It is common knowledge that large businesses have many departments and various IT and tech professionals because their business volume requires that kind of workforce.
If you own a small business operating on a certain budget far less than what the large companies can afford, you’ll have to make sure that each penny is planned carefully. But does a small business need IT support?
The reality is that businesses, big or small, usually need to hire a full-time, experienced IT professional company.
One of the main problems startups and most small businesses face is balancing budgets. When you’re getting your business up and running, an IT professional is one of the business elements that you should spend your money on.
It might not seem like a necessity, but it is, in fact, one of the first things that you’ll need to address. Companies in the modern world need technology to do business. Hence, businesses, regardless of size, need IT support to flourish in today’s digital landscape.
Does a Small Business Need IT Support: Why Are IT Professionals Essential?
Enhance Your Overall Business Security
IT support professionals know your business data is everything to you, so protecting it is one of their top priorities. With increasingly serious cyber threats lurking around every corner, IT pros must develop appropriate prevention and action strategies if such an attack occurs.
Too many malware are out there, and they keep evolving at an increasing rate. Antimalware companies are working hard to keep up, so having any antivirus solution only partially protects your data.
Hackers do not just target government institutions and large enterprises because they know most small businesses need to impose solid security measures. They either need to gain genuine knowledge about the threats or feel getting worthy protection costs too much, so they ignore it.
However, you should know that malware is automated hacking programs that undergo a list, searching for their way in wherever.
It will most likely happen to you if you operate a small local business because there are great chances that the automated program will find its way into your system if your guard is down. And then, it is bye-bye, precious data.
An IT support professional would help you get the best protection because they have seen them all. It’s impossible for a non-IT person to keep up with all the latest programs and preventions, and it’s impossible to know the difference. More significantly, an IT support professional would help you safely back up your data so that the losses in a cyber-attack are nonexistent or minimal.
Get What You Need – No More, No Less
Certain startups and small businesses need minimum IT support based on the type of business and its needs. However, they require an email, backup, and security solution and need their IT infrastructure up and running.
The great news is that most local IT service companies offer managed IT services for a fixed monthly price or hourly services for customers who don’t require constant support. The first step would be to partner with a reliable, knowledgeable, and responsive local IT support professional that will offer you exactly your business needs.
Top-notch IT companies have on-site and remote IT technicians who handle deployment and maintenance and IT consultants and sales specialists in their teams. It means that these contractors can handle your business’s needs. Whether you want an initial setup and occasional checkups, an occasional IT infrastructure evaluation, consulting, and technology acquisition support, or everything stated every month plus ongoing monitoring and maintenance, the alternatives are available.
Cut Unnecessary Costs & Stay Up-to-date
We already covered the part about the business needing IT support regardless of size. Outsourcing your IT needs to an IT support professional will allow you to cut unnecessary costs and save money in the long run while you innovate and grow your company.
Like all businesses, IT professionals exist to sell their services and products. Therefore, it is in their best interest to get to know you – your client – and give exactly what you require at a price your company can afford. Not simply afford; it’s in their best interests for you to pay the least amount possible for what you require.
While you are certainly an expert, you must learn more about technology and trends. There are too many hardware & software options, and that’s where the IT world becomes confusing. An IT consultant and sales specialist’s purpose is to go through all those options for you and present only the options that interest you and your business. You’ll be able to learn something along the way as well, which will keep you sharp.
One of the many advantages of hiring an IT support professional is that many of them have vendor partners, which means they’ll obtain the most efficient technology at the best prices, which means you will, too.
Increase Efficiency and Productivity
Two things can influence a company’s efficiency and productivity: the right technology and technology that works properly.
As we mentioned previously, IT support professionals can advise you on the newer, cutting-edge technologies that can be incorporated into your business; they can provide you with easier ways to store and access the business data, offer solutions that make more sense, and help you cut costs, and offer you access to special resources that were unavailable to you before.
Maintenance is the second piece of the puzzle regarding optimizing your company’s potential. Technology might improve your company’s efficiency, but it can also reduce it owing to frequent outages. Sudden server crashes, emails going offline, office router issues – you’ll need a tech team that will react and solve all these problems as they occur.
And this is where good IT companies differ from bad ones: response. In addition to ensuring that the technology is operational, the IT support professional must be responsive because the faster the response, the less downtime your organization will have. Ensure you get a company with IT specialists available by online chat, email, and phone to handle your problems immediately. Avoid working with companies that require opening tickets, have a certain wait time before your issue is addressed, or have leveled IT support, where you must go through all levels before reaching the expert who can help you.
