Selecting the Right IT Support for Business Services
The Jera managed services provider team often consults with new clients who have been either overpaying for IT support services that aren’t aligned with their objectives and budget or that have been exposed to unacceptable business risks.
With so many options, from disaster recovery to remote help desks and complete IT systems strategies, we appreciate that IT support for business entities may not always seem straightforward, and owners can find it difficult to ascertain the levels of technical support and assistance most appropriate for their needs.
Today we look at some of the factors to consider and explain why your choice of business IT support should be matched to your key requirements, risks and company structure.
As a quick summary, and recognising the broad diversity of businesses that make up the scope of UK-based commerce, the below elements may influence the business IT support services that we recommend:
- Your business lifecycle: newer and start-up companies face very different challenges from those with years of trading experience, using legacy solutions and databases that may need more in-depth IT security audits.
- Your budget: there are essential protections and support services available for every company, from self-employed professionals to larger teams and those looking to invest in a larger-scope reconfiguration of their systems and networks.
- Your workforce: the IT support most relevant for a sole trader with one or two primary devices differs considerably from workforces with 50+ or 100+ team members. It is also important to determine whether you have a hybrid or remote working environment, which presents a different cybersecurity risk profile.
The takeaway is that there is no one-size-fits-all business support solution, and the right IT support for business clients requires an initial assessment of their needs, existing IT infrastructure, and the areas of the company that are most reliant on networks, software or connectivity.
For example, troubleshooting via a remote support 24/7 service desk is always a valuable support service, providing a swift resolution to solve issues or patching over security vulnerabilities there and then while reducing outages and downtime and recommending solutions to prevent a problem from recurring.
However, if faults are common and causing repetitive issues, a full systems audit may be worthwhile to get to the bottom of the problem and identify upgrades to software or hardware that will be more cost-efficient in the long term.
We often think of IT systems as benign elements of running a business that provide us with the tools we need to respond to enquiries, sell products or services, or advertise a brand – but IT can also be an integral part of scaling your business and helping it grow.
Smaller businesses, in particular, will often begin with more basic workstations and software to fulfil their everyday needs. However, when the company starts to expand, those systems and software suites may no longer be fit for purpose.
The Jera business IT support company loves to explore the possibilities to help identify those parts of your IT networks that could enhance the pace at which your business can grow, looking at aspects such as capacity, operating speeds, automation, and software tools that provide a competitive edge while reducing the potential for human error.
Your IT support solutions should also address the risks you face as a business, where you might need to think about:
- Data back-ups and how you protect commercially sensitive or confidential client data.
- Recovery plans to restore business-critical data if an outage or breach occurs.
- The agility of the way you access data for reporting, forecasting and financial controls.
Cloud computing is a significant trend across all industries, where companies need devices and hardware that move with them, with the ability to record transactions or run reports from any location. Other advantages of cloud-based systems include advanced security, automatic updates and back-ups, and the ability to quickly scale if you need more storage space.
Transitioning your business to the cloud may seem like a significant undertaking, but with a great IT support partner, it should be a stress-free and streamlined change that will provide ongoing benefits.
Finally, we’d recommend you consider your requirements in terms of responsiveness. Reactive systems maintenance and repairs can quickly fix the issues that are causing downtime, but in some cases, may be unable to address data losses or lost revenues which cannot be restored.
Reactive IT support is also known in the sector as ‘break-fix’ support because your IT provider will fix an issue once something has broken – but if your company is entirely reliant on technology to trade or function, this might not be appropriate. Of course, ‘break-fix’ technical support is also important if an unexpected error occurs. Still, it has limitations, so it isn’t often the best solution for many companies as a standalone IT support service.
Proactive business IT support services works differently, with services such as network scans which identify data overloads or system bottlenecks, implementation of new security patches or upgrades, and continual monitoring of your IT assets to keep them working smoothly, without interruptions on your side.
Managed service provider Jera’s IT Care Infinite and IT Care Priority packages both include 24/7 support, proactive checks, and unlimited support time to ensure your business IT is fully managed around the clock. If, however, you have an in-house team member responsible for upgrading workstations, operating systems and security patches, this may not be necessary. As always, the focus should be on matching the level of IT support and assistance you need to fit your business needs.
Picking Your IT Support for Business
Our advice is to think carefully about your IT support needs, list your digital assets, software packages and hardware, and risk assess your networks to nail down exactly what you want your IT support to provide, and which areas are the greatest priority for your business.
From there, you can browse our Jera IT support packages with itemised breakdowns of inclusions, user numbers and costs to make informed decisions to ensure the support you choose to implement is tailored to your company.