There is nothing more frustrating – as an employee or employer – as ‘down-time’. Whether it’s a software issue or equipment malfunction, IT is such an integral part of all businesses that problems have to be resolved as soon as possible.
Many companies are switching to cloud based servers; the majority of whom offer software support as part of their licensing agreements. In addition to this, there are an increasing number of firms who offer IT support from a remote location for a fraction of the cost that a client would pay to employ an in-house IT team.
However, there are still many benefits to having IT support based in-house, some of which are listed below.
The personal touch is easy to underestimate. Many employees may not feel comfortable discussing IT problems over the phone or over a network link. Having technical support on site can give employees confidence both working with IT equipment and systems and that their issues have been fully resolved.
In addition, employees can build a rapport with their IT technicians which can help them to feel able to ask for help when they need it, rather than suffering in silence and having an impact on their efficiency.
Employing full time onsite support staff gives your company the benefit of knowing exactly what the business requirements are and can tailor their levels of service accordingly. They can identify recurring problems and look at providing long term fixes.
The more business-specific knowledge an IT department has, the more useful they can be in suggesting ways to take the business forward. They will be able to impartially recommend future software packages or changes in hardware. This removes the need for a company to undertake expensive consultations and can lead to long-term cost efficiencies.
Expert Training On-Site
Training new hires on software packages, which are often business specific, can be time consuming and a large expense for businesses. Having that resource on hand in the guise of an IT expert who knows the systems inside-out can provide instant benefits.
The new employee can begin working quickly and bring their own value to the team while having access to a swift trouble-shooting resource.
Hardware / Equipment Issues
Perhaps the biggest advantage in-house IT support has over a remote service is when it comes to dealing with hardware and equipment malfunctions.
Should something on a PC’s hard drive go awry or a mobile device lose functionality, an on-site IT technician is likely to be able to replace the equipment there and then.
If your support has been outsourced, then the likelihood is that the affected worker will be unable to work until a replacement has been delivered – something which will take a minimum of 24 hours. With so much business relying on employees having instant access to information, any down-time at all can have serious repercussions on performance.
No Call-Out Delays
Another great benefit to having access to support in-house is that where a problem cannot be solved remotely over an internet link, an on-site visit may be required. Where IT support is being provided by a third-party this will involve delays while a technician gets to the site – something which often takes three to four hours.
This problem can be readily alleviated by having IT technical support on-site and able to respond to serious problems instantly – thus minimizing the amount of down-time a business suffers.
As you can see, the benefits to maintaining an IT presence on site are still many and varied. Can you think of any others or are you a remote-support fan? Please let us know in the comments section below.
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Author John Rogers is a professional blogger on the cloud and IT. He has worked within the IT industry for nearly seven years and recommends Hardware.