Focus Back on What’s Important
You’ve probably had a day at work with a tech problem. It’s either an unwelcome surprise and a minor setback, a headache and nuisance, or a total collapse and operational paralysis. As a business owner, you must know that time is money, so every minute with a crashed server puts the relationship with your customers at risk and, ultimately, money loss.
Hiring an IT support professional by your side means you don’t have to worry about computer issues again. You would employ professionals to deal with issues that shouldn’t be of concern in the first place. This means that you and your employees could focus on what’s important – your company and getting the job done.
With an IT support professional, you won’t ever have to handle unexpected costly repairs and last-resort investments because they are there to prevent IT issues, have backup plans, and handle difficult situations quickly and effectively.
What Does an IT Person Do for a Small Business
Provide Network Assessment
This is the most crucial task you can assign to your IT consultant. Allowing an expert to examine your network will inform you of the areas of your system that are most vulnerable. The first step in ensuring your network functions efficiently is to identify inefficiencies.
Run Through Security
Regarding IT, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution. There has been no shortage of highly publicized data breaches in the past few years, but small to midsize businesses must realize they are most susceptible. Small businesses are targeted by 43 percent of cyber attacks, emphasizing the importance of securing your network. Your IT person could assist you in identifying your most serious dangers and techniques for mitigating them, including anything from firewalls and antivirus protection to email security or another kind of defense.
Educate Your Employees
IT is a complex profession, and expecting your entire crew to understand the intricacies of your network would be ridiculous. They should, however, learn how to maintain their workstations and be aware of any security breaches. A consultant can teach your personnel in one of two ways. They can arrange a workshop or an online lecture to provide their personnel with the relevant information. Second, they can devote time to educating a single employee so that they can explain the principles to their coworkers.
Save Time, Money And Stress
All three can be saved if your IT infrastructure is fundamentally sound and safe. Too often, companies seek short-term solutions and spend more on several smaller projects to repair an ongoing problem. In my experience, the “break-fix” mentality is always considerably more expensive than the alternative, which is treating the issue at its root from the start.
What Computer Software is Good for a Small Business
Many resources lend themselves to the success of a small business. There are the people who do the things, computers and networking infrastructure, creative marketing initiatives, and a strong sales team. However, these resources rely on certain tools to get their jobs done. Those tools are the IT applications that they use day in and day out. While certain industries may rely on specific solutions, there are some that every small-business IT department needs to have in place to stay competitive.
Backup and Recovery Systems
First and foremost, small-business IT professionals must establish a solid backup and recovery strategy. Like larger enterprises, if systems go down or data is lost, the costs associated with too much downtime could be so disastrous that the business can’t return. Whether it is a natural disaster, human error, or even a malicious attack like ransomware, there needs to be backup and recovery software that can ensure business continuity across the board.
When evaluating this type of software, look at something other than cost but look for the ability to grow and test both the backup and recovery process to ensure everything will work when you need to call on it.
It is said that 60 percent of all small businesses go out of business within six months of a cyber attack. Because many attackers view them as low-hanging fruit, small businesses have become increasingly attractive to many attackers. Tools such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, intrusion prevention systems, and identity management solutions are necessary in any business, regardless of size.
It is easy to look for large enterprise solutions because they have name recognition; however, you will want to look for vendors that provide software that your small-business IT professionals can manage. Even these solutions can be rather complex, so choose a vendor wisely.
VoIP Communication Tools
For small businesses to succeed, their IT people must focus on projects to help meet their objectives. Communication software like VoIP is easier to install and maintain. The time saved using this type of software can free teams up to work on other projects while still providing a robust solution that is easy for the end user and allows for the integration of mobile devices.
Using computer-based softphones means you don’t need to spend time, money, and effort wiring a building because everything can be run directly from a desktop or smartphone. A bonus would be a software application allowing virtual meetings and collaboration. Look for features when choosing the right application.
Successful small businesses grow at a rapid pace. The last thing you want to do is exceed your data storage capabilities and cause slowdowns or even system crashes. Using the proper cloud storage solution, you can scale your needs as your company and customer base grows. Again, security comes into play here, so choose a vendor that will help protect your data. Just because someone else is hosting it doesn’t mean you are not responsible for securing it.
Businesses don’t succeed if people are working in silos. You need teammates to be able to collaborate on projects in real-time. Email doesn’t cut it when it comes to collaboration. You need an application that allows people to share documents and files and see what changes other people are making to them. Collaboration doesn’t end at document storage. An application that will help you succeed will include versioning control, messaging, the ability to document changes, and the ability to roll back to previous stages in a file’s history.
In today’s rapidly evolving digital world, working with competent IT support professionals is crucial in ensuring that your business is ahead of the curve. Small businesses, most especially, are encouraged to work with IT teams to ensure overall business security, stay up-to-date with technology trends, and increase efficiency and productivity.