The arrival of Covid signaled a sea change in the ways that business as usual happened. For example, countless businesses went online for pure survival. When your customers cannot enter your premises for the better part of a year, you must find other ways to get your products or services into their hands.
The tactic did work for many businesses, but it also created a lot of neophytes in terms of IT support. Are you new to the business tech scene and wondering, “What is IT support?” Keep reading for an overview of IT support and the potential benefits it offers.
In this article
What Is IT Support?
It sounds like the most reasonable question, doesn’t it? If you adopted new information technology recently, clearly you need a working understanding of IT support. Before you dive into the topic of IT support, it helps if you understand the scope of information technology itself.
Information technology goes well beyond routers, web hosting, or even that guy who make the magic smoke inside your desktop behave properly. Information technology spans a daunting number of areas and disciplines. A few of the bigger areas that you may encounter include:
- Cloud services
- Data Management
Of course, most of those areas intersect in one way or another with the physical hardware. That hardware includes everything from desktop computers and servers to routers, switches, and the Cat 6 cables connecting most of those devices.
You can think of IT support as the group of people who specialize in creating, repairing, and even monitoring all of that data, software, and hardware. The exact nature of that support will vary a lot depending on your needs.
Let’s say that you run a medical practice. That means you work with lots of sensitive personal and health data. You might well need a full-blown IT support team. After all, you need well-structured databases, good cybersecurity, and probably some cloud services for data backup.
Plus, let us not forget those pesky HIPAA laws and HITECH regulations. Is your system in regulatory compliance? A knowledgeable IT support team can help you with all of these issues.
Managed IT Services
The sheer complexity of the IT landscape, along with the specialized needs of any given business, often makes a managed service attractive. Managed IT services provide exactly what it sounds like they provide.
They take over some portion of your IT needs. If you’re not comfortable with configuring and monitoring cloud services, you outsource the whole task to a managed service. Not sure about how one keeps a network secure, you let a managed service deal with the headache.
Managed IT services typically offer a full bundle of useful services for businesses of all sizes. For example, you might get a bundle that includes network security, server management, data backups, and disaster recovery. Then, you get a support analyst when things go sideways.
What is a support analyst? A support analyst is the first person you talk to when you call your managed service provider. In many cases, they can solve your problem more or less on the spot. If not, they typically diagnose the problem and pass it along to a specialist at the company.
Benefits of IT Support
IT support provides you with a host of potential benefits. At the very least, it sets you free from worrying about your IT needs all the time. You invest your time where it can do the most good, on your own business.
Another big benefit of IT support is that you get help with IT planning. Think about it? How much do you really know about what you need in network hardware? Is software-defined networking right for your business?
For that matter, do you even know how long it will take before you must replace most of that IT hardware? IT support teams can help you understand your own hardware and software needs before they become a crisis. Instead of buying the first thing that crosses your computer screen, you enter the replacement phase with a clear plan and likely a list of viable replacement options.
IT support also gives you the benefit of experts. You see this in particular with managed service providers, who hire experts in lots of IT areas. You don’t get a networking specialist with an interest in cybersecurity. You get experts in both areas.
That means you get a higher quality of service, even if you get less direct face time with those experts than you would with in-house staff.
Implement New Technologies
One of the hardest areas of IT for most businesses is the implementation of new technologies. It’s not a lack of willingness for the most part, but a very definite lack of information.
For one thing, you must know about the technology in the first place. Take software-defined networking, for example. Ever heard of it before?
If so, any clear idea of what it is or how it can benefit a business? If you answered no to either, don’t feel bad. You’re not a networking IT specialist.
While most business owners make an effort to keep up with the tech in their industry, they can’t learn about everything. IT support can bring new technology to your attention and explain what you’ll get for your trouble. Then, they can help you get it up and running in your business.
IT Support and You
What is IT support? It sounds like a very reasonable question. Unfortunately, information technology encompasses everything from laptops to websites. That makes IT support a profoundly diverse area.
Odds are good that you do need IT support in at least a few areas. Almost anyone with a network at their business needs cybersecurity help. If you want extra data protection, you may need cloud backup help.
If you’re not sure what kind of support you need, talk with an expert.