What is IT Support? IT support is only one piece of the puzzle for your IT to function successfully. A business needs IT to do more than “just keep the lights on.” Small and medium-sized businesses now rely on technology to stay relevant. But those who succeed know that how you use your technology is just as important as what technology you use. At Aldridge, there are multiple aspects to the way we approach delivering a complete IT solution to our clients. We use our Framework for Successful IT to structure how we deliver IT outsourcing that covers the IT strategy, design, implementation, support, and security services necessary for success. Your IT Support team is responsible for everything from answering day-to-day service requests from your employees, to managing your business’s infrastructure, and onboarding new employees.
For most businesses looking to get the highest value from their IT investment, it’s not cost-effective to maintain this level of IT support internally. IT outsourcing services have become a popular standard for growing companies looking for ways to drive business value without significant overhead costs. As we mentioned above, IT support is only one piece of the puzzle for building an IT solution that meets your business needs. The following sections cover a few of these pieces and what your provider should be doing at a minimum when delivering IT support services to your business.
It Takes More Than a Helpdesk to Maximize the ROI of IT
Industry leaders leverage technology for everything from driving daily operations to highlighting data insights that steer the direction of business decisions. For small business owners looking to optimize the long-term value of their IT investments, technical support is a key to maximizing ROI and IT security in a sustainable way. However, a capable IT support team alone is not strong enough to support your goals and protect your business from IT security risks.
For IT to be successful in your organization, we believe there are fundamental elements that must be included in your IT solution. IT Support is only one piece of the puzzle. To successfully run IT for your organization, IT support must run in tandem with IT strategy, design, implementation, and the overarching element of IT security. All pieces are critical to building an IT solution that meets your business needs not only today but also 36-48 months down the road. We refer to this structure as the Aldridge Framework for Successful IT.
The Consequences of Lacking IT Support
While each piece of our Framework for Successful IT helps build a foundation for success, they cannot stand alone without leaving holes for unexpected downtime, security breaches, data loss, and/or never-ending IT projects that end up costing more than they’re worth. Without the right level of IT consulting, the proper documentation and IT environment design, and strategic implementation of technology initiatives, your IT support team will not succeed.
As a result, their response capabilities will be limited to reactive, break-fix IT help desk support. In addition, your staff’s productivity will be hindered by recurring IT issues spurring from a poorly designed IT solution and a lack of strategy and planning.
A valuable IT outsourcing provider covers all the bases of our Framework for Successful IT and has a dedicated team of IT support specialists who are responsible for keeping your business and its employees productive. These professionals should work to proactively identify IT issues and implement resolutions that facilitate a positive and productive technology experience across your organization.
Enhance Productivity and Security with Employee Education and Security Awareness Training
If your employees are experiencing roadblocks and changes using your technology, they will grow weary of new technology, and become resistant to embracing changes and adopting new technology in the future. An IT outsourcing provider with a capable IT support solution will serve to educate and train your employees on the new technology put in place. Education initiatives around new product rollouts, security awareness training, testing, and everyday IT best practices are key to building a streamlined, positive technology experience for your employees.
Focus on Your Core Business, Not Your IT
Both vendor management and employee onboarding are two elements of IT support companies often overlook when evaluating the value of the provider they’re considering.
But, the downtime, lost productivity, and employee frustration that can result from the poor management of these efforts can cost your business time, money, and morale when a new employee doesn’t have what they need to do their job, or the wrong hardware is ordered from a technology vendor by mistake. These “little fires” add up and take time away from what matters most, your core business. IT Support should serve as a single point of contact for your technology vendors and should handle everything from attaining and setting up new devices, to alerting you of upcoming expirations and renewals before they are an issue for your business.
Know What You’re Spending on IT and When
Surprise IT costs can be frustrating and generally result from a poor IT strategy, design, and/or implementation. Your IT outsourcing provider should be leading the effort to outline and drive an IT roadmap and budget that aligns with your business needs and objectives.
Your Employees Can Get the IT Support They Need When They Need It
Your staff needs to be as productive as possible, and when their technology isn’t working, they are already frustrated. If they can’t get IT support when they need it, they’re losing even more time. Your organization should be able to get the support it needs when it needs it. In addition, your employees should be able to get IT support in a way that’s most convenient for them, whether it be scheduling time, emailing, or calling.
Minimize Recurring IT Issues and Reduce Their Impact
Your IT provider should resolve the core IT issues that cause your business pain and cost your employees their time and productivity. When your team’s time is wasted spending time on the same IT issue repeatedly, your business feels it. A proactive IT outsourcing provider has the resources and expertise to treat the core of your business problems, not just put a band-aid on the issue for a short-term fix.
Work with an IT Provider That Understands Your Business
Your IT outsourcing provider should keep thorough documentation around your business operations, as well as your business initiatives. Without this information, it can be easy to miss red flags and put your business and its goals at risk. A one-size-fits-all solution won’t meet your unique needs, which is why it’s your IT team’s job to make technology recommendations that are the best fit for your organization and provide the most long-term value.
For your IT services provider to deliver the IT support you need to your business, they must also maintain up-to-date documentation around your IT issues and infrastructure. Proper documentation gives your IT support team the insights and historical record they need to avoid to properly troubleshoot issues and identify the root cause of the problems impacting your business.
Let the IT Experts Handle Vendor Management
Being the go-between for IT vendors is not only frustrating, it takes time and resources away from what you do best. Your IT services provider’s job is to solve your problems, whether they can fix them directly or need to involve your vendors. When your IT team effectively handles vendor management, your employees do not have to worry about being a bottleneck in the process. Your employees should not be wasting their time and internal resources handling vendor communication and mishaps. Your IT provider should have the knowledge and resources in place to take this burden off your business and do so with minimal involvement from your staff.
Have Peace of Mind That Your Network and Systems Are Protected
IT security threats are not always easy to recognize and can be easy to overlook when the proper IT security defenses and monitoring are not in place. Adding to these risks is often those on your own team who lack efficient IT security awareness education and ongoing training they need to protect your business.
Your people can be your greatest IT security defense or your greatest risk. Without proactive education and training, your business will likely find itself facing risks to its reputation and long-term success. Your leadership team should have a clear understanding of what technologies and IT policies, procedures, and training are serving to protect your business from an IT security incident.
For your IT investments to drive success and deliver the most value to your business, your IT support provider needs to cover every piece of the Framework for Successful IT and do it well. At Aldridge, we offer complete IT Outsourcing and Managed Services to keep your business productive and secure.
Schedule time with an Aldridge representative to learn more about our approach to successful IT and how the right IT outsourcing solution can drive productivity and value across your business.