Computers are an integral part of our daily lives but even more integral to our businesses. Companies have now reached the $4 trillion milestone in 2021 for global spending on IT services, more than 7 times that of marketing. So, what are IT services, and are they really that valuable? What is that they even do? Well, quite a lot actually. Let’s talk about what IT support companies do for businesses just like yours.
What Are IT Support Companies?
Informations technology is becoming an increasingly integral part of the business world, as we are advancing further and further into the digital age. While some companies have an IT support team on their payroll, that simply isn’t feasible for many businesses.
However, the services provided by IT professionals are simply too valuable to pass up, especially with increased cybersecurity threats and reliance on computer networks. Because of this, many businesses are turning to IT support companies for help with their tech needs.
Their team will typically be full of IT specialists who work collectively for a number of different companies seeking their services. They will spend their time monitoring and improving the IT practices within these companies and provide feedback to business owners.
The convenience to the business owner is that they will have an easy location to access all of their IT information without having to hire an internal team or do it all themselves.
There are plenty of other aspects of an IT team, and every company will be different. However, there’s plenty they have in common, so let’s talk about some of the services that an IT support company could offer you.
Services They Offer
Every IT company is bound to be different in the packages they offer, and it’s important to ask questions ahead of time to make sure you know what you’re getting. In terms of the industry standards, here’s what you should expect.
Having an IT strategy is important, just like with any other aspect of your business. You have a marketing strategy, don’t you? Well, the same logic applies to your network and technology.
An IT strategy includes cybersecurity strategy, network solutions, response to system failures, and more. Every aspect that we’ll be discussing that is offered by an IT company will be an important part of their strategy.
One of the most important parts of managing IT solutions within a company is uniformity of practices. The best way to ensure that practices are uniform across your employees and network is to have an IT team to ensure it.
The right team will be able to sit down with you and discuss your company’s current IT standings, what needs to be improved, what protocols need to be implemented, and more. From there, the team should be able to plan and implement a strategy designed specifically for your business.
2. Manage Office Phones
When people think of IT, they think of computers. However, phones are an important part of the information system, and most IT services will be able to easily install and manage office phones for your entire company.
More modern phones will especially allow you to increase your productivity and manage call volumes, so look into all your options and weigh them for your situation.
3. Safe File Sharing
IT companies will be able to provide your company with methods of sharing important documents, especially with sensitive information, with minimal risk of exposure. They may offer a number of file-sharing solutions that will work for your company.
This is especially helpful in fields like medicine where HIPAA compliance is so critical and where such a high volume of sensitive data needs to be exchanged. Sure, medical coding is helpful, but having the proper encryption and modes of sharing provides an extra layer of protection.
4. Employee Training And Support
IT companies can establish and communicate best practices for your business’s technology solutions. They’ll be able to provide you with policy advice for your staff as well as your guests when it comes to your network, passwords, and software.
They’ll also be able to communicate with you and your staff about any concerns involving cybersecurity, including keeping smartphones secured on the company network, establishing a guest WiFi network, and more.
They will also act as an easy point of contact for any employee who is facing an IT challenge at work. There will always be issues with work computers, so having a team that’s familiar with your systems able to help on a whim is highly valuable to your employees.
Having a team of employees that work uniformly with your data and follow the best practices recommended by your IT team will be extremely beneficial over time.
5. Virtual Desktop
Many IT support companies will offer you access to your computer without ever touching your computer. That’s right. With newer technology, you’ll be able to safely gain remote access to your work computer when you are working at home, on a business trip, or traveling. If this is appealing to you, you can learn more about how it works.
With this technology, you’ll be able to move from your office to a different location (even your bed) and pick up right where you left off without having to upload anything. This helps keep things uniform and efficient when you are outside of the office, and it allows your staff to transition back into the workplace or for a hybrid work structure after the pandemic.
6. IT Cybersecurity Support
If you’ve been following the news even passively, you’ve undoubtedly seen some of the major stories of cybersecurity breaches causing devastation to major companies. The Colonial Pipeline was one of the most crucial examples of this in recent memory.
