What is IT Support? Everything Hartford Businesses Need to Know
Thanks to the rapid advancements in modern tech, small businesses can do more with less. Technology helps SMB owners automate repeatable, time-consuming tasks, which, in turn, allows them to focus on improving client experiences and diversifying their offerings.
However, a great IT technology infrastructure requires efficient management. Without a team of engineers servicing your network at all times, you’ll spend most of your worktime battling technical fires. For companies striving to carve a niche in Hartford’s robust SMB ecosystem, this can be a significant dealbreaker.
But recruiting a full team of IT experts on a small-business budget may not be the best move. You’ll likely have to spend around $53,747 per specialist every year (per industry standards), an amount most SMBs cannot justify.
Fortunately, there is a cost-effective alternative to in-house tech support: outsourced IT providers.
An external IT support provider can manage and maintain your IT infrastructure without costing you a fortune. First, let’s explore what tech support means.
What is IT Support?
IT support, or tech support usually refers to everything that is part and parcel of enterprise-grade IT management. Tech support workers monitor your computer networks, diagnosing and repairing faults as required.
- Installing and configuring new hardware/software.
- Maintaining existing hardware and computer systems daily.
- Assisting employees with tech issues.
- Evaluating and implementing new tech tools.
- Conducting IT security checks on all systems.
- Replacing damaged or malfunctioning hardware/software.
Why Your SMB Needs IT Support in Hartford
With a rapidly developing startup ecosystem, large organizations looking to sponsor forward-thinking tech enterprises, and innovative startup accelerators, Hartford is quickly transforming into a haven for new entrepreneurs. Over the last three years, 40 startups from outside Connecticut have set up a base in the state capital.
Amid the growing influx of new businesses, you’ll need to go all out to keep your SMB relevant. Integrating advanced tech tools into your business can keep you competitive by:
- Enhancing project management.
- Increasing overall employee productivity.
- Enabling web-based payments.
- Measuring client engagement.
- Implementing backup software.
Why Choose External IT Support
New tech is easy to find in Connecticut. Data from Cyberstates suggests that the state’s flourishing tech industry accounts for 7% of its overall economy.
However, most newly released tech tools are incredibly expensive. Also, acquiring the latest technology is only half the battle. You will need expert technicians to ensure that the tech is implemented to its complete potential.
The combined cost of setting up new tech equipment and recruiting competent support specialists can drain your IT budget dry.
This is where external IT support in Hartford comes in. IT outsourcing is the easiest way for SMBs to leverage advanced tech expertise without adding more people to their payroll.
Here are a few additional advantages of hiring outsourced IT support in Hartford.
1. They Keep Your IT Budget in Check
As a small business owner, you probably try to cut expenses at any given opportunity. So, if the thought of costly IT repairs is keeping you up at night, you’re better off hiring an external IT support company.
Most IT firms operate with a flat fee that covers equipment breakdowns, repairs, replacements, and upgrades. Consequently, you will not have to spend hundreds of dollars on unexpected network failures. This can help you plan your IT expenses better and allocate more financial resources to your core offerings.
2. They Offer Increased Flexibility
IT firms often have a range of customizable packages for their clients. In other words, they enable you to invest in the exact skills and services you require, instead of spending precious capital on unused tech support.
Furthermore, your contract with the managed services provider (MSP) can scale to match your growing business. As a result, you can expand your business without worrying about your changing IT support needs.
3. They Bring Expert IT Insight to the Table
Although qualified IT consulting insights can improve your tech’s performance in significant ways, they are difficult to come by. According to statistics released by ManpowerGroup, tech positions rank third among the top ten hardest jobs to fill.
Plus, top-notch tech workers may be bombarded with messages from competing organizations, making it harder for you to retain them. Many candidates receive up to seven LinkedIn solicitations in a day.
On the other hand, partnering with a firm providing IT services and support in Hartford provides you with immediate access to a group of qualified IT experts. Heeding their consultations will help you streamline your IT goals for better efficiency
4. They Ensure Minimal Downtime
According to the Veeam Data Protection Report 2021, the average duration of a tech outage in 2020 was 79 minutes. Considering how the current cost of an hour of downtime is roughly $84,650, this can alter your business in significant ways.
While running a business, the last thing you need is a widescale network failure bringing operations to a screeching halt. Not only does a network failure set you back by thousands of dollars, but it also leads to loss of consumer confidence and litigation/remediation issues.
Hiring external IT support in Hartford can help you keep downtime to a minimum. Most third-party IT providers have uptime guarantees they need to live up to. As a result, they offer round-the-clock helpdesk services to ensure your business keeps running smoothly.
IT support providers also minimize downtime by identifying and fixing potential system issues before they take life and disrupt your workflow.
5. They Have an Aggressive Approach Towards Cybersecurity
No business is too small for a cybersecurity incident. According to a 2020 report by Coveware, 55% of ransomware attacks involved companies with less than 100 employees, Additionally, 75% of attacks took place on SMBs with less than $50 million in revenue.
The report also mentioned that SMBs will need to improve their cybersecurity posture for this trend to change.
That said, it is worth mentioning that cybersecurity is a complex subject, especially if you don’t know what you are doing. More importantly, it’s quite unforgiving. A single gap can leave your network wide open to a security breach.
This is why you should leave your cybersecurity to specialists. A competent provider of IT support in Hartford will have the gadgets and skills to secure your network from all directions.
A cybersecurity analyst will also provide:
6. 24/7 Network Monitoring
Cybercrime does not take the evening off. Your managed IT provider won’t either. They take active countermeasures to address and resolve security threats as quickly as possible.
7. Disaster Recovery Plans
An IT support provider will have effective Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) plans to help you deal with the aftermath of a cyberattack. They will back up your data to a secure location, granting access to authorized personnel only. Once you’re ready to resume operations, they will have your data ready for you.
8. Enterprise-Grade Antimalware Programs
An efficient malware protection program safeguards your network, privacy, and documents from malicious malware attacks. IT support firms will be able to identify and implement the most suitable antimalware programs for your business, so you can sleep easy at night.
What to Ask a Potential IT Company
Once you’ve decided upon a list of prospective IT support agencies, ask them the following questions before making your choice.
How Many Technicians Do You Have?
While there’s no right answer to this question, you need to determine if your managed IT provider has a large enough team to handle your tech needs.
What Types of Compliance Guidelines Do You Support?
In case you’re a part of a regulated industry, the IT support provider should have the tools, certifications, and industry knowledge to keep you compliant.
What is Included in Your Fees?
Most reputable IT support agencies will include an itemized list of services they support in the Service Level Agreement (SLA). Be sure to ask for one if they don’t. Otherwise, you may have to deal with hidden charges or gaps in the support you receive.
Can You Scale as My Business Expands?
Engage in an honest and open conversation about the IT support firm’s scalability. Ask if their services can keep up with your steadily expanding business. Having this exchange upfront can save you the headache of changing MSPs in the future.
Leaving your IT management to an external tech firm can help you leverage your technology in effective ways. Additionally, you will have more time to spare for your core business operations. These two benefits together can help you make strides in your industry, effectively leaving a lasting impression on your market.
Do you need expert IT support services in Hartford? Get in touch with us to know more about what we have in store for your SMB.
Marco is the owner and founder of NetLogix, Inc. a Managed IT Security Services firm that has been helping small businesses by providing an innovative and unique blend of managed IT services throughout New England with expertise in Insurance, Legal, Medical & Professional Services. Learn more about Marco and NetLogix here.