Is your business growing to a point where you are unsure if you should invest in outside IT support or not? This is a question that should not be taken lightly. Instead, you want to consider what areas IT support can help you with, and if it is worthwhile. Quite often, hiring an outsourced support team is a better choice than relying on an in-house specialist.
Some of the areas covered by IT support include:
- Database installation and design
- Server installations
- Network installations
- Network security
- Email systems
- Wireless networking
- Mac Networking
- Windows Networking
- Multiple OS Networking
- Web hosting
- Intranet setup and maintenance
IT support comes in many different forms. Support services may be offered by highly specialized companies, such as those dealing exclusively with a particular industry or type of technology; for example, technology guidelines and standards for the healthcare industry are very specific as to how a medical or dental practice must handle patient records, the levels of security required, the types of data transfer that may be used, etc.
There are very large IT support companies with hundreds or thousands of employees who serve hundreds or thousands of clients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – as well as smaller IT companies offering lower levels of support on an as-needed basis.
At the higher levels, you may have access to a wide variety of IT support people who are fully versed in all types of computer languages, software, hardware, and other technologies that you may or may not require. At the lower levels, your IT support person may be used to doing things a certain way and try to force you into whatever type of setup they are used to working with, whether it fits your needs or not.
Your first step then is to consider which areas you need IT support for. Do you need to upgrade your servers? Are you looking at cloud computing? Do you need ongoing tech support or a help desk for your business? Or do you just need a way to back up your files reliably and automatically?
If you’re not sure exactly what you need – i.e. you just know that your technology is no longer working for you – we can take a look at your current systems and processes, and determine what it will take to get you back to peak production, with room for future expansion. And we’ll be honest with you about whether that requires purchasing new hardware and software, or just maximizing and properly using the resources you currently have available.
You’d be surprised how many people don’t use their current technology to its fullest potential, simply because they don’t know what they have or what they need!
The next item to consider is your budget. How much money are you willing to invest on a monthly or yearly basis for this type of support? If your budget is fairly low, consider looking at cloud computing options. These can be quite robust and have monthly costs that adjust according to your needs; so if you have a busy month and use more resources, you pay more – but if you use less resources, you pay less.
Cloud computing and “software as a service” (SAAS) options are available for nearly all types of business processes, and are often as good or better than the solutions available for purchase and installation on your own equipment.
Certain things like finding simple backup solutions can be done without the need for a dedicated IT person. Dropbox offers great file sharing and backup plans for the small business. However, if you have a lot of employees/computers, or very large files, or if you need something more secure and quicker to move files around, then you should consider having a customized backup solution installed and configured by a IT professional.
When it comes to installing or moving servers then an IT specialist is pretty much required. They have the expertise to know exactly what system would work the best for your business needs.
Before deciding whether to take on a project yourself or hire a professional, identify your needs. Look online for what types of solutions are available and then consult with a professional and get their opinion.
At Specialized Computing Innovations, we offer a free 30-minute on-site consultation to help put you on the right track towards knowing exactly what your business needs, what it doesn’t need, and what your next steps should be.
Contact us today so you can spend more time growing your business and less time tearing your hair out. After all, isn’t your technology supposed to work for you?