What level of IT Support is suitable for my business?
All business owners know that keeping costs down is important, and there is a constant balancing act going on between how much money is spent on ‘back office’ type purchases, and ‘front end’ purchases, IT support usually being put in the ‘back office’ box.
There are a multitude of options available when selecting the level of IT support for your business. You can wait until things go wrong and purchase emergency support, or buy prepaid support tickets, and if you choose a support contract, then there are all manner of response times and service level agreement options.
What we usually recommend is to look at how important your IT systems are to you. Some businesses are not disrupted too much for a day or so with a machine down, whereas other businesses are completely reliant on IT and need priority service. Sometimes you can get a compromise by having some kind of contingency plan (one customer had spare machines ready to replace faulty machines in a factory environment, as the machines were needed to run the line, and if the machine was down, then the line was down).
We would normally recommend that you choose at least a prepaid level of service, as at least then the IT company may know your systems and be able to offer some kind of preventative maintenance advice, not to mention the savings usually gained in the event of on site visits.
In deciding what kind of support you need then a general guideline is that if you use IT systems within your sales or operations areas then you need to consider support carefully. If you are only using IT for a general accounting package then it’s not so important unless you are processing high numbers of transactions on a daily basis.