Your business’s tech assets are incredibly important. Technology is an integral part of all business operations these days – for even the most menial tasks. So, it is no wonder that enterprise spending on IT support has increased significantly over the past decade. It is even predicted to peak at just under $1.2 trillion in 2022.
However, many smaller businesses are still holding back from getting the IT support they need. Since they cannot fund a full-time internal IT team or only need help from time to time, SMBs often rely on a few tech-savvy employees to get the job done.
But IT support is crucial for businesses of any size to succeed for countless reasons. What business owners often fail to realize is that IT support companies provide far more services than just trouble-shooting internet connection issues.
Here’s everything you need to know about what outsourced IT support in Berkeley can do for your local business.
Why is Outsourced IT Support Important for SMBs?
First, let’s clarify what an IT support company is.
IT support services are often called Managed Service Providers (MSPs). Companies can outsource whatever IT services your business needs through them.
IT support companies are there to help with all internal technology-related systems your business uses. This usually includes (but is not limited to):
So, why is this important for small businesses?
Reduce Technical Downtime
Technical issues can slow your business down big time. If your computers aren’t connecting to the internet or your servers are malfunctioning, your business will be losing money. Not only are you missing out on sales and revenue potential, but there is also the lost productivity and repair costs.
It is estimated that IT downtime costs businesses $1.55 million every single year – and about 545 hours of employee productivity is lost as well. For a small business, this number is quite staggering.
Having an IT support team available to step in and fix an issue quickly is a huge advantage. Further, they can help to prevent future problems by monitoring your network and keeping systems updated to avoid common problems.
Small businesses are at an unfortunately high risk of cyberattacks. Hackers often target smaller companies specifically because they tend to have less protection on their digital assets. A data breach or hack can be devastating for an SMB. Around 60% of small companies shut down permanently within six months of a cyberattack.
IT support teams help increase your company’s digital security through several approaches. First, they will install firewalls and antivirus software. They will also offer employee training to help them learn the signs of common cyberattacks, such as phishing scams.
Finally, MSPs are responsible for monitoring your entire network to prevent cyberattacks. Hackers will use all kinds of approaches to infiltrate internal databases. Your business needs IT experts on its side to stop them.
Improve Internal Operations
Communication and productivity tend to go hand-in-hand in a business. When employees struggle to share crucial data or contact each other, it makes everything far more difficult. IT support teams can help by providing better, faster systems for digital communication.
One way they do this is through software and hardware upgrades. Outdated tools and technology can hamper productivity immensely. IT teams can help you find better solutions, such as more efficient resources for internal and external processes.
Some IT support companies even offer communication and connectivity solutions to integrate the latest technology. This involves designing a customized plan to increase network speeds and create more effective communication systems.
Hiring internal IT support is not often an option for many small businesses. First, this requires adding another full-time employee to the roster, which some companies cannot afford. Second, not all companies really need to have an IT team at the office at all times.
Outsourcing IT support through an MSP is far more affordable for SMBs. Many IT support companies offer scalable service-level agreements. This allows you to choose the level of service your company needs to be based on your size, goals, and budget. You still have access to 24/7 support and you can add on more services as needed.
Disaster Recovery and Backup
Finally, having an IT support team can give you peace of mind that all of your company’s data is protected. Say that your office is flooded or ruined in a fire. If all of your information is kept on internal servers, it could be lost forever. MSPs offer disaster recovery and data backup to ensure that all your data is securely stored in off-site locations.
What Does IT Support Include?
Managed IT support is designed to cover the full range of services companies need to operate and grow. These can be customized based on your business’s specific needs, but MSPs typically include the following services with IT support:
IT issues don’t always occur during typical business hours. Thankfully, MSPs are available around the clock to step in and address any troubles quickly. Your employees can contact the support desk for help over the phone or through virtual communication tools to resolve any end-user issues.
Smaller businesses are not necessarily known for using the latest technology. Upgrading to cutting-edge tech can be quite intimidating – but IT support teams can help. MSPs will offer scalable services to find new, better solutions that align with your company’s goals and objectives.
As mentioned before, SMBs are quite vulnerable to cyberattacks which can destroy their company. IT support teams offer 24/7 monitoring and will implement security solutions to reduce these risks.
Professional IT Support
With an MSP, your company has access to true IT experts at all times. This gives you an incredible advantage. IT professionals will help you implement new programs and integrate IT infrastructure to help your business thrive.
Do I Need IT Consulting Services?
Berkeley is home to some of the fastest-growing technology companies in the country. Some even are predicting that this city will be the next Silicon Valley, thanks to the numerous tech startups launching in the area.
So, to keep up with competitors in your area, you must use the latest information technology. IT consulting services from MSPs can help your company find specific solutions to take your business to the next level.
IT consultants will work with your company to pinpoint current weaknesses and optimize solutions. These often include:
Should I Find IT Support in Berkeley?
There are many remote IT support providers around the country – but is it best to go local? The answer here is yes. While MSPs do offer support virtually and can handle most IT services remotely, it is best to work with IT Support in the Berkeley area for several reasons.
First, you may need in-house assistance for some services. For example, say that you decide to upgrade to new computers and programs. The IT support team will coordinate with local technology partners to deliver and set up these services for you. So, you’ll want to work with a company in the area to connect you with trustworthy, reliable experts.
Cybersecurity and IT issues can be location-based, too. Say that your area is hit with a bad storm that knocks out network connections in the entire city. You’ll want to know that your IT support in Berkeley is aware of the situation and is doing all they can to resolve your issue.
