Information technology (IT) is often referred to as being the black hole of business. This can be especially true for small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) because although they rely on IT to stay competitive, you won’t find IT mentioned in their mission statement or tagline so IT ends up being viewed as a drain on money, resources and time. Many SMBs start out feeling that IT support is too expensive and they take a “for now, we’ll make do with what we have” approach. This strategy can work for some period but sooner or later an IT issue will surface that limits or completely inhibits employee productivity. IT issues are exacerbated when employees are trying to perform work after hours, over a weekend, or during a holiday when no one is around.
Most SMBs rely on technology so much that they can thrive only if their employees have access to reliable technology 24x7x365. A critical aspect of employee productivity is the devices and applications they use to access the information they need. Most SMBs aren’t equipped to perform effective problem resolution when issues arise. And to be honest, while IT is required for SMBs to stay in business, SMBs aren’t in the IT business.
After experiencing a few issues, most SMB owners eventually realize that IT support costs pale in comparison to the cost of lost productivity, and that “homegrown IT support” takes them away from their core business. More often than not, successful SMB owners point to their decision to outsource their day-to-day IT support as being one of the most prudent business decisions they ever made. It makes good business sense to let an experienced, and proven IT support partner that “does it for a living” deal with the day to day IT issues. They have the problem resolution expertise and experience which allows you and your employees to remain productive and focus on more strategic initiatives.
So what is outsourced IT support?
Outsourced IT support is provided by a “help desk” which is an IT resource that focuses on providing support to customers that use IT products and services. More specifically, an IT help desk is usually employed to troubleshoot IT issues that are impeding end user productivity. IT help desks providers allow you to offload a wide range of IT support services such as operating system updates, virus protection, and support for a large number of standard business applications, while maintaining an inventory of all of devices your business uses for asset tracking purposes. The goal of every help desk is to keep your IT moving at full speed and quickly address any issue that may surface.
Do I need it?
Absolutely! Everyone needs it. In fact you’re probably getting IT Help Desk “support” today in some capacity through the buddy system. Your employees are asking their friends inside and outside your company (security issue?) to fix their problems. They’re Googling their IT issues and performing “best guess” problem resolution which oftentimes makes the problem worse. Or they’re just making do without because they’re tired of trying. In the end you’ve chosen an IT help desk by not choosing one. It just so happens to be an ineffective choice that’s probably costing you more in the long run. If your employees often find themselves performing “let’s try this and see if it works” problem determination, it’s probably a good time to seriously consider utilizing a professional help desk partner. However, the decision to employ a help desk may be complex. There are a great deal of factors to consider. Here are just a few;
- Can your business compete without reliable 24x7x365 IT Support?
- How much does it cost when IT issues render an employee unproductive?
- Do you or your employees spend valuable time helping each other solve technology problems?
- Who do your employees call when they have an IT issue?
- What happens if an employee’s system is corrupted or crashes?
- Are your anti-virus definition files up to date? Is your data and environment secure?
What do I use it for?
- IT Support or end-user support. Issue with a desktop? Laptop? Smartphone or other device? Good IT help desks can be reached at any time by phone, email and online chat. 24/7/365. And they solve your IT issues.
- Maintenance and management: To prevent a buildup of issues and updates, our help desk proactively maintains each desktop and laptop.
- Your employee’s systems anti-virus definition files stay current and OS patches are efficiently managed.
- Application Support: End user assistance with a wide range of common business apps
- Asset Management: An IT Help Desk can keep an inventory of all devices owned by your organization including desktops, laptops and the software they run to help you keep track of your company’s IT assets. Be sure you’re in compliance with vendor licensing.
- Increased productivity due to quick and efficient service and problem solving
- Reduce ramp up time for new employees
- Improvements to operating systems keep you from falling behind.
- Avoiding repeat issues
- IT peace of mind, minimize stress and improve operational processes
Overall, an IT Help Desk can help your company focus on its strategic goals while offloading your IT support burden. Don’t wait until your technological difficulties interrupt operations or hinder business. Make the right choice, let a Help Desk relieve your business’s IT headache.
If you would like to hear more about mindSHIFT Online’s Total IT Help Desk solution, call (855) 535-7262 to speak to a mindSHIFT Online representative.