2020 was the year the world changed for us all. The Coronavirus pandemic and the resultant lockdown threw extraordinary uncertainty, disruption and challenge at London’s small to medium-sized business community. Not only did those enterprises respond magnificently to this unprecedented situation. They also proved beyond doubt that their IT worked perfectly well remotely and that their IT support worked perfectly well remotely, too, which is why your business no longer needs in-house IT support
Note, though, that remote working was already gaining traction in London and across the UK long before the arrival of Covid-19. In fact, research by the UK’s Office of National Statistics a few years back suggested that half the UK workforce expected to be working remotely by 2020. The Coronavirus pandemic has simply turbo-charged the change.
There are two key reasons for the growing popularity of remote working. Firstly, your people can now operate successfully from wherever they can access Wi-Fi, from home to hotel room and coffee shop to train carriage.
Secondly, with the advent of Cloud computing, just about all the technology you need to run your business effectively is available on the Cloud, from software applications, data and e-mail mailboxes to security solutions. Likewise, all these technologies can be hosted, set-up, configured and supported remotely. Even IT strategy, planning and consultancy can be delivered remotely.
The fact is, the technology you need no longer needs to sit in your workplace, and even when it does it can be configured before being delivered to where you need it.
We believe the above factors effectively make an in-house IT function obsolete, especially for small to medium-sized businesses.
Let us show you why your business no longer needs in-house IT support
In this article we’re going to highlight how in today’s post-Coronavirus, Cloud-based working world, your people, your technology and your IT support can all work perfectly effectively remotely. And, as a result, there are sound strategic and operational reasons why your business no longer needs in-house IT support. Below you’ll discover more about:
- The disadvantages of the traditional approaches to in-house IT support
- So what is the outsourced IT support alternative?
- Making outsourced managed IT support make sense
- What you can expect from a managed IT support provider?
- What are the advantages of outsourcing your IT support?
- So what’s the key question you face?
The disadvantages of the traditional approaches to in-house IT support
We all know there’s no upside to technology downtime, especially in a small to medium-sized business. We’ve become used to fast and easy access to our technology and expect our laptops, network, software and mobile devices to respond in the same rapid way.
However, if your IT regularly lets you down it quickly becomes frustrating, moral-sapping and time-wasting for your whole team. Then one of two things tend to happen. You either start referring your IT problems to the most tech-savvy person in the office (even to the extent that they stop having time to do their proper job!) or you think about hiring a technology professional to be your in-house ‘IT function.’
There are clear dangers with both these approaches.
The first is that in today’s fiercely competitive markets you need all of your team doing the jobs they should be doing, not playing enthusiastic amateur with your technology. The second is that recruiting, retaining and equipping an IT professional (or two or three?) load expensive, space-consuming costs on your business. Overheads that require holiday and sick pay, and a host of other benefits beside a generous salary. What’s more, your in-house IT specialist usually gets so wrapped up in solving ‘on-call’ day-to-day tech issues for your team that they never get time to develop a properly planned and executed IT strategy to drive the growth of your business.
In addition, it’s unlikely that an experienced IT support professional is going to be an expert in all the technologies you use so they will have to obtain help from an external source anyway. And even a small in-house IT team can quickly be overwhelmed with tech issues, which leads to delays in response and resolution and downtime for your people.
So what is the outsourced IT support alternative?
As with most things in life, when it comes to outsourcing your IT support for your small or medium-sized business you’ve got a couple of broad choices:
Outsource your IT support to a third-party on an as-needed basis, (usually referred to as the ‘break/fix’ model) but this can result in a patchy, unreliable service and unpredictable costs, or outsource your IT support to a managed IT support or service provider.
Making outsourced managed IT support make sense
Whether you call it outsourced IT support or a managed IT support service, this is where you put the day-to-day running of your IT infrastructure in the hands of a suitably expert, experienced, capable and certified third-party managed services provider (often referred to as an MSP). You then trust them to maximise your IT’s operational effectiveness and minimise the expenses associated with it.
This is how it works: you and your MSP agree and are bound by a service level agreement (SLA) contract which stipulates what’s covered, the performance and quality metrics of the partnership and the fixed monthly cost for the subscription you’ve taken out. The latter can prove highly cost effective, provide certainty and make this option easy to plan and budget for.
