What is IT Support? Everything Houston Businesses Need to Know
Technology is evolving each and every day and it can be challenging for small businesses to keep up. Outsourced IT professionals can help bridge this gap by providing cost-effective IT solutions and security.
Houston, Texas is home to 23 Fortune 500 companies and its booming economy makes it a great place to start a small business. An outsourced IT company can help Houston businesses keep up with competition while maintaining and protecting their systems.
Here’s what businesses in Houston need to know about IT Support.
What is Outsourced IT Support?
An IT support company gives business access to a full team of remote IT technicians. These experts are fully dedicated to supporting and advancing the businesses they serve.
An IT provider will improve a business’s IT infrastructure by implementing solutions that lead to a productive workflow. They will also set up advanced security to minimize cyber threats and respond quickly to any IT issues. Essentially, they act as a cost-effective IT department.
How to Know If a Business Needs IT Support?
1. Unreliable Security
Some small businesses make the mistake of sidelining their IT security to focus on other business responsibilities. However, businesses of all sizes and industries are at risk of cyberattacks and data breaches. This can be especially detrimental to a small business.
Cybercriminals will often attack small businesses as they are seen as easy targets. In fact, nearly half of all small businesses in the United States don’t know where to start when it comes to IT security. Yet, all businesses need to have a security plan to prevent major losses. It can be extremely difficult for small businesses to bounce back from a cyberattack as it costs an average of $200,000 to fully recover.
Fortunately, a Houston IT support company can significantly reduce the risk of cyberattacks, data breaches, and viruses. A quality IT provider will take a multilevel approach to protect business systems. This means a cybercriminal will need to overcome many advanced obstacles to breakthrough.
IT support companies might also specialize their security setups to meet geographical needs- which is a good reason to hire locally. For instance, Houston IT support will know the common cybercrime in the area and pay special attention to prevent it.
2. Using Outdated Tools and Technology
Small businesses find it challenging to stay up to date with new IT solutions, as they have other tasks to worry about. However, outdated technology makes it difficult for small businesses to operate efficiently and keep up with the competition.
IT support offers businesses cost-effective tools and technology that boost internal productivity and minimizes downtime. Oftentimes, these tools would normally be out of reach for what most small businesses can afford. An IT company makes them affordable through their monthly service fee and discount pricing.
3. Lack of Internal IT support
Plenty of small businesses lack internal IT support or settle for a mediocre one. For example, they might assign a few tech-savvy employees to handle any IT issues that arise, rather than hiring trained experts. While these employees are great for rebooting a printer and other minor IT issues- they will be unable to resolve major system failures and cyberattacks.
Businesses need professional IT technicians who can handle IT disasters and online attacks. This doesn’t mean that they need to pay full salaries and benefits to an internal IT staff. Instead, Houston businesses can gain access to a full team of experts with outsourced IT support by simply paying an agreed-upon monthly service fee.
Top Outsourced IT Support Services to Look for in Houston
1. Disaster Recovery Plans
A worthwhile managed IT services provider will offer disaster recovery and off-site data backup services to protect a business from natural threats. This service keeps valuable data protected in the event of a natural disaster that damages their servers, such as a flood.
With this service, an IT company will set up a cloud-based data backup storage for a business. An off-site data backup allows businesses to regain their data following a catastrophe, making the recovery process easier.
2. 24/7 IT Support
Cyberattacks and system failures can occur without warning, any time of the day. If left unaddressed, these issues can result in prolonged operational downtime, data loss, or an expensive recovery process. With 24/7 IT support, businesses can get in touch with IT experts at any time to resolve an issue.
One of the biggest reasons to hire local support, rather than national or global support, is that they are more accessible. For instance, if an IT issue cannot be resolved online or over the phone, a Houston-based IT company can send IT professionals onsite to fix it in person.
3. IT Vendor Management
Small businesses can greatly benefit from adopting an IT vendor management service from an IT support company. With this service, a group of IT experts will manage both old and new vendor activities on behalf of a business. They will also negotiate with vendors to get the best prices for products and services.
This makes it easier for small businesses to manage their IT inquires as they will have one point of contact- rather than communicating with multiple vendors.
Additional Services to Look for
- Anti-Virus Protection
- Audio & Video System Setup
- Enterprise Email Services
- Hosted & Onsite Server Virtualization
- New Office Setups & Moves
- Voice and Data Cabling
How to Find a Trusted Houston IT Support Company
1. Positive Reviews and Testimonials
There is a low barrier to entry for IT companies, which means there are plenty that offers poor services. Fortunately, businesses can get a better understanding of a Houston IT support company’s service quality through client reviews and testimonials.
Most worthwhile IT providers have nothing to hide, so they will have reviews and testimonials on their websites for potential clients to look over. It’s hard to please everyone, but it’s a good sign if most clients have had a positive experience that improved their internal operations.
Ultimately, reviews and testimonials give Houston businesses an understanding of how an IT provider will benefit them. If reviews or testimonials are difficult to find on an IT support company’s website or by request, it should be considered a red flag.
2. Proactive Management
Some IT companies will simply react to an IT problem. This means they will fix an issue without taking the necessary steps to prevent it from reoccurring in the future.
IT providers that operate with proactive management will reduce the amount of break/fix situations in a business by adjusting their network. This, along with new approaches to network monitoring will prevent the same IT disruption from occurring repeatedly.
In addition, Houston IT support that uses proactive management will listen to business needs to help them choose tools that will boost productivity. While most reactive IT companies will offer generic tools and technology to all businesses.
Proactive IT providers in Houston will sometimes even meet with a business to discuss business goals and review progress.
3. Industry Experience
Technology varies by industry. So, businesses should search for Houston IT support that has experience with clients in the same industry.
It is possible for almost any IT support company to learn about an industry. However, it takes time to learn new technology and some industries will even require additional data and security certifications. An IT company that already has the appropriate industry experience and certifications can provide businesses with effective IT solutions immediately.
For instance, local Houston IT support is more likely to have experience with the popular industries in the area- such as advanced manufacturing, energy, and digital technology. A business that falls under one of these industries would benefit from local IT support that has industry experience with similar Houston-based businesses.
A local IT provider that’s familiar with a business’s industry will offer the appropriate tools and technology to support their internal operations. While a national or global IT company won’t be able to understand local industry needs in the same way.
IT support can benefit Houston small businesses in many ways. Most importantly, it will keep business systems secure while providing the services and technology solutions that help foster growth.
Do you need IT support in Houston? Find out how your business will benefit from TechPulse’s services.