The Qualities You Should Look For In IT Support Companies

The Qualities You Should Look For In IT Support Companies

An organisation providing IT support services may offer a complete range of IT support services or have a more limited scope. Crucially, can they provide the support needed for your organisation?
This article will help you to identify your IT support requirements. We will help you to ensure you have the IT support you need for your business. We will list various types of IT support to help identify the best option for you. We will detail some of the qualities to look out for and the questions you should ask potential IT support providers.
Your requirements

It’s important to understand exactly what your organisational IT support needs are. Your organisation should have support tailored to your needs to ensure adequate, yet thorough, coverage of your requirements.

Some requirements for IT support within your organisation may include:

Network support

If you use a computer, you rely on IT Network support whether you realise it or not. Every time you send an email, access the internet or your own IT systems your network team is working behind the scenes to keep everything running smoothly.

IT Network support technicians are responsible for implementing, maintaining and repairing the network infrastructure; the physical systems and devices that make up the network. This includes cabling and switches, routers and firewalls. They also manage users’ access to the network, assign userids and ensure security protocols are in place.

Hardware support

Hardware support is a critical role in any business. The tasks and skills involved vary depending on the size of the company but typically include maintaining and repairing hardware, installing software and updates, and providing technical hardware support and advice to users.

Common tasks for hardware support professionals include configuring and troubleshooting hardware, setting up new users, and maintaining records of software and hardware installations. They will have a log of all hardware issued to employees and the software, and versions, installed.

Modern IT Hardware support professionals are often busy configuring laptops for new employees and repairing and resetting laptops for existing staff. This team are often the first choice for any issues with office hardware, such as printers, monitors, screens.

Specialist Project Support

You may be planning an IT project with specialist technical requirements. You may be moving to the cloud or a new operating system or using technology your company hasn’t used before. In this case, it may benefit the project to have experts available to support the project team, providing training, advice and assistance when needed.

IT Project support includes Project Management expertise, ensuring requirements are understood and documented and planning the budget and timeline. An experienced project manager will track and monitor the project, managing risks and issues to ensure the project completes on time and within budget.

General IT Support tasks

You should expect your IT service provider to undertake the following IT support services:
Storage
Your data is crucial to the continued existence of your business. Data on your employees, clients, stock and finances. Your data must be secure and easy to access to guarantee business continuity.

Your IT support team will ensure your data is indexed, secured and backed up. They will enforce data retention policies and make sure there is provision for the growth of the business.

Software
Software support includes IT tools used by your employees plus proprietary software written in-house. The software will be monitored to ensure it is fit for purpose. To maintain security and usability, software should be at the latest versions. Your IT support provider should make major system updates during ‘quiet times’ (evenings, weekends) to minimise disruption to your business.

Messaging
Your employees will want to access your IT systems at any time, from anywhere. Working away from the office means they need to access their calendars and emails 24/7. Messaging software keeps the team communicating and your e-meeting capability enables the flexibility for your employees to work from home, the cafe, or wherever they are.

Security
Your IT support provider will have software and processes to provide security for your network, hardware and data. Your systems will be constantly monitored and threats detected and negated. Your data will be backed up. You will have a disaster recovery strategy in place to get your business back to normal trading as quickly as possible in the event of system downtime.

Types of IT support

Types of IT support

When you work with professional IT support companies, most of them will provide a ‘blend’ of the following:

Reactive support is what most people think of when they hear the term “IT support”. It means waiting until something goes wrong and then calling the company for help. This type of support requires someone to be available 24/7 to answer your call.

Proactive support is a bit different. With proactive support, the company monitors your systems around the clock and resolves any issues before you even know they’re there. This type of support often utilises monitoring software and is common to secure networks and your online presence.

Managed support. With managed support, the company takes care of everything for you – from monitoring your systems to fixing any issues discovered. This type of support is the best option if you don’t have the experienced resources to manage, monitor and maintain your own IT systems. Your managed support provider will ensure they have sufficient experienced and well-trained resources so you don’t have to!

On-premise support means the IT support company will maintain a physical presence on your organization’s premises.

This can be helpful because you have someone on site who can help with any technical issues immediately. Invaluable for issues with hardware such as printers or employee laptops.
It means you are responsible for providing the IT support company with a place to work, plus associated costs.
Cloud-based, or remote, support relies on the IT support company having remote access to your systems. This means you don’t have to provide them with a physical space.

It also means you are reliant on their ability to connect to your network. This shouldn’t be a factor, with modern cloud-based IT systems.

Hybrid support is a combination of on-premise and cloud-based support
This can be helpful because it gives you the best of both worlds

You get the benefit of having someone on site who can help with any technical issues, as well as the benefit of having remote access to your systems.

What to look out for…

What to look out for

The following are some qualities you should look for in an IT service company before hiring them:

Experience

They should have experienced and qualified staff

The experience and qualifications of an IT Support company’s staff are important factors to consider. The staff should have a good understanding of the latest technologies and be able to provide solutions to your IT needs. Previous experience in your industry, or similar, is a bonus.

Communications

Their customer service representatives need to be good communicators

More importantly, their team need to understand your business systems and processes and they need to be able to communicate with your employees in a way they all understand. Most companies have their own unique three-letter acronyms which are often a mystery to outsiders and many companies have their own expressions and terms for IT software and sub-systems.

Availability

They must provide prompt responses when issues arise.

This is normally achieved by having a helpdesk available 24 hours a day. The helpdesk will provide an immediate response to queries, via messaging software, email, telephone or fault-logging software.

Some issues can’t be resolved immediately and may be assessed and processed as faults or potential system changes.

Cost

They must offer competitive/predictable pricing

A professional IT service provider will be able to assess the amount of effort required to support your company and offer a fixed monthly price. They should also have the capacity to be able to ramp up resources if you need more.

SLAs

You will want to know their turnaround time for fixes and downtime

The contract with your IT support team should include Service Level Agreements (SLAs) detailing how long they will take to respond to calls, assess and resolve faults and deliver solutions to problems.

Starboard IT – the perfect, affordable solution for your IT support needs

IT support needs

Don’t waste money on endless expensive contracts for services you never use!

Starboard IT works with a range of business sizes across Australia. Big or small, new or well-established, we can work with you to create an IT strategy tailored for your business. Our IT services are designed with you in mind, and we have experienced specialists to help your business every single day.

With Starboard IT, you can pay-per-use on a variety of IT services across Australia. Make the most of tailored support without long term contracts, and save money as you do it.

Cyber security, network management, or a cloud migration, Starboard IT will provide the support you need.

Let’s get started on IT services for your business, today. Contact our friendly experts today at Starboard IT to get started.

For more information

If you’re looking for consultancy services on your company’s security policy, contact Starboard IT to find out what we can do for you.