Depending on your agreement, your outsourced IT support is usually provided 24/7/365 by a help-desk team via telephone, email or live chat, with technicians gaining remote access to your technology as and when needed. On-site, in-person support provided by expert and experienced engineers is also usually available for those technical issues that require it.
What you can expect from a managed IT support provider?
Your outsourced IT support service provider should be proactive and provide a range of support services, encompassing:
- Installation, configure, set up and support of your full suite of hardware and software applications, including updates as part of a regular maintenance schedule.
- Cloud provision covering essentials such as cybersecurity protection as well as data safety and backup.
- Incident-based responses and reporting with fast fixes.
- Monitoring everything from your network and server to your website and overall performance to spot and prevent potential issues and security breaches.
What are the advantages of outsourcing your IT support?
- Quick fixes
You want technical issues dealt with fast, to prevent potential productivity drops and business disruption – outsourced IT support provides the operational certainty you need.
- Reduced costs
Small to medium-sized business based in London already have high overheads but managed IT support services are generally less expensive than the alternatives, especially an in-house IT team.
- Focus, not distractions
By outsourcing your IT support, you and your team are freed up to concentrate on managing your enterprise and doing the job rather than being distracted by technology issues. The added bonus is that all those regular updates, back-ups and other technical requirements we love to hate are completed, not overlooked.
- Boosted productivity and profitability
Maintaining the availability, security, efficiency and effectiveness of your IT – with rapid resolution of any issues that arise – means your business operations can continue unhindered increasing staff productivity and profitability.
- Effectiveness and efficiency
IT experts reckon that as many as 90% of tech issues can be dealt with remotely, a figure that increases for software applications. So remote solutions are fast, effective and efficient which helps to make your operations more effective and efficient as a result.
- Access to greater experience and expertise
Instead of having an in-house IT individual or small team, outsourcing your IT support to an MSP gives you fast, easy access to a wide range of technology professional who offer you skills, knowledge and capabilities from different environments and platforms. This, of course, delivers the constant support you need and ensures there are no problems with holiday and sickness cover, for example.
- Hone your competitive edge
Your managed IT support provider will deploy, optimise, and enable you to benefit from the latest, fastest and most cost-effective technologies. So you’re better positioned to compete with your rivals, especially the bigger guys who take such leading-edge technology for granted.
- Safety, security and compliance
In our interconnected, always-on world, cybercrime is a clear and present 24/7 danger to your London-based small to medium-sized business. Don’t worry though, a managed IT support provider can help you to deploy the latest security measures (especially via Cloud solutions) and advise you and your team on the best cybersecurity and compliance technologies and practices.
Moreover, they’ll perform proactive around the clock data security checks to detect threats and prevent theft and intrusion.
- Flexible and adaptable
A managed IT service is almost infinitely flexible and scalable, so the support you opt for can evolve and change as your business does. Go for a standard package, choose a complete end-to-end solution or simply cherry-pick the support capabilities you need for particular projects and you’ll only ever pay for the services you use.
- Complete peace of mind
Perhaps the key benefit most of London’s small to medium-sized businesses gain from a managed IT support service is being able to work with complete confidence and peace of mind. Imagine knowing your IT infrastructure, network, data, e-mail system and website are constantly being monitored and maintained so your team can safely and securely access and utilise those resources from any device, from any location and at any time.
So what’s the key question you face?
Why put up with the disadvantages of employing an in-house IT support person or team (such as the expensive overheads, inflexibility and knowledge limitations), when you could easily utilise the cost-effective, flexible and scalable capabilities of a managed IT support partner?
The Covid-19 pandemic has proven beyond doubt that remote working via IT that’s remotely supported is the future for small to medium-sized businesses here in London and beyond.
Here at totality services we’re highly experienced and expert in providing such multi-faceted IT support solutions, delivering a capability that’s fine-tuned to your business’s operations, plans and values. We’re the kind of partner who will quickly feel like an extension of your team rather than simply a supplier, thus you’re able to focus on running your business, while we run your technology.
So why not have an informal, confidential and no obligation chat about your managed IT service provider requirements with the go to IT support team for London? You’ll soon discover why we’ve achieved two Feefo Gold Trusted Service Awards in a row, Five Star ratings from Trustpilot and Google and a 98% client retention rate.