If your small business is running into technology issues, you might consider hiring an IT support company. But what are the benefits of hiring a third-party IT support team?
The Benefits of IT Support
Your IT support company will offer a distinct selection of services, but in most cases, you can count on these benefits, at minimum:
- Expertise and consulting. For starters, your IT support company will be able to provide you with expertise and consulting. Assuming they have sufficient experience and familiarity with your industry, they’ll be able to provide you with recommendations on what types of technology to use, how to install it, and even how to train your employees. There’s no real substitute for the advice of a seasoned professional.
- 24/7 troubleshooting and responsiveness. Many IT support companies will offer 24/7 troubleshooting and responsiveness; whenever you experience a technology-related issue, you can contact them to solve it. That could mean addressing downtime and restoring your systems to normal functionality, or it could mean responding to an active cybersecurity threat. In any case, this responsiveness will mean that your technology systems will have far more consistent uptime—and you’ll be much better protected against threats.
- Financial savings. Though some business owners are reluctant to hire an IT support company because of the costs involved, IT support can actually save you money—and in multiple different ways. First, IT support companies tend to be less expensive than hiring an in-house team, so you can immediately save tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. Second, having an IT support team in place will reduce the possibility of facing a cybersecurity threat; the average cost of a data breach in the United States is $3.86 million, so don’t underestimate the value here. Third, hiring an IT support company means you can spend more time on the work that matters most to your organization.
- Better focus on core operations. Speaking of which, having an IT support company means you don’t have to dedicate any internal resources to IT work. You and your employees will be able to devote all your hours to core operations, ultimately making your business more efficient.
- Expanded potential. In many cases, an IT support company can expand your business’s capabilities. You may be able to collect and utilize more data, reach more customers, or otherwise accomplish goals that would be impossible without the right level of technology support.
- Better security. Most IT support companies place significant emphasis on the importance of cybersecurity, and for good reason. With the right company, you can greatly improve your business’s security. That means investing in better infrastructure, resting easing knowing that experts are actively monitoring for potential threats, and even training your employees on best practices so they don’t inadvertently allow a breach.
- Scalability. It’s also beneficial to hire an IT support company because they give you the potential to scale. You can grow your business and add new capabilities without necessarily hiring new people to handle those responsibilities. You can continue growing your business unabated.
Choosing the Right Company
Much of your success will depend on your ability to choose the right IT support company. You’ll need to consider:
- Services offered. What types of services are offered by this company, and do they fully meet your needs?
- Experience and expertise. How long have they been in the business? Have they worked with companies like yours?
- Communication. Is it easy to reach this company, and talk to the people in charge?
- Reviews. What kinds of experiences have other people had with this company?
Alternatives to Hiring IT Support
If you’re not sold on the idea of hiring an IT support company, there are a few possible alternatives. For starters, you could try to hire IT experts of your own, building a team of people internally. There are some advantages to this approach, since you’ll have more oversight and control over operations. However, you may be limited in terms of how much support you can get; as a small- to mid-sized business, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to build a team that can provide true 24/7 protection.
Additionally, full-time hires tend to be expensive. Nationally, the average IT manager makes $85,253 per year, and you’ll almost certainly need to hire multiple people to flesh out your team.
You could also attempt to get by with no IT support whatsoever. This may be possible for some very small businesses, with minimal technology needs. However, in the modern era, most businesses need to have some kind of technology expert in place.
IT support companies aren’t perfect, and they aren’t strictly required by every business. However, the right IT company can greatly improve your efficiency, security, and overall operations.