As ICT (Information & Communications Technology) networks are now much more business focused, the challenge of minimizing system downtime has become exceptionally important for businesses in order to remain operational. ICT tools and techniques have been incorporated into every aspect of business operation to such an extent that any obstruction can harm business efficiency and productivity dramatically. Today every business needs to adopt IT support services of some kind to keep its IT networks running smoothly.
The main objective of successful Business IT Support is to ensure that potential disruptions to the business originating from anywhere within the IT infrastructure are minimised, and appropriate support services are available to provide a quick, reliable and effective resolution that is fully compatible with the business needs.
Whether the support is provided internally by an individual/team, or externally by an outsourced specialist supplier, the benefits of having a strong Business IT Support function will have a positive impact on all areas of the business and will be evidenced by:
– A stable working environment with minimal level of business disruption
– Improved user experience resulting in improved productivity
– Confidence in making commitments eg, order delivery, project deadlines
– More professional reputation with prospects, clients and suppliers
– Competitive advantage over companies with less robust systems
– Awareness of new technologies, and ability to adopt them easily
– Stability to consider plans for future expansion or diversification
IT support companies have emerged in great numbers over recent years to meet the growing needs of a technologically advancing world that is constantly evolving and expanding. As small businesses tend to have a tighter budget to work with than a larger corporation, you need to ensure that you employ an IT service provider that fits your financial needs as well as your current and future IT needs.
Before coming to any decision, it will be necessary to take an inventory of what infrastructure the business relies on at present, identify the applications and processes that users depend on, establish potential areas of risk, and then define what the business really needs in terms of support. Some pointers for consideration are:
– Ascertain the level of experience of the IT support function. Having your network maintained by amateurs could increase the risk of loss of important business data.
– Ensure they guarantee a quick and immediate response time. Every minute may be crucial when you have a thriving business to look after, and only timely resolution of issues impacting on downtime can assure continued business growth.
– Confirm the scope of how the service is priced. Ensure all charges are transparent and there are no unplanned costs that can be added during the contracted period.
– Ensure the IT support service you choose has solid backup for your business-critical functions, (eg, internet and email) and there is a clear plan for recovery in the event of failure.
– Verify that the service you have selected is flexible and has the ability to resolve all kinds of network and computer issues, not just one. You may have to call for another service if you face another kind of issue, which can lead to conflict of interest.
– Ensure they provide clear and unambiguous explanations of the reasons and resolutions of system faults.
– Determine how proactive they will be in keeping you up-to-date with latest technologies that will improve your business
– Make sure you can establish a good working relationship with staff at all levels
At ibd we have advisers with expertise in all aspect of Business IT Support. The strength of enlisting a business adviser is having an impartial view of your organisations’ strengths and weaknesses and the ability to call on their business experiences to provide focused and objective advice. For instance:
An experienced adviser will identify the critical functions in the business and ensure that planned support solutions are practical and proportional to the risks.
Guidance on the most effective IT infrastructure to support the business needs of the company, and recognising the pertinent skills needed to support the organisation.
Advice on identifying the most appropriate and effective software solutions to streamline business processes and selecting appropriate support.
Advice on identifying and balancing the cost of the support service with the risks to the business and selecting the best value proposition.
Business Advisers are always good sounding boards for a business owner to test ideas and aspirations and also a great source of highly experienced contacts in all aspects of business operation.
We want to make it straightforward and simple to engage with ibd advisers:
- The first step is to create a brief for a prospective adviser, whether it is a one-off project or a longer-term relationship that is required.
- Via ibd head office, make contact with an individual or number of prospective advisers with whom you’d like to open discussions.