Running a business in the 21st century pretty much demands that you have a robust Internet presence. Most successful businesses these days have a website and several social media profiles. These are used to keep in touch with customers, offer new features and experiences to customers as well as to stay in touch with other businesses. Internally, businesses tend to use Internet capabilities to communicate with one another, to communicate with their suppliers, to shop for new products, and to optimise their business processes. For many companies, that means custom software and intranet needs. All of that connectivity means you will need some kind of IT support at some time. That’s the thing with machines; they always break. No matter how well maintained they are, something is going to go wrong with your machines. That’s a fact of life. There are two ways to address this. You can employ an ad-hoc IT support strategy or a managed IT support strategy. There are advantages and disadvantages to each one.
Ad-Hoc IT Support
Ad-hoc IT support means that you don’t have a permanent staff who manages your computer and Internet capabilities. Instead, you call on some kind IT specialist when something goes wrong with your computer or your network. This is also sometimes called emergency IT, because you only make the call after something has gone wrong.
There are many advantages to ad-hoc IT support. Since ad-hoc support is on a job to job basis, you don’t have to have any kind of contract or arrangement with the IT specialists beforehand. You’re also not obligated to work with them ever again. So, if you don’t like the service you receive, you can just call somebody else next time.
The disadvantages are largely about the time it takes. Many IT specialists are very quick about getting to your business and working on your problem, but there is still the time it takes to get there and solve the problem. If you run a business that can’t afford to go dark for very long, then ad-hoc support probably isn’t for you.
Managed IT Support
. Managed support means that you have a particular company of specialists you employ. You pay them monthly or annually to manage your computer systems. They are responsible for making sure everything’s running smoothly and as it should.
There are many advantages to this approach as well. The chief advantage is the speed with which you have your problems solved. Since the support company will already be monitoring your system and familiar with your system, they’ll be able to act very quickly as soon as they see a problem. In fact, they should be able to act before a problem even arises.
The disadvantage is the amount of money you will pay on a month to month basis. It’s entirely possible that you will spend more than you save. You have to consider how much money you will lose if your system goes down and how much you’ll have to pay to fix it. If that is higher than your monthly premium, you should go with managed support.