IT support for small businesses
From backup and disaster recovery to Cloud services, hardware, software and VoIP, find the ideal IT support for your small business with Cheeky Munkey.
The financial realities of owning a small business can make hiring an in-house IT team difficult and the possibility depends on the size of your company and the level and amount of IT support required.
A full time in-house IT support professional in London has an average salary of £32,500 per year and you may need several IT professionals or a whole department to cover the tasks required for running a business. Experienced professionals would require a higher than average starting salary. These are large financial outlays for a small business to accommodate.
Another option is to transfer the IT support duties to another member of staff as an add-on to their professional role, but this is far from ideal – they may not have the IT expertise and they will certainly not have the time to do either job as well as they could.
Even if you have technologically fluent employees, it is doubtful they have the IT experience necessary.
An efficient option is to delegate your small business IT support to an outside provider.
Choosing your level of small business IT support
The level of IT support that you choose to outsource to an external IT support company depends on the type and size of your business and your budget. IT support can range from support on an on-call basis from time to time, or full 24/7 support.
You can employ an IT consultant to set up your entire IT infrastructure, or to review your existing set-up. An IT audit looks at your current IT infrastructure, reviews the security and predicts future requirement changes for your business. They use specialist tools to collate information and provide you with a comprehensive report of the current state.
Recommendations are then made and presented in priority order using different timescales which enable you to plan, future-proof your company and adjust to your budget accordingly.
You may want to simply outsource your backup and disaster recovery. There are so many viruses placing business infrastructure at risk that it is crucial to utilise professional IT support to protect your business and to act immediately.
Ideally, find an IT support company where you can dictate the level of your requirements. This offers the most helpful and adaptable service, which is the most economical for a small business.
Small business IT support tips
Deciding on what level of IT support that you need is important, as you can find the best solution for your budget.
Your outsourced IT support options can include:
- General day-to-day running
- Email set up and support
- Security and backup
- Database support
- Print management
- IT infrastructure audits
- Datacentre hosting
- Broadband management
- Video conferencing
- Virtual desktop provision and management
- Telecoms service and support
- Business VoIP
- Network cabling solutions
- Business internet connection
- Computer hardware solutions
- Accounting software implementation
However as your business grows, the level of support that you need will change. Make sure that your chosen IT support solution will be able to handle any future growth and the accompanying demands.
Remote IT support
One way for small businesses to gain economical IT support is to pay for remote support. This gives an IT support professional the access to log into your system to fix any issues without having to come into your office.
Your IT support team can then be located anywhere in the world, which may mean you benefit from a more affordable service. The downside is the lack of a more personal service, potential security issues and the inconvenience of different time zones. For larger projects, it helps to meet face to face, then the IT support professional can get a better idea of exactly what you need.
Local IT support
Most small businesses prefer local IT support who they know and trust. They find that the benefits of working with local IT support outweigh that of a virtual provider, including:
- Disaster recovery – a local IT support team can come to your office and review the situation with an expert eye
- IT training – including answering staff questions in person, on-site training for your staff and personal input in meetings
- On-site support
- Personal attention – most remote IT support companies offer a one-size-fits all approach, but no business is the same
The greatest value of local IT support is the personal, face-to-face service they provide. They will be able to integrate into your business as much or as little as you wish and they will become part of your team.