How to Easily Get IT Support for Your Small Business

When a company is relatively small, it can be a real case of ‘all hands on deck’. In order to free up staff to focus on their key areas of expertise, managers sometimes outsource parts of the business.

When it comes to outsourcing the IT side of a company, it can seem a little daunting. It’s a highly complex aspect, and it’s constantly changing. Outsourcing is never free, so companies need to ensure they get the best deal with the most proficient IT provider. The first step is to know how to get help, and that’s what this article is all about. 

Begin The Search Online 

As with virtually everything these days, the internet provides a good starting point. It’s possible to search on Google and to discover a number of potential host companies. 

Whilst each business will have its own bespoke requirements, there will be certain needs that are common to all. According to the IT professionals at companies are looking online to employ IT professionals who can help businesses improve their productivity, whilst reducing their costs. Companies will be wanting their IT calls answered within seven seconds. They will also want around 98% of their queries to be fixed there and then. 

Research Reputation

It can be good to obtain word of mouth recommendations from similar businesses to yours.

If a company appears online, research how long it’s been going. If it posts client reviews this will be helpful too. If they are not available, contact the company and request testimonials before choosing them. Also, check whether they have indemnity insurance in place. IT companies need to be known for their competence with current leading software and hardware.  

Discover How Many Staff They Employ

Whilst it may be tempting to employ one person to cover all your IT needs, it’s highly unlikely they will be sufficiently qualified to oversee it all. If there are a lot of employees, this may imply there will be plenty of staff available should you ring their helpdesk. If something cannot be resolved this way, an engineer may need to visit. If the company only employs one engineer, it might be hard to get their help when you need it. Also, ask how long it will take for an engineer to arrive onsite. If the company is local, it should be easier for them to get to you than if they are situated further afield.

Compare The Company Prices

It’s best when IT companies are transparent about their costs. It will be hard for you to budget if there will be hidden fees. It may be tempting to go with the cheapest company, but they may provide a limited and basic contract. There may be extra costs for call outs or annual equipment reviews etc.

There may be discounts offered if you are tied in for a long amount of time. Having said that, many companies prefer the flexibility to migrate to a different IT company whenever they want. This might be because the price is better or their service is more comprehensive. 

Look For Robust System Providers

Small companies need more than someone at the end of a phone or the occasional engineer visit. They want to have an IT system that is sufficient for their task. Staff may need to access cloud information from the workplace or remotely. They may need this to be available 24/7. If there is continuous system monitoring, this will help the software and hardware to work at its optimum. 

Think Security 

Consider IT companies that provide hacker-proof services. This would include cyber and cloud security. There should be the promise of antivirus software, firewalls, and encryption services. A company that conducts an annual IT risk assessment would be invaluable too. They should responsibly oversee the access levels for different staff – and the IT company staff should be trusted with your data too. 

Look For Company Health Checks

IT firms should be able to assess the hardware and software you already have in place and to document their recommendations. This may include further software that should be downloaded and used. Usually, this will be to protect against areas of vulnerability. 

It is essential that the IT system can cope with the unexpected. Business continuity and disaster recovery plans should be offered by the IT company too. It may be that only a part of a company’s IT needs to be outsourced. In this case, the third party should be happy to work alongside the company’s existing computer staff. Once an IT company has been chosen, support should come into place quite quickly. The business will then be best placed to focus on its growth and prosperity.