Data breaches are a real threat that should be taken seriously, and SMBs have a higher susceptibility of suffering a breach. It’s important to understand the potential threats, how they can affect your business, and what you can do to reduce the risks. Continue Reading
According to a survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only around 7% of U.S. employees had access to remote work benefits as of 2019. Then the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world—and the nation. Suddenly, many companies were scrambling to support remote work forces as a way to remain economically viable during shutdowns.
According to Statista, as of April 2020, around 28% of adults who were working before COVID were now able to work from home and were doing so. That’s a 400% increase in work-at-home rates over 2019 figures, so it’s no surprise that many companies struggled with the technological aspects of these changes. From ensuring security to providing help desk support, it’s a different world when your employees are scattered in disparate locations.
Common Technical Issues Faced in Remote Work Environment
You’re likely well aware that technical challenges can come up in any work environment, and tech resources can be busy even when everyone’s under the same roof. But remote work environments bring additional challenges, including:
- Security weaknesses, as employees use VPN and outside networks
- Backup failures, especially if employees save to laptop hard drives instead of cloud resources
- Hardware issues, which can be more difficult to manage when the hardware is in employee homes
The Role of IT Support Services
With remote work now a part of the day-to-day for so many businesses—and the potential for this to continue into the future—tech service support desks are critical for companies of all sizes. Employees need someone to contact via chat or phone who can offer immediate help, especially since workarounds such as sitting at another workstation when hardware is down isn’t an option in a remote environment.
You can’t afford not to have help desk support. Without dedicated IT support, employees may spend much of their work time trying to troubleshoot tech issues. Your teams might also spend more time finding work arounds for common issues such as conferencing software and hardware woes, data and document storage and printing. And chances are that people who are focused on the business will make decisions that are heavy on productivity and efficiency and weaker on security.
The great news is that you don’t need a fully staffed in-house support desk to keep ahead of common remote-work tech issues. Managed IT services let you outsource help desk and tech support tasks to experienced professionals so your staff can concentrate on business-facing work such as customer service, training and production.
At Great Lakes Computer, we offer managed IT services throughout Northeast Ohio. Contact us to find out how we can take the burden off your staff and provide greater peace of mind when you’re dealing with a remote workforce.
If you run a business, you probably use some variation of IT hardware to do it. To keep that equipment running smoothly, you’ll run across the need for maintenance, which can come in a couple forms. Managed IT Service contracts are proactive and include ongoing maintenance, monitoring and support, while the break fix model is reactive and based on the immediate needs of your business. There are advantages to both service options. Below are important details about each type of service to help you decide what’s right for you.
Managed IT Services
Outsourcing a portion, or all of your IT function, to a third-party service provider for a monthly fee comes with benefits and some detractors. The price will vary by an organization’s needs and the scope of support you receive is customizable. Whether you need help desk services or outsourced server support, you can get what you need without having to make large capital expenditures or add to your payroll. Also, the preventative maintenance and troubleshooting that comes with regular service can help prevent large system repairs and hardware replacement in the future.
The main detractor associated with managed services is that you are obligated to pay the monthly fee, regardless if you utilize the contracted services or not. Your staff may not need support every month, presenting you with an unneeded expense.
Major advantages of managed services:
- Leverage the skills of IT professionals without adding to payroll
- Catch small technical issues before they become large and costly to fix
- Reduce downtime and waste associated with broken IT hardware
- Improve the functionality of computer applications and processing speeds
Break Fix Services
The break fix model involves paying for IT services only when you place a service request. You are not locked into paying a monthly fee, and you have the freedom to pick and choose when you need maintenance. These contracts can also be offered in block time packages. While this type of service frees up cash flow, you do lose the benefits of regular preventative maintenance. If you have a small IT department and simple infrastructure, this service option may work for you.
Major benefits of break fix services:
- No monthly fee or commitment to purchase IT support
- Freedom to select IT service provider given the situation
- Reallocate monthly IT costs to other operational departments
Selecting the right IT maintenance strategy and support structure should be done at the enterprise level, giving your organization the best cost to benefit ratio possible. We have experience designing support packages to meet clients’ needs in a cost-effective and comprehensive manner, taking the guesswork out of optimizing your IT function. We work closely clients to walk through the selection process.
To learn more about maintaining your IT infrastructure and service options, please contact us today. Your IT hardware and applications form the backbone of your business and play a large role in driving the efficiency and effectiveness of operations. We can help you pick the service option that makes sense for you.