The truth is that without the proper IT experience, cybersecurity is often a forgotten role in a business, no matter how crucial it is. Here are just a few examples of the cybersecurity tools that the right IT team can bring to your company.
Disaster recovery and business continuity are things that every business needs to plan for in the event of a cybersecurity breach. No business in the world is secure enough to guarantee that an attack won’t occur, so having a detailed recovery plan is crucial to a business’s success.
Some disasters are able to cripple a business, whether it be a cybersecurity breach, system failure, or any other issue. Losing all of that data or exposing sensitive information to the wrong hands could cost you your business.
This is also true for protecting your customers. Think back to some of the largest data breaches. Many of them involved access to millions of people’s sensitive data, such as credit card and social security information. No business owner wants to face the public and make that announcement.
The truth is, it takes the average business over half a year, or 191 days to even notice that a breach occurred in the first place, let alone how much damage was caused. Taking the proper steps to find these breaches immediately and preventing them is well worth the investment.
Monitoring the health of your systems across your network plays a crucial role in maintaining high levels of security and fixing flaws within the system. This includes patching the system, monitoring the company uses of the systems and keeping a close eye out for suspicious activity.
Immediate knowledge of a breach could be the difference between sensitive information making its way into the wrong hands or not, potentially avoiding serious disasters from occurring.
Encryption is another important tool in securing your files and other sensitive data. Having proper encryption that is changed and brought up to date regularly is the best defense against hackers.
Most IT companies will require employees and anybody with access to the company network to provide two-factor authentication to log in. For example, this could mean entering in a password and answering a security question, or using a fingerprint scanner and punching in a code from your email.
This is the safest way to ensure that only the right people are gaining access to sensitive data. Any breaches or attempted breaches will trigger the alarms.
Dark Web Surveillance
Phishing scams are very common these days, and information can be leaked or sold on the dark web, which is not always checked by law enforcement or most businesses. The right IT team will be able to monitor and manage these phishing activities and even prevent them from happening in the first place.
Your network is an important part of your business. How are you supposed to get anything done without the internet? Well, installation, setup, and management of your network solutions is just one aspect of the services that an IT company can offer you.
It’s also important to make sure that your network is secure across the board. Viruses, spyware, or hackers can get into any device attached to the network, including employee or guest cell phones or devices that are connected. Proper network security protocols are a must considering your network holds everything.
Managing software patches, configuring hardware and servers, and fixing security features are all important aspects of infrastructure management, and having a team managing it regularly is invaluable.
One part of infrastructure management is the regular addition of the newest tech. Newer technology, including software, make day-to-day processes easier and more manageable, while also being less susceptible to malware and hackers.
Having a dedicated IT team means that your browsers and computers will be regularly kept up to date with the latest versions, that you’re using the newest anti-malware software, and that your employees are able to work at their most efficient level.
7. Data Backup
For most companies in the digital age, their business revolves around their data. If that data is lost, stolen, damaged, or held for ransom, then there is very little you can do if it isn’t backed up in a secure location.
The thing is, cybersecurity isn’t the only threat to your data. If your system fails or a hard drive is destroyed, you could lose all of it without the proper solutions, which is where an IT team comes into play.
Everything is online these days, and cloud technology is becoming more and more reliable. With the right cloud solutions holding all of your valuable data, your building could catch on fire, all of your computers could be destroyed, but you will still have access to all of your data.
The right IT team will direct your company to use the best of the best when it comes to cloud technology, ensuring that your data is kept in the safest possible location and is prepared, at all times, for the worst.
If the IT team you’re looking at does not incorporate any cloud-based solutions into their strategy, that’s a red flag. Cloud technology has evolved to become some of the most secure and reliable modes of data storage around, so make sure they’re using it.
Public cloud vendors are very promising, but there are also hybrid options available. You could even get hosted private cloud network services to manage your backup data on your own secure platform.
8. Video Surveillance
That’s right. IT companies don’t just help with your cybersecurity, they can actually help with your audio and video surveillance for your physical office space or business location. They could also provide access control to certain parts of your building and manage the equipment through the network.
