Implement the right IT support and you’ll equip your business to thrive. With agile, proactive and experienced technical support, you can troubleshoot rapidly, upgrade your systems seamlessly and run effective IT training programmes (including cyber security).
Proactive IT professionals serve as the first line in defence, protecting businesses from financial loss during significant business disruption, such as a malware attack or work from home orders made during a global pandemic. Even with a strong in-house team of IT experts, your resources can be stretched wafer-thin.
As government research reports, “the (Covid-19) pandemic has stretched business resources and led to competing priorities in IT and cyber security teams. In some cases, there was a perceived conflict between prioritising IT service continuity and maintenance work, and aspects of cyber security such as patching software.”
On top of the pandemic comes a real public concern about information security. Now the shrinking bandwidth of technical support staff within businesses has never been a hotter issue. For example, in 2019/20, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) resolved more than 39,000 complaints made by members of the public concerned that their data protection rights had not been respected.
When you do come to strengthen your IT support resources, it pays to consider a few factors.
What is IT support?
It’s the function that underpins all of your technological resources, systems and processes, and its remit is vast. From developing the tools businesses need to grow to giving employees the tools they need to complete their daily tasks, IT support is of great commercial importance.
IT support plays a huge role in ensuring IT continuity, maintaining operational productivity and developing greater efficiencies. Responsibility for the implementation, maintenance and futureproofing of your systems, software and hardware can also fall to IT support.
Troubleshooting is perhaps the most immediate of all technical support tasks. This responsibility covers everything from password resets to access rights, and from suspicious emails to telephony.
The findings made during troubleshooting dovetail into a far wider organisational contribution; IT support can use its expertise in risks and solutions to help roll out complete transformative business systems while minimising snags. IT support then creates all of the reporting processes you could ever need to monitor the performance of your software, hardware and systems.
Not forgetting, on top of these many functions, IT support will throw its weight behind your cyber security defences and can support your employees with matters relating to cyber security best practice.
Why do businesses need IT support?
Technical support teams can help businesses solve meaningful commercial problems via fast, secure and efficient IT systems. Such work can boost workforce productivity and help to embed all of the new processes and behaviours that make organisations work smarter, more smoothly and innovate towards future growth.
Technical support professional’s adept at troubleshooting are critical. They minimise interruptions to your daily business operations and manage the software your employees rely on. Business data is stored and processed by the systems that IT Support install and run. Employees could struggle to access this data from their desktops, laptops and mobiles devices, securely, quickly and consistently, without the continual support of IT experts.
Every ticket closed and fix implemented by IT Support helps your business towards its profit targets, growth goals and efficiency drives. Automation scripts and software upgrades are just two examples of the time-saving contributions brought to the table by experienced technical professionals.
Downtime, locked accounts, blocked permissions and inexplicably slow equipment can all challenge the productivity of employees in every workplace. However, with rapid reporting and expert troubleshooting in place, your IT Support team can get users back to work quickly: preventing hours of lost productivity.
The exponential growth in business data is just one reason for businesses to focus on futureproofing their IT systems. Experienced technical support professionals will be able to help you evaluate your systems, software and processes, and advise you on how best to invest for the long term.
Talk to your IT support team about taking advantage of cloud solutions and web apps. Discuss how your business might adapt and cut costs by embracing digital transformation and adapting, for example, to remote working.
You need an IT support team you can rely on to handle every aspect of your business operations, from a non-urgent password reset request to a major security incident that challenges IT continuity. Every issue, whether large or small, demands responsive and reliable support from your technical help desk.
Reliability extends to compliance with the minutiae of organisational policy and processes, most critically in regards to information security policy. IT support is relied on to handle the challenges of secure data retention, as well as the development and implementation of digital contingency plans. In the event of a power outage, major incident or other unforeseen situation, technical support will put your plans in motion, troubleshoot issues and rebuild any lost business data.
Facilitated by friendly and efficient IT professionals, who speak Plain English, departments work closely together, and digital collaboration between employees, stakeholders and suppliers can be enhanced.
Technical professionals strive to take a whole-house approach to support. Expert IT Support will work in collaboration with each department in your business in order to align systems, software and processes wherever possible. When, for example, finance systems are compatible with your latest sales system upgrade, company productivity, cultural and strategic aims all benefit.
The timely availability of desktops, laptops and mobile devices is a fundamentally important function of IT Support. New-starters can begin work immediately and equipment is always available for staff, wherever they may be working – either remotely or in the office.
Maintaining software and hardware assets is another example of how technical support aids business efficiency. Add to this the intelligent scheduling of company-wide software upgrades, which helps mitigate the risk of lost time during working hours.
Accessible to clients – no disruption in service or consistency
If your business runs on ecommerce, the functionality of your ecommerce website is of paramount importance. IT Support can help you avoid disruption of access to your services and products by maintaining your servers and networks, and safeguarding any third-party integrations.
Such support helps to ensure a consistent user experience, which in turn contributes to customer loyalty and a greater degree of trust in your business.
How does IT support protect against cybercrime?
IT Support can help to defend your business systems against malware attack and data loss in numerous ways. Monitoring incidents and installing software security patches are just two of the most common security responsibilities handled by IT support. Flagging up, advising on and communicating reports of phishing emails that have targeted your business is another level of cyber security support.
Technical support professionals also play their part in helping employees to work securely. For example, encouraging the use of passphrases, implementing password security measures such as two-factor authentication, and restricting access to sensitive information to authorised personnel.
What are the cost benefits of ongoing IT support?
Employee productivity will be safeguarded during systems upgrades and business interruptions, and you will have access to additional IT expertise which can help your business grow. For example, why not use IT support to free up your core IT services team to focus on strategic digital transformation projects?
Faster troubleshooting, more confident staff and stronger cyber security defences: these are just three of the benefits of engaging an IT support partner, which will in turn lead to greater productivity. With continuity of IT Support you can also expect technical issues to be resolved more quickly and pleasantly, and for IT fixes to be tailored to the unique workings of your organisation.
What are the financial implications of poor IT support?
Businesses that lose their customers’ personal data must count the cost of serious reputational damage, as well as penalties imposed on them by the law. Since the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has issued sizable fines on businesses. In 2020 British Airways was fined £20m for exposing the personal data of 400,000 customers.
Secondly, the response times of under-resourced IT teams can plummet, leaving members of staff offline and unable to work, resulting in numerous financial implications. Downtime in business can lead to a gamut of failures including expensive missed production deadlines, unfulfilled customer orders, squandered marketing opportunities and wasted pay.
IT Support can help to mitigate the increased pressure of work on technical teams who have been asked to support remote workforces. These demands have been exacerbated by the thirst in business for new technologies and the mushrooming growth in stored customer data.
IT support specialists play a highly-significant role in the survival and growth of businesses. Call on our expertise as your company evolves and let us help you optimise your digital systems at every level, every day, from the smallest data file up.
Find out how we can help your organisation, contact us today.