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Considering An IT Support Company

Jan 17, 2008
Small to medium enterprises can spend a lot of time and money researching what hardware and software is best suited to their office environment. One popular method is to control all IT capabilities in-house, which involves an aggressive spend and on-board expertise in order to do so. Another solution is to employ an IT support company, which often involves reduced operating costs and less ultimate control over their IT infrastructure. Thus, if considering outsourcing your IT support, there are a number of issues to consider.

Multi-skilled support professionals can be expensive and difficult to retain. The added costs of salaries, pensions, management and training overheads can amount to over 30,000 pounds per employee.

Most IT support companies offer tiered levels of support, with a fixed monthly cost and "bolt on" extras such as Web hosting and staff training. Instead of having to employ a new support professional, a business can instead increase their level of support for a much lower cost.

Numerous technicians can fix multiple issues without delay. Instead of having a small team of individuals, IT support companies offer strength in numbers with regard to getting issues resolved as quickly as possible. Reliability is a factor here, so it's important to do research about your potential support company, ask for testimonials and prepare questions to problems that you currently face. If they can't give you clear answers and suggest possible solutions, then look elsewhere.

Small businesses in particular tend to have one or two 'IT support guys' who are responsible for maintaining the company network. The disadvantage with small in-house teams is that an extended period of absence would likely cause major problems for the company. Outsourcing IT support guarantees consistent levels of support, meaning that companies can focus on their business activities rather than their network infrastructure.

The breadth of software and hardware experience of an IT support company generally exceeds that of a small in-house team. For basic server maintenance, e-mail setup and network troubleshooting, in-house teams can often cope perfectly well. As a business expands and becomes acquainted with new technologies, the need for a larger team becomes a necessity. Rather than going through the process of employing an maintaining a team in-house, outsourcing IT support tends to provide a quicker, more adaptable means to achieving this goal.

Additional services such as PC installation and configuration, Web hosting and training are offered by many IT support businesses. At short notice, engineers can be called to cope with peak workloads or provide extra assistance on specific projects. They may also be able to provide sickness cover and lend a technical hand to escalating requirements in a staff shortage environment.

Aside from obvious issues of trust and reliability, a partnership with an IT support company can be an effective means to manage your rapidly expanding IT requirements with relatively low overheads and a dedicated, 24/7 level of support. This can be more difficult to achieve with small in-house teams, which are often used in tandem with sub-contracted IT support companies in medium to large businesses.
About the Author
Daniel Johansson works of behalf of Hexel Developments Ltd., an IT support company based in Warrington, Cheshire. Offering a full IT support service to businesses in the UK, Hexel will be on site within 2 hours if a Gold Level contract is taken out. Use our online support quote form for an instant fixed-fee quote today.
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