You could also be given remote access to the video surveillance in the event that you are away from the office. The right IT services will keep your company protected from all types of theft.
Who Needs IT Services?
IT services are undoubtedly important for some companies, and those companies are spending more and more on IT services across the board, but do they all really need them?
The truth is that if you use computers or telephones for any purpose in your company, you need IT support. However, some companies desperately need IT services, even more so than others. There are some important signs that you need IT services to look for before making a decision.
What To Look For In An IT Company
It’s certainly clear that IT support companies can offer you a lot in terms of creating a uniform, reliable network for your business. However, they aren’t all the same. Because of this, it’s important to know what you’re looking for when seeking the services of an IT company. Here are a few things to look into.
How long have they been in business and what specialties do they have as a team? These are some of the first questions to be asking or looking for when doing your research.
If a team is full of diverse computer specialists and their company background is working with companies of similar size to your own, then you have nothing to worry about.
Also, be sure to look into their industry focus or specializations as a company. For example, if you’re looking for a dedicated cybersecurity team primarily, then look for their qualifications within that niche.
Price And Value
Remember that price is only one aspect. You need to examine the package the company is offering and assess whether or not it is providing enough value to justify the price.
IT work is certainly valuable work but it’s important to know what you’re getting. Will you need 24-hour support? Do you want all communication to be in-person? These are the kinds of questions you will need to answer before evaluating the price of services.
When you’re taking on an IT support team, remember that the whole team matters to your business. Are they hiring IT professionals or are they training people with basic computer knowledge?
This is one of the practices that makes a low price tag suspicious. Look into who they are hiring for their general team body because that changes the value dramatically. Specialists should be qualified with IT experience as well as a related educational background like a computer science degree.
References And Reviews
When you’re outsourcing any services to another company, an important part of vetting is researching their reviews. Read their reviews online and check with your local Chamber of Commerce and other directories to see what is said about their services.
You can also ask for references from the company and speak to other business leaders who have enlisted their services. This is the best way to gauge how trustworthy a company really is.
If you’re only reading the reviews they have on their website, then you’re only reading the reviews they want you to see. There’s an entire internet out there, so do a little research on the company before taking them on!
How Does Hiring An IT Company Work?
Well, it could work a number of different ways, and it depends on the nature and needs of your business. If you’re looking for generic IT services that can just monitor your systems and let you know if they see anything that goes wrong, then you can spend your money anywhere. All of that can be done remotely.
Are you looking for a hands-on, in-house team of IT experts? Then you want an IT team that comes into the office regularly. For that, you’ll need to hire a local IT company. Just make sure they offer the right services for you, now that you know what to look for.
A local team can help you set up new hardware, train your staff, and handle problems in person in a timely manner. There’s no substitute for that in a remote IT team.
The ability to directly access the hardware and network systems will avoid communication errors and maximize your company’s cybersecurity and overall IT strategies.
Look around to find the best IT support company that fits your needs and then reach out to them about their services. Before making any agreements, ask plenty of questions. Ask about their preferred software and see if it’s an upgrade from what you’re currently using.
Then, ask about the price. It is bound to be lower than taking on your own IT team but make sure that it’s within the means of your company. If everything checks out, then it’s time to enlist your new IT team.
There’s plenty more when it comes to choosing an IT service, so make sure you come prepared with the right questions ahead of time before signing any paperwork.
Generally speaking, enlisting the services of an IT support team will involve signing some type of contract, whether short-term or long-term. The contract will likely include the services they will provide you, their pricing, and the duration of the agreement.
Read through the contract and make sure it aligns with verbal discussions before signing it. Once it’s signed, you’ll be able to start receiving their services, sit back, and relax with the peace of mind that your IT systems are in good hands.
Get Secured Today!
Now that you know what IT support companies can do for you, it’s time to look into the best solutions for your company. Just be diligent in your research, ask questions, and stay up to date with our latest IT news! If you have any questions about our services, feel free to reach out and ask!