What is IT support? (Comprehensive guide for businesses)

What is IT Support? (Comprehensive Guide for Businesses)

IT support is a broad term that refers to technical support relating to issues concerning your company’s tech infrastructure. This could range from setting up new hardware and resolving login issues to recovering data, undertaking planned upgrades, and repairing equipment. Amongst all these differing tasks, IT support services have one thing in common. Overall, it provides the assistance your business requires to keep your operations up and running on a day-to-day basis.

What does IT support involve?

The term ‘IT support’ is so commonly used that it can be tricky to decipher what it actually means. In fact, it’s not surprising that many people get confused about what IT support is and what it involves, because there are various types of IT support available to outsource for business.

You can think of IT support as simply assistance and guidance with any and all tech related issues. However, to fully understand what IT support involves, you’ll need to consider the various types of IT support. These may include:

Ad hoc IT support

This type of IT support operates on a demand basis. You simply request IT support services as and when they’re needed and your chosen IT services provider will respond to your request accordingly.

This type of IT support may be needed if, for example, your team suddenly find themselves unable to access their online accounts. Finding an IT services provider who can explore the issue and resolve it will help reduce this downtime.

Therefore, ad hoc IT support functions as a responsive service to offer assistance with specific issues, at your request.

Specific IT service support

Depending on your needs, you might decide that you need support with a specific aspect of your tech infrastructure. If so, IT support providers can provide expert help with particular systems, hardware or functions, such as:

  • Hardware
  • Software
  • Networking
  • Communications


Nowadays, cybersecurity is a top priority for UK businesses, which is why many companies choose to outsource their IT security to experts. With cybersecurity IT support, you can have immediate access to expert assistance when threats emerge. Alongside this, you can continually rely on IT professionals to devise and implement effective cybersecurity strategies and protocols to keep your tech infrastructure secure.

Managed IT services

Sometimes referred to as ‘end-to-end IT support’, managed services allow businesses to access IT services at any time. By having IT support around the clock, businesses gain access to a variety of IT professionals 24/7 so that their tech infrastructure functions optimally.

There are different levels of managed IT services, such as low-level, mid-level, and high-level. As expected, these tiers will refer to the extent of the support available. For example, low-level managed IT services may include a basic package of system, threat, and performance monitoring. In comparison, a high-level managed IT service could deliver a much broader level of support, such as resolving performance issues, implementing security threat management, undertaking upgrades, and/or network support. These services may be more suitable for a larger organisation with more complex needs.

While each type of IT support has its pros and cons, it’s important to ensure you have access to the right type of support as and when you need it.

What should your IT support service include?

Every business is different, so it’s important to assess your IT support needs on an individual basis. However, there are common aspects of IT management that virtually all companies can benefit from learning about. When you’re deciding what type of IT provider to use, consider the following services and if they could benefit your business:

  • Server maintenance
  • Technical Help Desk
  • Software installation and upgrades
  • Hardware installation and upgrades
  • Mobile device management
  • IT strategy and futureproofing
  • Troubleshooting
  • Cybersecurity
  • Networking
  • Communications
  • Disaster recovery
  • Cloud computing

Therefore, you must first understand the IT factors which are most crucial to your business’ operations. From there you can then determine what type of IT support suits you.

In most cases today, companies are almost entirely reliant on their tech infrastructure. Ultimately, this means end-to-end IT support has become the most appropriate option. Without a doubt, having access to all types of IT support ensures you can get assistance quickly and efficiently. So, when it comes to protecting your operations, maximising online security, enhancing your tech functionality, and resolving unexpected issues, managed IT services is the most secure choice.

Do you need IT support?

It’s easy to wonder if you really need IT support services, until something goes wrong that is! However, unless you have an extensive in-house IT department, it’s highly likely that you will need some level of support with your IT infrastructure.

While tech-savvy staff may feel confident resolving upgrade issues, for example, more complex matters, such as networking, cybersecurity, and hardware repairs, need to be undertaken by an experienced IT professional.

Due to this, it’s advisable to be proactive about securing IT support services before something goes wrong. This gives you an opportunity to take a strategic approach to your IT needs and consider what your long-term requirements really are. Furthermore, accessing IT support services before an issue arises means you can rely on your new tech support team to identify and resolve problems before they affect your company’s operations.

What are the benefits of IT support?

