It's pretty common for most organizations to have IT support. But does it need to exist right at the beginning of your business, or is it something that can be added afterward? And if so, at what point is it advisable to build it?
The first thing to know is that IT staff is essential when your business hits a certain size or level of complexity. Too vague? Then here are seven signs you need IT support to help you out!
Ready to find out if your business needs IT support? Let's find out!
IT support, in a nutshell
IT support is about offering support and assistance to colleagues and the wider organization for technology-related issues. A typical scope would include PCs, laptops, tablets, mobile devices, software and applications, infrastructure support, network, and telephony.
At its core, IT support aims to resolve service faults (often called incidents), action service requests (for example, colleagues requesting new hardware and software) and answer questions. Other duties could include backups and restores, equipment installation and maintenance, and IT security tasks.
Why IT support is important
The main benefits of IT support include:
- A dedicated place for all IT issues to be logged, investigated, and managed through to completion.
- One function or team that retains ownership of all IT support issues, so nothing gets lost, ignored, or forgotten about.
- Support levels are contractually agreed upon and underpinned with Service Level Agreements to ensure service hits all agreed-upon performance targets.
Seven signs you need IT support in your organization
You know what it does, you know its benefits, but is your company ready to have dedicated IT support? These seven signs will help you determine if it is.
1. You can't rely on your current IT services
If your IT systems are unreliable, have frequent faults and incidents, experience unexpected downtime (unavailability), or have slow performance issues (insufficient capacity), then you need to consider the impact on productivity. If your colleagues cannot work due to unreliable IT equipment, you need a team in place to get things back on track.
2. You're reliant on one person to fix everything
Suppose something falls over when the resident expert is on holiday. In that case, you have to wait for them to return or pay an expensive consultancy fee for someone outside your company unfamiliar with its environment to troubleshoot the issue, diagnose the fault, and restore service.
Neither option is great; the first could be catastrophic regarding colleague productivity, and the second could tank your IT budget for months. A small IT team will be more cost-effective than relying on one person or expensive consultants.
3. You miss major project deadlines because you don't have the right tech in place
Project milestones are important, and no matter the company, missing them is usually a huge deal indeed. We've all been there. The deadline for a major project is due, but the end product doesn't have the appropriate utility and warranty, thus it's fit for neither purpose nor use and instead has code glitches or other defects.
All of which could be resolved with a dedicated IT team that provides you with the necessary resources to complete a project in time.
4. Missing data and Schrodinger's backups
Your data is your everything, and being unable to secure it causes productivity issues and could land you in trouble with legal or regulatory bodies depending on your industry. It's not enough to trust the cloud or that your backups are working - they need to be regularly tested as well by restoring the data. Otherwise, you have what we like to call in the business Schrodinger's backup.
5. Out-of-date equipment
If your IT equipment is dated, then it's time to call in the experts. Suppose you're running your environment on older operating systems (no judgment here - we all loved Windows XP). In that case, you need to look at modernizing from a patching perspective, as well as looking after your colleagues' productivity, efficiency, and end-user experience.
6. Vulnerability to malware and viruses
There's simply no excuse to onward customers for poor IT security practices, especially when their financial data is at risk. No matter the size of your organization, IT security and cyber resilience must be prioritized, and you will need colleagues with the skills to support it.
7. IT has become a money pit
It's easy to panic-buy, especially if you lack the right knowledge. Duplicating equipment or buying the wrong models are risks when you don't have the right people to make purchasing or support decisions.
Where to start with IT support
Getting the right IT in place isn't a one-and-done exercise. Finding the right IT support model for your organization will take time and practice, but there are some steps you can take to get ahead of the game:
- Look at your pain points - Take the time to understand the most common issues experienced by your colleagues so you can apply the proper focus.
- Gather your A team - People are the most important aspect of IT support. You can have solid processes and all the best tools, but nothing will work if you don't have the right people. When hiring colleagues for your new IT team, look for a balance between technical and customer service skills.
- Promote your IT support offering - Let the business know where to go for IT support and explain expected timescales so your new team doesn't get overloaded on day one.
- Set your scope - Clearly define what is and isn't in scope for IT support so that expectations on all sides are managed correctly.
- Choose the right software - And last but not least, choose the right help desk software for your company to support your IT operations, automate ticket routing, provide different levels of IT support and self-service capabilities, and more!
IT support doesn't need to be complicated, but you'll most likely need it once your business hits a certain size or complexity. Though you might be reluctant to build a team to handle technological issues and requirements, it's best to get at it as soon as possible. Otherwise, you'll end up losing time, productivity, money, and goodwill.
So, if you checked some of the signs you need IT support we listed above, it's time to get to work. To succeed in it, don't forget to:
- Look at your pain points to get your focus and support team right.
- Hire help desk agents with both hard and soft skills.
- Arm yourself with an easy and intuitive help desk to streamline your IT support capabilities.
And if you need more help, we are here for you! InvGate Service Desk will allow you to have a ticketing system up and running in just a day. Plus, our expert team is always available to help you decide whether it's time for you to take the next step.
Remember that great IT support doesn't happen overnight - it will take time and effort, but you will get there.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many IT support staff do I need?
The number of IT support staff members will depend on the size and complexity of your organization.
How much does outsourcing IT support cost?
There's no standard fee for outsourcing IT. Once again, it will depend on the size and complexity of your organization.
What do IT support specialists do?
They provide general IT support and resolve front-line issues.