Another possibility is a localized cyberattack. A recent report published by UC Berkeley explained that smart cities that utilize more technology are at a high risk of location-based cyberattacks. This research was published around the same time that the university was the victim of a targeted attack where thousands of employee’s data got leaked.
Working with a local IT support company is advantageous as their team is more aware of location-based attacks that could threaten your business. They also understand your needs far better than an IT group located in another city, state, or country ever could.
What Should I Do Next?
IT support services are important for every business, no matter the industry or its size. The type of services you receive can also be customized based on what your company requires so you have the support you need to grow your business.
Be sure you are hiring an MSP that will give you the exact support and services you need – not more, not less. When searching for an IT support partner, be sure to ask:
Goal of post: This post will build credibility, answers all of the big questions on the topic, then ends with a call to action. It is aimed at business owners in the Berkeley area to educate them and list the benefits of IT support.
It's no exaggeration to say small businesses drive the U.S. economy. Around one-half of all domestic economic activity derives from small businesses.
Small businesses often have to pick and choose which supportive departments (marketing, IT, HR) they can afford. In today's tech-based economy, you should consider IT support as an essential part of your business plan, and here's why.
What Can IT Support Do for Me?
IT services are integral to today's business environment because commerce and services rely on computer technology. An IT consultant or IT professional has training and experience solving computer system problems. IT services can solve problems with networking, software glitches, and even electronic hardware.
Here are some common problems that can be solved by IT services.
IT professionals can help your company salvage lost information. Data can often be extracted from crashed hard drives, for example.
The loss of internet access can be restored with the help of IT support. IT staff are there to help with Wi-Fi issues and other network-related problems.
Disruptions of company software can mean lost revenue. IT support staff fix software issues for customers and business staff.
Management of Cloud Services
Cloud services now store the majority of data for many companies. The loss of access to the cloud requires prompt IT support.
In past decades, IT services basically involved fixing hardware issues like crashed hard drives. Today, those teams handle computer systems, cloud platforms, electronic hardware, device networking, and software applications.
Top Reasons You Should Not Go Without IT Support
Entrepreneurs and small business owners are tasked with doing a lot with minimal staff. The nature of small business ownership requires maintaining a small overhead in order to maximize profits.
It may be tempting to simply publish a website and wait for sales to come in, but companies that forgo IT support risk frustrating customers. Here are the top reasons why small businesses should have IT support.
Outsourcing IT Services Boosts Productivity
An overstretched small business team will inevitably falter on customer service. Only a trained professional can handle technology problems that you may face. Hiring professional IT services or outsourcing those services frees your other team members to focus on servicing customers.
IT Services Work in Tandem With Your Company's Strategic Goals
Business leaders often forget that IT services can help a company reach its long-term goals. Many business-related problems can be solved when they are IT managed. If your business is not recording customer data in an efficient manner, you may be losing an important base for future revenue. Even when this data is saved, it may not be stored for easy access. These are all IT-related problems that an IT company can address. IT professionals can work remotely or in-house. The tech-savvy professionals should be included in discussions on strategic planning. IT specialists have insights that non-IT team members may not have.
Protection From Ransomware and Other Online Threats
The recent ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline Company is only the most recent reminder that cyberattacks are costly. The owners of that company had to pony up $4.4 million to the hackers. Cyberattacks are on the rise, especially in the U.S., where companies continue to fail to safeguard their digital assets. IT consultants protect your company from damaging ransomware attacks. The DHS recently announced that 50% to 70% of ransomware attacks in the United States target small to medium-sized companies. The federal government is taking steps to combat cybercrimes, DHS said.
IT Services Can Be Affordably Outsourced
Small businesses may not have the funds to hire full-time IT personnel. Like other business sector services, IT support can easily be outsourced. Contracting with remote IT services allows businesses to benefit from immediate IT services without the need for adding full-time staff. With remote services, you will not have to wait for IT staff to physically reach your office. Desktop sharing software can allow remote IT support to fix technical problems in real-time.
One decade ago, cloud-based services were far less common. Now, business owners are expected to have some type of cloud-based network service. Advances in data storage, network security, and artificial intelligence need updates. These updates include both software and hardware. If your company does not have access to IT consultants, you may be missing access to professionals who can keep your digital infrastructure up to date.
IT Services Handle More Than You Might ThinkWhile some may cling to the perception that IT professionals are there to swoop in to find lost passwords or fix crashed computers, the truth is quite different. The profession has grown to include email marketing, social media content management, and a wide range of tech-related services. If you are in the market for an IT company, ask if that company provides email marketing services like weekly newsletters. Many IT companies go several steps further by analyzing marketing campaigns. They then provide advice on how to better reach new clients. IT support can become one of the most cost-effective resources your company invests in.
Think IT Services Are Dispensable?
IT support should be an integral part of any business plan. The availability of remote IT support and IT consulting has made that option more affordable and effective than ever.
Our team of 15 full-time employees is here to help you reach your business and IT goals. We currently support 1,000 endpoints with locations throughout the nation. Our responsive team can provide solutions to all your information needs.
To learn more, contact our Bay Area office to schedule a meeting so we can assess your technology needs. We will then provide you with a proposal that explains all the benefits our team can bring to your business.
Precision IT Consulting Help Desk is a team of experienced and certified professionals that provides daily strategic support for businesses.