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What is IT Support? Everything Baltimore Businesses Need to Know
If you’re like many small businesses in the Baltimore area, IT support might not be your number one priority. You’re focused on making sales, growing your company, and planning a long, successful future. There’s hardly time to prioritize IT advancements and security.
What many small to mid-sized businesses don’t realize is that IT support (or the lack thereof) can make or break your business. What happens when your servers crash? Your clients’ data is stolen? A natural disaster knocks out all of your online systems?
IT support isn’t just a bonus or a service to consider adding later. It’s essential. If you want your business to run smoothly and have the security defenses it needs, it’s time to consider turning to IT support in Baltimore.
We don’t expect you to just take our word on this, though.
In this post, we’re diving into IT support. What is it? Why do you need it, and what kind of support should you look for in the area?
Let’s dive in.
IT Support Services: An Overview
IT, or information technology, is all about your business’s technology setup.
Every organization in Baltimore is using technology, whether it’s a construction company or a school. The world has evolved, and to keep up with the latest consumer demands and employee expectations, you need IT.
Where there’s IT, there are IT problems.
Business technology support services ensure all of your devices and digital systems run smoothly. When you experience technical issues, a support team addresses the problem quickly and prevents it from escalating. Their goal is to make certain your technology is always helping, never hindering.
When you partner with an IT company, you receive access to many different support systems, including (but not limited to):
- Cloud storage solutions
- Help desk services
- Spam and cybersecurity protection
- On-demand help for pressing issues
- Customized technology setups
- Off-site data storage
In most cases, it’s not really a matter of if you need IT support services. It’s a matter of what IT services you need. Your Baltimore business has unique needs, and you will have to find an IT team that can fulfill those.
IT support services can also include consulting services. You’re not an expert in IT - so how can you be expected to make big, important IT decisions on behalf of your entire company? Working with an IT support provider gives you the guidance you need to make smart decisions when it comes to your technology.
The Benefits of IT Support Services
1. Improve Efficiency
The first big pro to choosing IT support in Baltimore is the upgrade to your company’s productivity levels. Working with a trained team of IT professionals ensures that all of your employees have the tech and setup they need to maximize efficiency.
If you want a hands-off approach to dealing with your IT, then you need a support team running the background, dealing with productivity barriers, and helping employees as they run into problems. You’ll spend less time talking about dealing with IT and more time running your business.
Although an in-house IT department can certainly help maintain staff efficiency, there are things to consider about hiring your own company team. It’s often more expensive, and at the end of the day, it’s limited. Your in-house IT staff can only handle so much at a time, but an outsourced IT support service? They don’t have nearly as many limitations.
2. Control Costs
Speaking of more expensive in-house teams, let’s talk about controlling your costs with the help of an IT support provider.
You might be hesitant to consider IT support in Baltimore because your budget is already stretched thin. The good news is that a strong IT team will actually help you maximize your budget, rather than increase your expenses.
By partnering with an external IT company, you can:
- Lower travel expenses incurred by visiting IT help.
- Minimize your on-demand network costs.
- Spend less time (and money) training new in-house IT employees.
If price is a concern, talk to businesses that offer IT support in Baltimore. Find out what their average costs are, and explain your financial situation. Most will be willing to offer short-term contracts that work around your budget.
3. Receive Speedy Responses
How many times have you called a tech help desk or Apple/PC specialist, only to be on hold forever? How many emails to your current IT help provider have gone unanswered?
It’s our belief that when a business needs IT help, there’s no time for delay. Technical issues, downtime, and online threats must be addressed immediately in order to prevent your business from losing its reputation and revenue.
As you consider IT support in Baltimore, look for an IT company that can dispatch help in less than a day. Ask about their online response times and ability to handle problems remotely.
Working with a trusted IT support provider doesn’t just ensure you get help quickly. It also ensures the help works quickly. Chances are, whatever problem you’re dealing with, it’s something they’ve faced before. They’ll know how to remediate the issue in a timely manner, which helps your team get back on track ASAP.