IT support offers a wide range of benefits for businesses across all sectors, including:

Reduced downtime

When any aspect of your tech infrastructure is compromised, it can have catastrophic consequences on your business. In a worst-case scenario, your entire operations could grind to a halt if your IT systems lose broadband connection, or worse, experience a breach.

However, with managed IT services you can reduce downtime by having a dedicated team to safeguard your IT infrastructure. In addition to this, end-to-end support works to anticipate and mitigate risk, therefore preventing issues arising. So, if problems do occur, a swift response from your IT support team will minimise disruption and restore functionality swiftly.

Enhanced performance

Regardless of the IT solutions you’re using, it’s important to get the most out of them. That’s where managed IT services enter to help you do just that. With IT support the expertise is almost limitless. They can boost performance in many areas, from ensuring that cloud platforms are configured and delivering optimal speeds, to enhancing the speed of communications via network optimisation.

By outsourcing IT support to expert technicians, you can ensure that your current systems are delivering the best functionality. Subsequently, you’ll see an increase in your ROI and reap the operational benefits that arise from enhanced IT performance.

24/7 support

With the right managed IT support package, you can access the assistance you need around the clock. This means you’ll have the advantage of never having to wait for guidance or advice. Whether staff are having trouble accessing their emails, your website suddenly experiences a 502-gateway error or your servers malfunction, a 24/7 IT helpdesk is more than practical. This approach will ensure issues are investigated and resolved swiftly to avoid impact on your operations.

For some, this service may not always be essential, especially if you already have reliant internal IT staff. However, for SMEs with a demanding workflow and accumulating responsibilities, 24/7 IT support may be a necessary requirement.

Improved cybersecurity

Businesses in all sectors today are under more pressure than ever to secure their IT systems. Furthermore, with the rise in data legislation, companies are at more risk of fines and sanctions if data breaches occur. As a result, it’s vital to have an effective cybersecurity strategy in place. As a small-to-medium sized business, this can be difficult to construct and implement alone, so many choose to outsource an IT support provider to assist them. And depending on your IT support, the strategy can be extended to cover all aspects of IT security.

So, an IT support provider can take the reins on a range of cybersecurity services, from dealing with potential threats, to creating a dynamic and proactive cybersecurity strategy. Most significantly, IT support experts can provide you with end-to-end cybersecurity management that keeps your business, your data, and your customers safe.

Simplified scaling

As your business grows, your IT needs will evolve accordingly. In fact, a business requires scalable IT solutions in order to facilitate corporate growth. This is why it’s vital to have access to expert IT services.

In addition to managing and optimising your current IT infrastructure, your IT team can guide and update your IT strategy when necessary. This will ensure you have access to the right IT solutions as your company grows. With this strategic approach, you can minimise your tech spend, saving your budget and therefore allocate funds more accurately. A more regulated IT strategy will also schedule upgrades in advance to reduce disruption and enhance your ROI.

Increased productivity and efficiency

When your tech systems are functioning seamlessly, all aspects of your business benefit from increased productivity and efficiency. For example, implementing automation and content management systems can reduce workflows and help organise projects and data. Optimised IT setup can also increase staff outputs as system speeds are accelerated.

Remember that productivity and efficiency levels have a direct impact on your profitability, so this is yet another way IT support can enhance your bottom line.

Gain a competitive advantage

The tech systems, software, and hardware your company uses have a significant impact on your operations. With expert input, you can rely on your tech infrastructure to give you an advantage over your competitors.

Furthermore, most businesses won’t have the time or internal resources to research, foresee and implement IT innovations. Therefore, an IT support team can advise on new and emerging tech, so you can invest in innovative solutions that give you a market lead. In this case, your business can feel more confident in its tech decisions and avoid costly mistakes.

Lower costs

A proactive approach to IT support and management can substantially reduce your company’s costs. From minimising business downtimes and increasing productivity to avoiding the need for an in-house IT department, outsourcing IT support offers many ways to reduce unnecessary spending.

Investing in hardware audits, for example, is a great first step to saving on your future tech purchases amongst other advantages. Knowing exactly what IT infrastructure and systems you have in place and removing what is obsolete will optimise your operations and enable you to retain a larger share of your profits.

Choosing the right IT support

So, as you can see, IT support is essential to today’s businesses, particularly when you consider the operational, security, and financial benefits that it can bring. However, it’s vital to ensure you have access to the right mix of IT services for your business.

No matter what size your company is or what sector you operate in, our experienced team will work with you to identify the IT support services that will deliver the best returns for your organisation. To learn more, contact totality services now on 020 3744 3105 or message us here.