With the constant changes in technology and a daily barrage of threats, even the computer networks of small businesses need ongoing maintenance from experienced IT specialists. However, hiring a full-time IT person is not typically in the budget of most small- or medium-sized businesses. If you are one of the many smaller businesses that can’t justify hiring an IT person, you really only have three options for computer support.
Option 1: Do Nothing!
While this is extremely foolish, I see it every day. I equate this to ignoring the oil light in your car until smoke is pouring out of the hood. Taking this reactive approach to IT support is a guaranteed way to experience downtime, data loss and excessive repair bills. Even if the network appears to be working fine, there are a lot of routine tasks that need to be done on a regular basis to keep things functioning properly and to prevent much more costly incidents down the road.
Option 2: Do It Yourself
Granted, while this is better than doing nothing, it still puts your network at risk for disasters. It’s extremely common to designate the most “technically literate” person in the office as the IT expert, regardless of actual, functional knowledge. One problem with this option is you are pulling people away from the job they were actually hired to do. And, unless they have time to stay up on the latest IT developments, IT support, security and management, they probably don’t have the specialized skills required to properly support and secure your network.
Option 3: Outsource Your Support To a Competent Consultant
Obviously, this is the fastest way to solve your computer and network problems. However, the key word is “competent.” An ever-growing number of companies started by IT workers who were either laid off or fired by previous employers are popping up everywhere. Many are extremely knowledgeable, but very few understand what it means to properly maintain the networks of multiple small businesses. It seems simple, but it’s a rare person who knows how to troubleshoot a server problem while helping another client with a workstation issue.
Of the three solutions, outsourcing is typically the optimal solution for most small- to medium-sized businesses. But, do your homework and select an outside provider who can handle the job.
KLH – Minneapolis IT Managed Services Provider
Scott Johnson COO, KLH 651-328-6121