What is IT Support? Everything Rhode Island Businesses Need to Know
Regardless of the type of small business you own, technology is sure to be one of your substantial investments. In fact, the IT spend for SMBs is expected to grow by 7.6% in 2021 as compared to 2020.
As you spend a good chunk of your budget on IT, you should take appropriate measures to look after it. More importantly, you need to ensure that your IT network is running smoothly at all times. A system failure can have catastrophic consequences for your small business, leading to revenue loss, consumer dissatisfaction, and tarnished market reputation.
Fortunately, competent IT support can help you avoid these grave aftereffects.
If you’re unsure about what tech support means, let’s discuss.
An Introduction to IT Support
Any type of assistance you need for your business’s tech is classified under IT support. As a result, a tech support team is responsible for keeping your IT infrastructure working at full steam. This can mean anything from putting out daily technical fires to implementing widescale cybersecurity protocols.
However, IT support benefits SMBs in more ways than one. Small businesses can leverage tech support to streamline their goals, save on time/expenses, and stay competitive.
As an entrepreneur in Rhode Island, you may find this especially useful. Let us explain why.
Rhode Island’s low living and labor costs attract business leaders from all across the nation. With multiple state-sponsored programs and SMB loans, authorities are committed to helping local businesses thrive.
In 2020, the state had a total of 101,516 small businesses. And, given Rhode Island’s business-friendly environment, the SMB community is sure to keep growing.
As a rising number of small businesses set up shop in Rhode Island, the competition is heating up.
You need to pull out all the stops to outshine your competitors. A Rhode Island IT support provider can help you do that by maximizing the potential of your IT network. When all your systems work at full capacity, you’ll get more work done in lesser time.
Why Hire an External IT Support Team?
Small businesses often do not have the means to employ an elaborate IT support team. Most of them outsource their IT requirements to a suitable Rhode Island IT support organization. Here, a third-party tech company takes over your business’s tech management, enabling you to focus on your core business operations. IT outsourcing is usually cost-effective since you only pay for the level of service you require.
However, there’s a lot more to external tech support than its cost-effectiveness. Here are a few key advantages of hiring a Rhode Island IT support company:
Access to More Experts at the Same Price Mode
Ideally, you should have different expert technicians for different IT jobs. However, each IT expert you hire is another addition to your payroll. You’ll have to shell out for their salaries, bonuses, healthcare, and other payables.
On the other hand, a Rhode Island IT support team will have specialists from several IT fields. You will gain access to expert IT services and consultations in exchange for a flat fee.
Proactive Network Maintenance
Truth be told, your computers cannot survive indefinitely without downtime. Enterprise-grade IT infrastructure is a web of complex machinery and tech platforms. Some of its components are bound to glitch every now and then.
That said, there’s nothing more frustrating than a network failure during peak business hours, especially one that could have been prevented. With proactive IT support, you won’t have to worry about it.
A tech support team will monitor your IT infrastructure 24/7, detecting and mitigating potential risks before they blow out of proportion. This can minimize tech outages and maintain uptime.
All-Round Network Security
Do you think your SMB is not at risk of a security breach? Think again. A recent study revealed that 46% of all small businesses have faced a ransomware attack.
A cybersecurity incident can have dire consequences for small businesses. The short- and long-term aftereffects of a security breach include:
- Fines and lawsuits.
- Expensive forensic investigations to determine the root causes of the data breach.
- Remediation efforts, such as card replacements, compliance requirements, and identity theft repairs.
- Loss of consumer trust.
Partnering with a Rhode Island IT support provider can help you secure your network against malicious security threats.
A reputable external IT enterprise will use the latest cybersecurity tools to strengthen your network security. They can:
- Monitor your company’s security systems.
- Install enterprise-grade firewalls and antivirus/antimalware programs.
- Track threats round the clock to ensure continuous data protection.
SMB owners are always on the lookout for new technology to improve their productivity, efficiency, and versatility.
A Rhode Island IT support firm will help you leverage new tech to increase your business’s output. For example, they can activate a new database system that enables your staff to add and access data easily. They may also suggest advanced automation tools to digitize manual processes for greater speed and accuracy.
Predictable IT Expenses
Predicting IT expenses may be difficult as your company expands. However, with an external managed IT services provider, your tech costs will get consolidated into a fixed fee.
Most firms offering external IT support work with a flat monthly rate, which includes expenses for equipment breakdowns, system repairs, and maintenance. As a result, these unexpected costs won’t dent your IT budget.
What to Ask a Prospective Managed IT Provider
If you have narrowed down a list of tech enterprises, but are unsure about how to evaluate them, we can help. Here are a few questions you can ask a prospective IT agency to determine whether they are the right fit for you:
What Exactly Do They Support?
Be suspicious of companies that claim to provide comprehensive IT support without going into any detail. You may agree to the contract thinking you’re completely covered, and then discover that there are additional charges for a few services.
It’s better to clarify what level of IT support you can expect right from the get-go. These initial discussions can keep you from getting roped into an unsuitable contract. If you find their proposal inadequate, you can always keep looking.
Do They Have Experience in Your Industry?
Different industries’ have different tech demands. You will need an IT provider with an in-depth understanding of your industry, including compliance guidelines and security policies.
To determine this, ask the tech company if they serve other businesses in your industry. You can even ask them if they have any certifications in your industry’s tech platforms.
How Fast Can They Respond to System Issues?
Before signing the contract with your IT support provider, ask for their Service Level Agreement (SLA) or estimated response times. Ask questions like:
- How quickly do you respond to system issues?
- How fast can you resolve the problem?
- If the glitch requires onsite support, how long will it take for you to solve it?
Instead of taking their word for it, see if they have any metrics or facts to back up their claims.
Do They Have Enough Knowledge About Cybersecurity?
As mentioned, network security is of paramount importance to businesses. A managed IT provider will be able to develop an affordable and efficient network security plan that serves all your existing and future IT security needs.
Additionally, the third-party tech team should have a clear understanding of all regulatory mandates and take active steps to keep you compliant at all times.
Check if they have any ongoing training programs for their security personnel. This will let you know if they are capable of tackling the latest cybersecurity threats.
An expert IT services provider can help you identify the most suitable tech tools for your business operations. And, with a team of specialists offering expert IT advice, your business is sure to carve a niche for itself. Moreover, once you outsource your IT requirements to an external tech company, you’ll have more time to strategize effective business expansion plans.
Are you looking for IT support in Rhode Island? Feel free to get in touch with us to know how our tech support can help your business.