Technology has always evolved quickly. That is inherent in its DNA. It builds upon itself and creates innovative ways to accomplish tasks faster, more easily, and at lower costs. This has opened up a new world of possibilities for small businesses. An amazing new idea, product, or service can be brought to market with far less resources, less staff, and in less time than ever before. Small businesses can compete and prosper in arenas where only big enterprise existed only a generation ago.
These new opportunities are enabled by technology, but the flip-side is small businesses are hugely reliant on their technology. These businesses must choose the best technology, keep it secure, and ensure it’s working optimally all the time. When the technology doesn’t work, the ability to access mission-critical information and communicate with customers grinds to a halt. The business grinds to a halt. These issues are hugely disruptive as they cost revenue, cause losses, hurt the business’s reputation, disrupt momentum, and create staff frustrations.
It is imperative for every small business to have excellent outsourced IT support. Great support configures the technology correctly, pro-actively monitors it and improves elements before they become issues, and responds quickly and efficiently when there are issues. A great IT support company will have fair and transparent pricing, excel at implementing and supporting the technology, and will be a pleasure to deal with. It is a critical vendor which will enable your business to reach its maximum potential.
What should your small business be looking for in an IT Support provider?
- Great reputation
- Longevity and stability in business
- Availability and fast response
- Expert-level and professional team
- Depth of services
As technology’s importance has become paramount, it has also become important for small business IT support to be comprehensive. IT support is no longer only “putting out fires” or responding to problems. The days of small business utilizing an in-house person, such as an office manager or part-time consultant, to accomplish IT support are over! Small businesses require enterprise-class IT support to compete and run efficiently.
An ongoing IT support plan should include the following:
- Helpdesk is a combination of software, ticket management and assignment, and availability of IT experts
- Tickets are controlled by systems like Datto Autotask, ServiceNow, and Zendesk which allow end-users to submit issues and track responses and metrics
- Increasingly these system can resolve issues on their own using scripts and AI, without human IT
- Security Operations Center (SOC)
- SOC is a combination of security software tools, monitoring and response protocols, and availability of security experts
- Implementation of end-point, premise, cloud, network, and work-from-anywhere security
- SOC team for response and remediation of security issues
- Reporting on the nature of the issue, response, and methods to prevent it in the future (security hardening)
- User onboarding and offboarding platform
- This platform should standardize how new staff are onboarded onto technology systems, and how staff are removed
- This includes identity and access management (central logins such as single-sign-on – SSO), deployment of cloud services and applications
- Controls deployment of new hardware such as desktops, laptops, and mobile devices
- These processes should be integrate with the small business HR processes in order to provide maximum accuracy and time-to-respond
- Common helpdesk resolutions are documented into a knowledge-base (KB), so they can be accomplished quicker the next time
- Administrative access password management and security
- License storage
- Schematics, network architecture, cloud architecture, information architecture
- Target response metrics – Service Level Agreement (SLA)
- Mean-time-to-Acknowledgement (MTTA) – how quickly is the submitted issue acknowledged (by the helpdesk manager) to the requester
- Mean-time-to-Engineering (MTTE) – how quickly is the submitted issue assigned to an available and appropriately skilled engineer
- Mean-time-to-Resolution (MTTR) – how quickly is the issue resolved
- Monitoring scope and integration with helpdesk and SOC
- On-site response and remote response protocols and response times
- Security event responses
Small business IT support is more important than ever! Your company will prosper with the correct IT support vendor and solution.
DAG Tech’s A+ Animal is a comprehensive and enterprise-class small business IT support product.