Does My Business Need External IT Support? 6 Signs
Editor's note: This article has been updated from an earlier version to reflect current information.
Your business is going well. Everything is operating smoothly from an IT standpoint. At least as far as you know. But do you really know?
The last thing any organization needs is an IT issue that disrupts business. But, unless you work for a huge corporation with unlimited resources, you may not have a full complement of IT experts to care for the daily and long-term care and feeding of your IT environment.
If you have an IT staff at all, it is likely either dedicated to the daily care and maintenance or to strategic long-term IT planning. And, honestly, many businesses your size have no dedicated IT staff.
So, how do you know that your IT environment has what it needs?
At Kelser, we provide comprehensive managed IT support services to care for every aspect of customer infrastructure. I say that not to tout our services, (although they are impressive,) I just want you to know we understand what complete IT care looks like, which elements are important, and the signs that an IT infrastructure might be struggling.
In this article, I’ll point out six signs that you may need additional IT support.
After reading this article, you’ll know what to look for and will be able to decide if your organization could benefit from extra IT support.
Before we start though, let me issue one quick disclaimer. This article is not a ploy to get you to work with Kelser. We know that managed IT support isn’t right for everyone. Instead, this article provides the information you need to decide the best way to keep your infrastructure secure, available, and efficient.
Let’s get to it!
6 Signs You May Need IT Support
I often equate IT support with medical care. There are times that you could have a serious medical condition without experiencing any symptoms. The same is true for your IT.
Just as we go for regular medical checkups to keep an eye on our overall health and make sure to follow up on lingering symptoms, IT infrastructures need a combination of care.
Here are 6 signs that your IT infrastructure may need additional support:
1. Lack Of Strategic IT Plan
Your IT environment is the foundation of your business. To support that foundation, you need to ensure that your strategic plan includes IT.
A strategic plan will include things like plans to add employees or locations, so that your IT infrastructure (servers, switches, etc.) can support the extra traffic.
Proactive planning that includes IT helps ensure that your business infrastructure is ready for what’s next, positioning you for success.
Wondering why this matters? Learn everything you need to know about aligning your IT and business strategy.
2. Slow Connectivity
There are multiple reasons your devices may be running slow including:
Maybe your older infrastructure doesn’t have enough bandwidth to support the amount of traffic flowing internally and externally today.
For example, if you’ve installed a voice over internet protocol (or VoIP) phone system and your workforce is now primarily remote, the demands on your infrastructure have increased significantly.
Maybe your devices are older and unable to take advantage of improvements available on newer models.
Or, maybe there is some kind of malware lurking in your environment that you don’t even know is there. Often threats take effect immediately, but they can also lay dormant for extended periods of time before they are activated.
3. Staffing Issues
It can be expensive to hire a full complement of IT staff. Most business leaders don't have the budgetary resources to make that happen and often, when they can staff turnover becomes an issue.
If you have the luxury of an internal staff, they are often stretched so thin responding to the daily service requests that they don’t have the time to dedicate to digging deep to determine the root cause. External support can help fill this gap.
As effective as many internal IT organizations can be, they often don’t have the resources needed to fight the daily fires and perform regular backups along with testing the backup procedures.
4. Inconsistent Backups
Does your organization routinely back up data? Where is the data stored? Could the data be accessed in the event of natural or other disasters? Is the process for accessing these backups tested regularly?
What good are backups if you can’t (or don’t know how to) access them when you need to?
5. No Employee Security Awareness Training
If you find yourself wondering why employee security awareness training is important, consider this statistic: up to 95 percent of cyber events are due to human error.
Employees are your first line of defense against cyber threats. With the proper training, you can ensure that they provide a strong human firewall.
When they know how to recognize and report suspicious activity, they can be a positive force. But they have to know and understand what the latest threats look like.
Find out the cost-benefit analysis of employee security awareness training to see if it makes sense for your organization.
6. Incomplete Infrastructure Monitoring
Effective infrastructure monitoring includes host, network, and system monitoring. These three types of monitoring work together to keep your network safe.
By collecting and reviewing information about what is going on in your environment, you will have early notice of anything strange ranging from performance issues to odd behavior, slow processing to security-related issues.
Read this article to find out how infrastructure monitoring helps prevent cyber attacks.
Do I Need External IT Support?
Here’s the thing. No matter whether a network is big or small, it needs the same elements of care. And, with cyber threats becoming more complex each day, businesses need to evaluate their risk and take the necessary steps to ensure the security of customer and user data.
Think about this analogy: a child and an adult both need the same kinds of medical care. You visit a general practitioner for general needs and a specialist for specific, complex treatment. IT support is similar.
Ultimately, the decision is yours.
Many organizations find that combining internal and external IT support provides them with a cost-effective way to get the best of both worlds. They have an on-site team to fight the daily fires and the external support and expertise to provide strategic direction at a fraction of the cost of adding these experts to their staff.
Some forego the strategic planning and work with a break/fix provider while others partner with a managed IT support provider. Learn about the differences between break/fix and managed IT because option has its place.
Managed IT may be more than you need, but you owe it to your organization to find out if managed IT support is a good solution for a business your size.
If you are ready to find out more about managed IT, check out a few providers to find out what they offer and which one might be right. We encourage you to consider Kelser as one of your options.