Why Small Businesses Should Hire Outside Computer Support
Most small businesses outsource activities that are not part of their core competence. For example, most companies don’t do their own legal work, they hire lawyers as needed. Most don’t do their own accounting and tax filings, they hire accountants. If there is a leak, they don’t fix it themselves, they call a plumber. If the lights go out, they call an electrician. So, why is it that many small businesses attempt to take care of their business technology needs on their own?
Here are some reasons why it is better to outsource your company’s information technology (IT) needs to qualified experts:
Keeping up with the latest technology is important and difficult. The world of networks, servers, security, backups, data management, file sharing continues to become more complex and interconnected. It changes rapidly and often. PCs are evolving almost continuously, and connectivity options continue to improve; keeping the business connected to your clients, vendors, and employees. This comes at a price: endless hours spent staying current in the latest technology trends.
The time you spend managing your IT is time spent not managing or growing your business. You might be able to manage your own company IT functions, but chances are it will take longer than having an IT pro do it for you. None of the time you spend dealing with your computer issues translates into sales or billable hours.
Small business computer support services will probably do the job better than someone who is untrained in technology. You might be “good with computers” but are you keeping up with technological advances? Do you understand the security ramifications of the IT issues you are addressing? Are you confident that you found the best solution to whatever problem you are facing? An outsourced “computer help desk” service will allow you to begin problem resolution with a phone call, a text message, or an email. Once you contact your IT services, they will examine the problem and provide a solution. A good help desk will also help you understand both the problem and the solution.
Security is paramount. While the capabilities of the internet and mobile technologies continue to improve and expand, opportunities for cybercriminals are also expanding. The bad guys are just as interested, maybe even more interested, in using technology for their “businesses.” New exploits against common software like Windows, Outlook, Excel, Word, and Access are discovered daily. Of course, web browsers are under constant threat these days. New ways to attack a computer or an entire network require vigilant IT professionals to ensure your data and documents are safe. It is better to have an IT pro who is current on internet and network security assisting you than going it alone and leaving huge gaping holes in your technology infrastructure.
A good small business computer support firm can help you manage your other technology vendors like those providing technology services such as internet and phone, mobile wireless, computers, and servers. They can help with software vendor management as well. Sometimes technology vendors are not the best at speaking plain English to their customers. A good computer help desk can be your translator.
Wouldn’t it be great to have a resource available to help you decide about different technologies and products? Which laptop manufacturer makes the best laptop for your company’s needs? What kind of computer do you need? Which processor? How much disk space? How much memory? Are all the software packages you use supported by the latest version of Windows? What is the benefit of using internet-based servers (The “Cloud”) versus local file servers? Which internet service provider should I use? How can my team securely access our data and documents remotely? The questions are endless. Having a trusted resource available but not on your full-time payroll will be well worth it.
Is all your data backed up? Good IT professionals will ensure that your files and documents are adequately backed up so that if you lose your server, computers, or even the whole office, your business will live to see another day. In the midst of the busy day-to-day operations of the business, in-house employees might forget to change a backup drive or to review online backups. A good outsourced IT service will do more than set up your backups; they will monitor them daily and ensure that they are running correctly.
Pay only for what you use. Wouldn’t it be great to have technologically current IT professionals available when you call but not on the books when you don’t need them? Outsourced IT help desks are just that. You might not need full-time IT resources, but you want someone to consult when technical questions arise. Outsourced IT help desks are a cost-effective means to getting the tech support you need without requiring full-time employees and the overhead that accompanies them.
Sometimes DIY computer support can make things worse because you might end up breaking something or losing data or triggering a security threat. In the end, the time and cost to resolve an issue that was further exacerbated by a well-intentioned DIYer could be higher; much higher. Or, the job will only get half-finished because the uninitiated DIYer only completed part of the job, being unaware of other required tasks.
Remember, the reason you went into business in the first place was not to troubleshoot IT problems and plan network security and monitor backups. You didn’t get into your business just so you could become expert on server management. For some businesses, Information Technology is what moves them forward and for others, it might be a necessary evil to get the job done. Either way, get the most out of technology with the assistance of qualified and experienced information technology professionals. Then you can focus on running and growing your business.