industry? Do they have any references you can reach out to in order to see how they fared?
- Qualifications: If you use a specific system, does your person of choice have qualifications and accreditations to prove their competence? If you are hiring someone to work in-house, are they willing and eager to learn new skills and achieve relevant qualifications?
- Works well under pressure: IT support needs to keep calm and work swiftly in potentially problematic situations. Can your person of choice provide examples of situations where they had to keep their cool?
- Trustworthiness: As your IT support person of choice will have access to sensitive information, they need to be trustworthy. You may want to run a background check and check out their previous references to make sure they are responsible
- Flexibility: If an issue arises out of working hours, your IT support person of choice needs to be available to fix the problem, whether this is on evenings, weekends or bank holidays. Are they willing to do this?
- Clear-talking: Your person of choice needs to be knowledgeable but also needs to be able to speak in terms that other staff can easily understand. Can they explain how things work without resorting to jargon and technical speak?
In summary – is IT support essential?
IT support, whether in-house or outsourced, is no longer something is just ‘nice to have’.
It’s something that is vital for keeping your company infrastructure running smoothly, keeping your data secure and keeping your promotional channels open to prospective customers.
If you do not currently have a support system for your company, now is an excellent time to get something in place.
Even if you have already have support in place, it’s a good opportunity to review what you currently have and see if it still matches your needs. For example, do you need to upskill your current staff and update the qualifications they have on file?
If you are looking to bring your in-house IT team’s qualifications up to date, we are here to help.
Give us a call or send us an email today to see which qualifications are the best ones for your team to have.