For most businesses, technology has become essential for day-to-day operations. If the technology isn't working, the company isn't working. Downtime is no longer an inconvenience, It is a direct hit to the bottom line. According to Gartner, IT downtime averages $5,600 per minute. Whether downtime is the result of equipment failure or cyberattacks, it costs a business not only in dollars but also in reputation and customer confidence.
If you don't have the resources to protect your mission-critical infrastructure, you may want to consider a Managed IT Service Provider (MSP).
What is IT Support?
In its simplest form, IT support is about offering assistance to organizations regarding technology-related devices. It may involve answering technical questions, solving problems and many other IT support ativities. For businesses, IT support means all of the previous items and proactively monitoring systems to solve issues before they become a major problem.
Whether it's supplementing an Internal IT department or becoming a business partner, IT support companies are there to optimize and secure a network.
What Does an IT Support Company Do?
What an IT company does depends on the company and the customer. They can set up and install or configure and maintain a network. They can monitor an infrastructure for vulnerabilities that put a system at risk for equipment failure or cyber-attack. They can advise on a disaster recovery plan and data backup policies. More importantly, they manage your IT infrastructure to avoid unexpected downtime.
They can help with the following:
- Defining an existing network
- Planning for growth
- Designing business continuity plans
- Identifying mission-critical devices
- Provide on-site and remote support
- Ensure critical patches are installed and updated
- Network monitoring
- Protect critical data
- Implementing cybersecurity protection
- Maintaining networks
IT support companies can even offer desktop support, reporting capabilities and virtual CIO services. Not every company offers the same services, so it's essential to look at what services are being proposed.
What to look for in MSP
How do you choose an IT support provider when there are so many variations in services and plans? Trying looking for the following:
Do they ask questions?
Unless the provider asks questions about your business and your needs, they can't design a solution that's right for you. Every company is different when it comes to IT.
If potential providers do not ask about your existing network, your current concerns, and your projected growth, they are not going to be an IT partner. They need to understand your business and the mission-critical devices and data you need protected.
Do they have extensive experience and expertise?
Technology isn't just about hardware. Today, IT support needs to include cybersecurity, disaster recovery, and network monitoring. It also includes ensuring software is promptly updated, and patches applied. When you have a problem, you want to talk with someone who has been there.
Do they offer 24/7/365 monitoring and support?
Most businesses operate more than five days a week, 8 hours a day, with holidays off. MSP's should work the same and they should be available for both on-site and remote services.
After all, potential cyber attacks don't happen during business hours and employees may need support if they're working late.
Are they transparent?
IT support providers should be willing to explain their plan for your company in terms you can understand. They should outline what services they are proposing and how those services meet your needs.
Are they vendor-independent?
Some MSPs are tied to specific software and hardware suppliers, which means those will be the proposed solutions. Vendor-independent providers can suggest the best hardware and software for your specific requirements.
Are they forward-thinking?
Technology is always changing, making it challenging to stay up-to-date. Unless IT support providers are current on technology trends, they can't be planning for the future or making sure your network is in a position to take advantage of improvements.
If you're looking for an IT support provider that you can partner with, talk to us. Network Connections has 25 years of experience, helping businesses of all sizes protect their digital assets. We have secured company infrastructures so they could grow seamlessly.