Having dedicated IT support has its pros and cons for a small business, and should be evaluated based on what are the actual needs of the business. There are a lot of glitches that can occur in technological areas of a business, and unless there's someone working in the company that can fix those issue quickly, having dedicated IT support is something to consider. Some of these issues can include hardware maintenance, an email server crash and point-of-sale operations.
Where to start
Deciding if your business needs dedicated IT support should begin with looking at the complexity of your business overall. Perhaps even with a handful of IT employees, it is not enough to manage all operations. Determining how to go about an IT support system may also depend on the size of your business. More employees may require more support as the business grows, such as dealing with larger computer networks. Take a look at the business's growth rate to evaluate downsizing or expanding. Experienced managers will be able to take care of systems while everyday operations continue.
Whether using a managed IT service or an in-house employee, ask where the business may go and what the plans are for the future. Dedicated IT support can help implement any changes to systems as well as help create an architectural plan.
Using a managed IT service has its pros, especially for small business owners who are more limited on resources. These services can cut on costs as professionals who are always on site may command higher salaries. Many of these managed services also may offer support 24 hours a day to fix problems such as email issues that an in-house employee may not be able to correct at the time. As technology moves faster and faster, it is also useful to have managed IT to stay up-to-date with all the ongoing advances, which could prove difficult for just one technician. With managed IT, training is constantly implemented to keep up with the advances, and they can handle issues involved with multiple employees better as well.
If your business has many resources, an in-house IT employee can prove useful when emergencies happen. Issues can be solved right away versus calling into a provider or needing a technician to report to the job site. In-house employees have more experience with the equipment within the business, and have a better understanding of where an issue is located. This is incredibly useful in that productivity is not interrupted.
These employees do tend to work slower, but this is largely on purpose so that problems can be addressed more adequately, whereas a managed service may not have the high level of equipment detail that is required in some cases.
If the business calls for a mixture of both a managed service and in-house, tasks can be directed appropriately to each operation. This is better suited for a larger small business. No matter what size, IT should be considered a vital part of a small business's future.
This article was written by Chase Hunt for CBS Small Business Pulse
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