Reading articles like What Essentials Should Your IT Support Company Be Covering can greatly benefit your business by giving you an idea about what kind of IT services and solutions are available for SMEs like yours.
However, the more important question is: what exactly does your business need from an IT support provider?
Support Service Provider (SSP) Value for SMEs
SMEs operating within the same industry - providing the same products and services - can have completely different operational requirements. It’s true! Every business owner creates a workflow that best suits your style of business and working.
For business owners and managers who aren’t IT experts, it can be a little challenging to understand what exactly an IT support provider is offering, and how that ties neatly into your business needs. Rather than simply choosing the offer that sounds the most attractive, it’s probably best to have an IT audit done by an expert who can advise you on the specific services you’ll need. Business owners and managers alike should focus on looking at the main features of the support provider as a company overall.
How efficient yourIT firm is as a business is just as important as how proficient they are in providingyoursupport services.
Support Service Industry
The IT support industry is teeming with thousands of competitors from all over the globe. According to Mordor Intelligence in 2017, the IT support industry was valued at over $150 billion - and by 2023, this figure is expected to double.
This means that not only is the IT support industry growing exponentially, but the amount of small businesses entering the market is also rapidly increasing. The third decade of the 21st century will see a radical influx of digital businesses; the pandemic of 2020 has made having a digital presence a must for existing businesses and new entrants alike. Surviving in our modern economy is close to impossible without a great digital presence, and this requires an equally great IT setup.
Most Valuable IT Support Services
One of the biggest issues that business owners face today is digital security and the safety of your most prized digital asset, data.
As Clive Humby said in 2006,“Data is the new oil,” and it requires business owners to understand they need to safeguard this resource with just as much attention. Data theft could mean financial loss, but more importantly, if your SME loses its trustworthiness, that could be the end of your business entirely.
Here’s 4 key IT support features which may prove to be extremely valuable for your SME:
An experienced and knowledgeable IT support firm can give your business a helpful start by carefully evaluating what your long-term goals are and what your functional requirements are. With these in mind, your consultant will advise you on what technology will be most suitable for your business to efficiently achieve your targets.
Rather than learning by trial and error - and wasting valuable time and money in the process - a consultant will help you create a system that’s effective and scalable.
Moreover, businesses also need to ensure compliance with digital regulations, which can be national or international. An expert consultant can assist in creating an IT system that’s aligned with these regulations, and make sure your business carries out its functions in aregulated manner.
Managed IT Services
Rather than outsourcing your entire IT department to someone who’s only partially competent at fixing all the different aspects of your digital infrastructure, your business can receive a professional to handle each area of your business through a managed IT service.
Your managed IT service provider has a team of different professionals who specialize in different business processes; each aspect of the IT work neededto keep your business running smoothly is delegated to the appropriate professional to handle. This way you can get very high-quality work done at a much more affordable price.
Digital payment systems, cloud computing solutions, digital marketing, and cybersecurity can all technically be managed by yourself. In fact, many sole proprietorships choose to do these tasks in-house at first. However, when businesses scale up and operations expand, these tasks can get quite complex and require specialists to move you along.
At this point, rather than bottlenecking operations, you’re much better off delegating these tasks to an expert third-party IT support firm that can not only run your setupbetter than you, but also keep you growing. Seasoned IT support providers who specialize in these services have significantly more experience through working with different vendors and services, and they know the best possible route to achieve a particular goal.
Most SME owners aren’t tech experts and don't know what sort of IT solutions are out there, but an experienced IT expert can show you more efficient ways of doing what you need to get done, which will save you both money and time.
This is a major issue for SMEs today, with a significant portion of cyber-attacks targeted towards small businesses like yours.
A good IT support provider will begin with first assessing the risk level in your business's infrastructure, looking for any loopholes, gaps, and weaknesses in your system.
If possible, business owners who hire an IT support provider from the start can have their system built from the ground up, keeping all necessary security measures in place. The other major component tohaving a secure system is having a well-trained staff who know how to properly use your system safely. Your support provider will play a pivotal role in training and educating your team about cybersecurity best practices and proper use techniques.
Performance Optimization and Growth Vs. Cost Savings
By employing a quality support provider,you don’t need to hop between different vendors to keep your SME running, which can be quite a hassle. Your operations will become more streamlined and efficient, and future developments are done better. By delegating IT responsibilities to a third-party, it also decreases your overall workload and gives your staff more time to focus on your expertise.
Overall growth and up-scaling become much easier with a more efficient system to build on, which leads to far less turbulence on the way up. Through your support provider, your SME receives access to services that can prove helpful down the line, even if they aren’t used initially. For businesses owners who want to stay on top of your digital game and develop smoothly in our current economy, having a solid IT support team is a must. By keeping things in-house,SMEs can cause a lot of issues in the short run, and ultimately pay the cost in long-term growth.