What is IT Support and How Can it Help Grow Your Business?
Whether you’re a small or medium-sized business with just one office, or a larger organisation operating across multiple sites, having a trusted and proactive IT Support Partner is key to your success.
Rather than waiting for IT problems to occur, it’s crucial to know that your IT systems are being constantly monitored so problems are fixed immediately and don’t develop into big issues. If you’re a larger company, this could be your own in-house IT support team. Alternatively, it could be an external IT support company, providing managed IT support – or a mixture of the two.
In this article, we’ll take a look at what good IT support should include. We’ve also included stories from our clients, showing how they’ve used our managed IT services to improve their own IT support.
What is IT Support?
Good IT support isn’t just about fixing IT issues when they occur. Instead, it’s about supporting every aspect of your business, identifying ways of using the latest technologies to operate more efficiently and profitably.
What is Managed IT Support?
Managed IT support usually means using a third-party provider to fulfil all your IT support requirements.
Here are just some of the ways in which a good IT support partner can help you.
IT support services should always include a robust IT security strategy to protect your business from cyber-attacks. Your IT partner can identify the risks and put a range of processes in place to keep your organisation safe.
One of the easiest ways to increase productivity in your organisation is to look at your IT systems. By using IT to streamline day-to-day activities, you can boost productivity without increasing staff overheads.
As well as boosting productivity, IT can be used to improve job satisfaction by making daily tasks more efficient. A proactive IT support partner will be able to look at your current systems and suggest easy ways to use technology to create efficiencies.
Technology is evolving all the time. But unless your business operates in the IT industry, it can be hard to keep up with all the latest changes. With good IT support, you don’t need to worry as your IT partner will keep abreast of all the latest developments, advising how you can take advantage of latest technologies to bring improvements to your business.
No matter how well you plan, unexpected problems can arise. But when technology fails, your IT support partner should be ready to help at a moment’s notice. With a speedy response, you’ll be able to resolve issues quickly and get your business back on track with minimum downtime.
Whether you have your own in-house IT support or are using an external supplier, check what availability they provide and how quickly you can expect issues to be dealt with.
A good IT support company should be able to provide 24-hour support 365 days of the year. Because it doesn’t matter whether it’s 9am on Monday or 3am on Christmas Day, you need to know issues will be resolved quickly.
The True Cost of Poor IT Support
Many companies put up with poor IT support, even though it could be costing their business dearly.
The cost of poor IT support can be seen in several ways. It’s not just the time and money lost when things go wrong. It’s also the ongoing cost of day-to-day inefficiencies. Just a few minutes wasted by each employee on IT issues every day could add up to several days lost over the course of a year.
Then, there’s the cost of employee frustration when IT systems constantly let them down. A daily battle with IT can seriously affect motivation within your teams and could mean higher recruitment and retention costs. With the workforce predicted to be dominated by millennials (35%) and generation X (35%) by 2020, you’ll need to make sure your systems are cutting edge to ensure staff retention.
Without good IT support, you’ll also miss opportunities to grow your business – particularly if you’re lagging behind the latest technological advances.
Choosing the right IT partner: Is it time to switch?
Quite often we see companies choose an IT partner and then stick with them year after year, even though they’re not happy with the service they are receiving.
If your business has grown over the years, the IT provider that you had in the early days probably isn’t best suited to the organisation that you’ve now become.
It may seem easiest to stick with a long-standing partner who knows your business. But the truth is, if they’re not delivering what you need, they will cost your business in time, money and lost opportunities.
Changing IT provider doesn’t have to be difficult. A good provider will be able to quickly get up-to-speed with your requirements and will make the transition from your previous provider straightforward. Often, bringing in a fresh IT support team will help you spot the improvements and opportunities that a long-standing provider might miss.
One company that has seen big improvements to its businesses after changing IT support provider is Collaborate London.
Customer Story – Collaborate
Another of our customers – Office furniture supply company Collaborate, had stuck with their previous IT partner for several years. They began to feel they were being taken for granted and service was dropping away.
By making the decision to switch IT Support provider they benefitted from a vastly improved service.
Richard, business owner and managing director at Collaborate commented on the service they now receive:
“Netstar offers us a huge amount of security. We know things will be working. This allows us to focus on our clients and deliver the best service to them.”
“The way our experience has changed since Netstar has taken over is that we are actually being provided with just the right amount of information. We’re not having to instigate any questions; they seem to be being dealt with prior to it becoming an issue to my business.”
Additional services IT support companies can provide
As we’ve seen, good IT support isn’t just about responding to IT issues when they occur. It’s also about putting strategies in place to improve every aspect of your business. So, when looking for a new IT provider, you should ask about the different services they provide and how they can help your business grow.
Here are just a few of the IT services a good IT support company in London should offer:
Cyber security awareness training
No matter what security systems you have in place, they will only be effective if your employees are aware of cyber security best practice.
Through cyber security awareness training, an IT support company can provide your people with the know-how to work safely and securely while protecting your business from cyber-attacks.
Passwords alone are no longer enough to keep sensitive data safe. Staff often use the same passwords for their work email that they use on other websites and this opens you up to the risk of hacking.
Ask your IT support company about two-factor authentication to provide the extra layer of security needed to strengthen your systems and minimise the risk of a data breach.
Secure online file sharing
Fed up of trying to manage multiple versions of the same file? Never sure if everyone is looking at the most recent data? Don’t know who has access to sensitive documents? If you’re facing these problems, a secure online file sharing and syncing service could be the answer.
A proactive IT support company will be able to create the systems you need to securely share and collaborate on different files across your teams. This will help everyone work more productively, with continuous backup and remote file access.
Dedicated on-site engineer
Wish you had your own in-house IT engineer but can’t commit to employing an extra member of staff? Well, many good IT support companies can provide you with a dedicated on-site engineer who will work at your offices, just like a member of your own team – but without the overheads.
A good on-site engineer should have both the technical know-how and personal skills to slot seamlessly into your workplace. They should be able to take care of day-to-day IT issues as they arise while also getting to understand your business, putting improvements in place to help your business grow.
Email Security Service
Email is such a big part of everyone’s working day, it’s important to ensure it’s working safely and efficiently.
With an email security filtering service from your IT support partner, you can protect your business against email-based malware and virus attacks. Effective Spam filtering will also help your teams become more productive by taking away the onslaught of unimportant spam emails that can seriously impact efficiency.
Ask your IT support partner about the benefits of moving to Office 365.
Moving to Office 365 can deliver major benefits across your business from cutting costs and increasing productivity to improving remote working and reducing the maintenance of IT equipment and software.
Netstar is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner – an accreditation that only 1 in 40 Microsoft partners achieves. That means we’re ideally placed to help you transfer your business to a flexible Office 365 cloud-based environment.
One client we helped transfer to Office 365 is Chelverton Asset Management.
- Discover more information about our IT support services
- If you’re thinking about switching from your current IT support provider get in touch here, or give us a call on 020 7101 0544.
- Want to learn more about what the right IT support looks like? Check out this article on how to choose the best IT Support provider for your business.