What Are IT Support Services & Are They Worth It?
Management of IT services is a necessity for any organization. Third party IT support services can help you to manage all of your IT needs affordably.
With any modern business, there is a need to utilize technology efficiently. Even the most basic of IT systems will require some support eventually. Without a quality support structure in place, you can open your organization to devastating downtimes or potential losses. Sometimes, an in-house IT support department can be too costly to maintain. Third party IT support services can work with existing solutions to create a more robust yet affordable support system.
In some cases, an organization can function entirely by using third-party IT support services. In terms of cost, these services can save you money while still providing your business with top-of-the-line IT support. Management of IT services is a necessity for any organization. Finding the proper solutions can significantly benefit your business.
CDW Amplified™ Support services deliver custom warranty, maintenance and support services that augment your IT staff so they can focus on maximizing business outcomes. Learn More
What are IT Support Services?
Any part of your business that works with technology will need support. When that support is provided as a service by a third-party, it can be considered IT support services. Even the most tech-savvy employees can forget their passwords, and the more technology you implement, the more problems that can arise. That is where IT support services come into play—having the proper support in place can help ensure that your business will always operate as safely and efficiently as possible. High-quality IT support services can help your internal IT department focus on projects that bring value to the business as opposed to spending time on routine maintenance or trivial end-user problems.
Types of IT Support Services
When you hear the term "IT support," you may think of an internal department. While this is a standard solution, many other types of services exist today. Depending on the industry you operate in, you could have particular IT support needs, which is perfectly fine. However, there are common types of support, and understanding each can help you determine the more specific solutions for your business later on. Here’s what you need to know:
Services that handle client information or require confidential credentials to access are the most vulnerable to attack. Monitoring services can watch over your network and quickly provide support when disaster strikes. A quick response can be the difference between a hiccup in service and a major disruption. Monitoring support can be implemented on any active service or software used by employees or customers.
Sometimes the most challenging part of supporting your IT infrastructure is knowing how to get started or when to scale your IT solutions with your business's growth. Another form of support service is IT design assistance. This is when an expert or team of experts comes in and evaluates your infrastructure so that they can help you expand or scale your IT services as needed. Most IT support service providers can also offer long-term support and warranties on any design they might implement.
The most common type of IT support is active support. Almost everyone has used some type of active IT support at some point. Anytime an employee or customer needs live help with a product or piece of software, active support comes to the rescue. IT experts can provide real-time support over the phone or live chat through what’s known as a helpdesk.
Examples of Support Services
Now that you have a better understanding of some of the most common types of support provided, you let’s explore some more specific examples so you can determine if they will be viable for your business. Here’s a list of some common IT support services and how they function:
Help Desk/User Support
The first responder to any kind of IT issue is a helpdesk or user support team. This is a group of individuals with a deep understanding and knowledge of your systems and services who can offer round-the-clock support to both clients and employees. Support can come in the form of remote sessions, phone calls, or even on-site visits.
Data Storage Services
Most companies need to store some amount of data. Without costly on-site equipment, it can be difficult to store information properly. Data storage services offer solutions to store information securely, be it in off-site data centers, cloud services, or through the design and implementation of in-house equipment. Support for data storage can range from recovery to managing access.
VoIP (Voice Over IP)
Many businesses utilize the power of voice over IP phones. These devices allow for the easy recording of business calls and dialing from other devices such as your PC. Setting up phone numbers for VoIP phones can be difficult and time-consuming. With an IT support service provider, you can have an expert come in and set up your phone system flawlessly. Support for VoIP systems can include addressing call quality issues, troubleshooting connections, and new device configuration.
A crucial part of any modern business is email. Some companies may use a more extensive organization's service to host their email, but they are then limited to the support available from those companies with enormous amounts of users. Other companies may want individualized email addresses, and those can be hosted in-house or provided by email services. Regardless of how you operate your company email, support for the service will always be necessary. Email support services may include credential resets, account creation and destruction, email storage, and more.
The larger the network, the more comprehensive security solutions it may require, but every business still needs some base level of protection. A service provider can supply your organization with security solutions such as antivirus, anti-malware, and firewall creation. All of these services can work together to protect your organization’s data.
Valuable data can pile up over time, but it still needs to be stored securely. Backup services are excellent for archiving data that may not see daily use but still needs to be available at some point down the line. Regular backups can also help reduce downtime in the event of hardware or network failure. Data backup support helps with the creation of backup schedules and can even provide secure storage for said information.
Managed IT Infrastructure
Sometimes there is more than one service that needs to be supported. Managed IT services are a type of service where a service provider handles many aspects of your infrastructure. A managed service provider or MSP can handle nearly every aspect of your IT infrastructure, including but not limited to device management, network management, data storage, and even employee access. Support for this type of service is all-encompassing and can aid in any part of your organization.
Benefits of IT Support Services
There are countless benefits to implementing third-party IT support services. Besides cutting costs, you can also reduce downtimes and optimize both the employees' and customers' daily interactions with your business. Benefits can be incredibly specific or broad depending on what service is causing them. For that reason, it helps to understand some of the initial benefits of support services and how they can help your business:
Just like with any IT-related service, hiring a third-party to handle a specialized area will help to free up internal resources. Departments can focus on their intended workloads and not be slowed down by IT hiccups or operational problems. This allows for your business to be optimized to run as efficiently as possible.
When purchasing IT support through a provider, you can pay for only the specific services you require. This can help eliminate start-up costs and maintenance fees, because there is no need for you to purchase hardware or hire additional full-time staff. A third-party support provider can use their extensive resources and existing client base and infrastructure to offer support service prices that are unmatched by any internal department's costs.
One of the most frustrating problems that can negatively affect a business is inconsistency, especially with tech-based solutions. Frequent site crashes or email issues can lead to loss of clients and loss of profits. IT support services can ensure that your organization is consistently operating at its highest quality. IT support service warranties can also help you feel at ease knowing that your investments are protected for extended periods.
Summary: Are IT Support Services Worth It?
Every business has some sort of IT service that needs the proper support. Technology can provide a multitude of benefits to your business but can also introduce a whole new host of issues. Without IT support services, these issues can do severe damage and go unaddressed for long periods of time. Having IT support available, be it a helpdesk or any other implementation, will ensure your organization operates as efficiently.
Support services can tackle everything from infrastructure development to network security and should be a part of any modern organization. Managed support services allow your employees to focus on maximizing business outcomes and significantly reduce IT service costs. For many organizations, IT support services are cost-efficient, effective, and absolutely worth it.
At CDW, our team of experts and certified engineers provide remote and on-site support that keeps business-critical hardware, software and systems healthy. CDW Amplified™ Support services deliver custom warranty, maintenance and support services that augment your IT staff so they can focus on maximizing business outcomes.