IT support, getting the basics right

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Reliable IT support has become an essential part of modern business over recent years. With the ever growing reliance on modern technology in everyday business can your business cope when things go wrong?

Not only is IT a integral part of day to day business but the right IT systems can also streamline your companies activities making them more efficient and therefore profitable. On the flip-side, getting your IT systems and support wrong can be a costly mistake. Here we will discuss various steps your company can take to ensure you get it right.

Getting the basics right

Some of the common issues effecting businesses include:

Slow, unresponsive computers
Security and virus problems
Out-dated software and patching
Getting the basics right will have a dramatic effect both in terms of efficiency and staff morale. Tackling these basic It support issues can often be done in-house if you have the resources. If not, many IT support companies can offer one off solutions to fix these basic problems and then an ongoing support contract to stay on top of the issues to prevent them occurring again in the future. There are several steps you as a business owner or decision maker can take to help with these common issues including:

Investing in modern equipment (often the financial gain in terms of increased efficiency are overlooked when considering upgrading aging equipment)
Taking advantage of discounted deals for software upgrades offered by many software vendors
Spending money on professional IT training to help you staff get the most from the tools you give them
IT support companies

Often the best solution for computer related problems in the workplace is employing a professional IT support company. For many, the costs involved in securing the services of a reputable IT support company seem steep but when they actually sit down and calculate the losses sustained in terms of reputation, lost sales and low productivity the costs involved in contracting a dedicated IT support company begin to look more attractive.

What to look for when choosing an IT support company

The main factors you need to look at when selecting a support company include:

Response times – How quickly can the engineer of help desk respond to your problems and if these targets are not met, what rights do you have as a customer for compensation or termination of the support contract.

What is covered – Make sure you establish exactly what is covered under the service level agreement and what the costs are for any additional work outside the support contract.

Additional hardware and software – What are the costs involved if you expand you business, add new hardware, upgrade software or replace dated equipment. Many companies don’t check the additional costs for extra hardware outside of what is covered under the original contract and find themselves paying through the nose for a few extra PC’s

Consultancy and advice – Does your chosen IT support company charge for advice or consultancy services or do they include these costs in your contact. If they do include IT consultancy, are they affiliated to any specific supplier of vendor? If so, you may find you do not get impartial advice.

Insurance – If your IT support company provides on-site support, are they covered while they are in your place of work? Another important aspect to consider is loss of data or disaster recovery. If an IT support engineer makes a mistake or some of their equipment fails who is responsible for the potential loss of earnings and reputation damages and how will they attempt to resolve the issue.

IT support, getting the basics right

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