When you are on the hunt for IT support, the natural questions that arise fall under one similar theme: “How will investing in great IT support give immediate, business-accelerating results?” Just like with anything, you want to be sure that your IT outsourcing and support are getting a real return on investment. As we work with companies across Denver and greater Colorado, we have determined 5 key areas in which great IT support can help your business, starting day 1.
Security (Peace of Mind)
Recently, we spoke with a local CEO whose business had been shut down for a week due to a ransomware attack in which the hackers were demanding $130,000 dollars. While that sum alone was painful and detrimental to his organization, the truly painful surprise was the cost of the downtime of his systems and the loss of trust with his clientele.
Unfortunately, this CEO is not alone. 64% of small businesses reported having been the victim of a web-based attack. Just slightly less prevalent are phishing and social engineering attacks which were experienced by 62% of mid-size companies.
Best-in-class IT support would mitigate these risks at the outset. Great IT support doesn’t just incorporate reactionary measures such as an Incident Response Plan in the case of a breach, but it also uses a proactive approach to test and monitor vulnerabilities at all times. If there isn’t consistent cybersecurity reporting in your business, chances are that you are more at risk than you recognize.
The amount of blood, sweat, and tears that go into building and growing a business cannot be underestimated. Far too often, these hard-working business leaders have their lives ’ work evaporate due to a clever phishing email, inadequate password authentication measures, or another vulnerability.
Great Denver IT support will provide perhaps the most valuable asset of all to the small business owner: Peace of mind.
Time is the most valuable of commodities, and a vital function of great IT support is giving more hours back to you and your team. There are a number of ways this is accomplished:
- Onboarding and offboarding: with a systematic process, IT support will set up your new team members to be as productive as possible, as quickly as possible.
- Help desk response time: the industry average for response time to internal IT tickets is 24.2 hours. This cumulative lag in responsiveness is a detriment to your team. Industry leaders will aim for less than 30 minutes, as they know that the faster your IT problem is resolved, the more time you will have to focus on your business.
- Proactive IT: a truly world-class IT service will not just deal with the obvious IT needs. Rather, the IT support service will continuously evaluate factors that can help make you more productive and make recommendations accordingly. For instance, what are the ways to improve your wifi speed? Are there more efficient cloud applications that could streamline your business? What are the specific upgrades that could result in huge jumps in productivity?
If you aren’t systematically and consistently improving your IT, you are falling behind. This lag will result in lost productivity and lost time.
Return on Investment
Unfortunately, many CEOs, Presidents, COOs, and other business leaders ask “How can we save money?” when evaluating their IT provider.
This is the wrong question. Period.
Instead, they should be asking “How is my investment in IT moving my business forward and showing real Return on Investment (ROI)?”
ROI from IT support can be seen in how often you have to think about your IT (it should be less), how well you are keeping your company secure, and how your IT is working for you as a building block to elevate your organization.
Additionally, quality IT support can have a direct correlation to employee satisfaction and retention. One of the prevalent frustrations plaguing small and mid-size companies is inefficiency in handling technological issues. A-players who are held back from doing their best work due to IT problems will experience lower levels of workplace satisfaction which statistically leads to higher turnover.
Recently, we spoke with a highly skilled employee who had just joined a Denver organization. Her first few months were so concentrated on solving IT issues with her own computer, email, and applications that she felt she was not properly show-casing her talents and left her highly dissatisfied with her new role.
Consider that the average cost of losing an employee is 6-9 months of that employee’s salary. With this in mind, limiting employee frustration through IT can prove extremely valuable in ROI. These are a few areas in which ROI can be determined. However, keep the basic initial question at the forefront: “Is my IT support moving my business forward?”
No matter how much expertise an individual has regarding IT support, the knowledge in one brain is never able to replace the collective skillset and experience of a group of highly trained and tenured IT professionals.
Effective IT support will be able to tap into not just a single account manager but will be able to draw on many technicians in order to solve problems. It is vitally important for an entire team — not just an individual — to be familiar with your business and the challenges you face from technology.
When you are supported by a highly communicative team, you immediately feel the difference. IT resolutions are quicker, technicians will ask the right questions, and they will be able to quickly track down a team member who has the expertise they lack. There is a limited amount of wasted energy.
Additionally, when the weight of IT support lands on a team, there never needs to worry about a single employee moving up or moving on (or taking a vacation for that matter). Just as diversification is vital in other investments, the same goes for IT support. When you can lean on the expertise of many, you are setting yourself up to thrive.
Finally, an underlooked but vital component of great IT support that will help your business immediately is the introduction of comprehensive training practices that will arm every individual in your company with caution and savvy to mitigate security threats through the internet and email.
Different sources state that anywhere from 50-90% of data breaches are caused by human error depending on the industry. This means that the greatest vulnerability in the protection of your data is not in your software, infrastructure, firewall, etc. Your greatest vulnerability is your own talented, smart employees. For that reason, training must be given top priority.
Training materials range from videos to webinars to reading material and can be well-utilized to educate and equip. However, truly excellent IT support will train by testing human vulnerabilities by sending out fake phishing emails and taking on the role of actors who are after company data. This helps build healthy levels of suspicion in areas that could lead to the company being exposed through malware, ransomware, or other forms of malicious activity.
Being able to respond effectively to an attack is important but nowhere near as critical as the preventative measures that are taken through IT support. In order to feel safe, this is a necessity.
There is a reason why this list of immediate benefits of quality IT support is bookended by areas that relate to cybersecurity. This is the #1 priority of the majority of executives as it relates to IT. In a technological world, confidence in security allows you to move forward as a company — which is why it is a core component and benefit of great IT support.
There are many benefits to support. The primary benefit is making sure you and your team and your organization are successful. That is the true measure of effective IT support.