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5 years ago, IT support was your standard call and fix event. A machine broke, so you called an IT expert to fix it. Now, hardware is lasting longer with fewer outages, and the majority of problems come from the software and applications that businesses are running.

This changing landscape of how businesses use technology, the sheer mass of data that is processed, and the dependency on technology to deliver products and services means that IT downtime is even less tolerable than ever.

Software Issues Impact Productivity

Instead of your laptop breaking, now your CRM software stops working, so your sales team can’t contact any customers or prospects. A bug means that your website goes down, so your e-commerce can no longer process any orders.  Your CRM won’t link to Sage, so you can’t raise any invoices and you’re cashflow is threatened. These are all examples that we’ve seen in the past few months.

Lukasz, our IT support team leader sees software as one of the biggest causes of IT issues. “A large proportion of the support calls we take relate to software integrations. Systems failing to talk to each other is a big barrier to productive business. If data can’t be shared then it often impacts several departments and functions until the applications start communicating again. G Suite, office 365, Sage...all non-hardware applications that we help our customers with regularly, because they're so vital to their business.”

Data Security is Constant Firefighting

IT support is now inextricably linked with data security. Preventing data breaches and malware is a constant work in progress as new viruses emerge and software updates are released. Ensuring that your users are following best practise rules around processing data and security is essential to avoid cyber crime through social engineering.

Responding to an attempted breach or act of cybercrime can fall under IT support too. Perhaps a vulnerability has been found in some software you use, or you need to restore data from a secure backup in the event of a ransomware attack.  

No longer can you simply afford to install anti-virus and hope for the best. IT support has to proactively monitor and respond to threats to your technology.

Tracking Technology Is Getting Harder

At one point, software and business applications were that tricky to install that your IT team managed the process from purchase to installation to ongoing management. Now, IT purchasing has devolved to different departments. Marketing is often responsible for CRM and your website. HR will make decisions on intranet services. Operations will tender for bespoke software developments without much input from the IT team.

All of these different departments are making decisions and installing software in isolation from the IT department. It makes it harder to keep a record of the applications your business is using and the risks that these might pose to your technology and data security.

Flexible Working

The rise of flexible working, especially remote working, has added a new dimension to traditional IT support. Instead of most issues being resolved face to face, remote technical support has become the default for nearly all major vendors, support companies and even in-house IT departments.

Through remote access to your PC, a large proportion of IT issues can be resolved quickly.  This enables employees to work away from a central office and still have expert IT support without having to send their hardware to a support provider or back to the office. Productivity remains high, which is one of the benefits of flexible working, and costs remain low as you’re not having to employ regional IT staff to service remote workers.

Matt, our Technical Director says, "Some of our clients have workers spread across the country, and we can deliver the same great IT support in Leeds as we can in London, thanks to remote access and tech support. We use secure technology to access the devices remotely, and it really helps to speed up problem resolution."

Having IT support Has Never been More Important

We’re not just saying that because we’re an IT support company. There are so few businesses now that can continue to be productive and service customers without their technology. For large organisations, even a few minutes of downtime can cost hundreds of thousands of pounds in lost revenue. For SMEs, IT support ensures that your systems and your staff are always connected, so that ultimately, your customers can find you, talk to you and buy from you.

Date published: 19/10/2017

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