4. Establish a Level of Consistency
The last benefit of IT support we wanted to mention is the ability to streamline your processes and set a standard for your team. Rather than experiencing ups and downs with your tech, constantly fighting IT battles, you’ll learn what true, steady productivity looks like.
The average internal IT team responds to 492 tickets per month - and they can only handle so many a day. Outsourcing your IT services to experts alleviates this huge burden and leads to more consistent help, regardless of how many devices are down or systems that need analysis.
The Three Main Types of IT Support in Baltimore
There are three main types of IT support: Block Hours, Time and Material, and Managed Services. Let’s take a look at each one to determine which best meets your business’s needs.
1) Block Hours
This type of IT support is helpful but limited. Your company would pay a discounted rate or a specific number of service hours from the IT team. You can ask for help as you see fit and use the hours as you wish, but once they are on a monthly/yearly basis, they’re gone.
Additionally, the Block Hour service is reactive. You call in the big guns when something goes wrong, but on a day-to-day basis, your company is on its own.
2) Time and Material
With Time and Material IT support, you (the client) will pay for the materials you need, whether it be a new computer or cloud storage service. Your IT support contract will only cover the amount of time needed for the technician to complete an installation, handle a problem, etc.
3) Managed Services
Finally, there’s the holy grail of IT support: managed services.
This is the solution for the business that wants to receive round-the-clock support and monitoring for a flat fee. Rather than picking and choosing the IT services you will pay for, you agree to a price for continuous services equivalent to that of which an in-house IT team would provide (but even more extensive).
We might sound a little biased in our praise of managed IT support services, and for good reason - that’s what we offer. But hear us out:
Companies that outsource their IT support in Baltimore to an MSP experience the highest levels of IT protection and assistance. They have continual access to IT professionals - not just when something goes awry, but whenever they want.
Additionally, managed services cover long-term cybersecurity offerings. You won’t just get help when a hacker poses a threat. You’ll receive 24/7 monitoring, firewall updates, education, and more that keep your Baltimore business safe.
Of course, we can’t tell you which kind of IT support is right for your local business. That’s up to you.
What we can tell you is that if you’re looking for full-fledged, all-inclusive IT support, you need to find a trustworthy managed services provider. If you have questions about MSPs or IT support in Baltimore, give us a call at 833-523-TECH.
What Kinds of Baltimore Businesses Need IT Support?
In a general sense, all businesses need IT support. If you work with computers or phones or any other digital device, you need proper tech safety and guidance services.
However, we understand that not every business has the same needs, and not all feel the requirement to outsource their IT to others. So, more specifically, what kinds of Baltimore businesses most benefit from hiring external IT support for their team?
1. Those without In-House IT Expertise
The first and most obvious candidate for IT support from an MSP or other company is the business that has little to no IT help internally. Perhaps we’re talking about a small company with one IT person helping everyone or an entrepreneur who is just building their team.
Even if you have a rudimentary understanding of IT and feel you can get along without a team of support, can you:
- Ensure you’re properly protecting your technology from threats?
- Watch over every desktop at all hours?
- Handle more than a few “emergencies” at a time?
Outsourced IT support provides a way to cover all your bases at once. You might not be a big enough company to hire in-house IT experts, but you are big enough to need more than just surface-level help.
2. Those Worried About Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity is the “hot topic” of today, but it’s not a passing trend. In today’s world, an online attack is more dangerous to an F-35 jet than a missile attack. Warfare is waged digitally, and your company needs to be prepared for the latest threats out there - ransomware, phishing schemes, data breaches, etc.
If your business, like so many others, deals with sensitive client information, you need IT support that covers your security. We typically recommend IT support for this purpose to:
- Healthcare businesses
- Law firms
- Federal contractors
- Educational facilities
Still, the need for cybersecurity can apply to any and all businesses. If you’re worried that your current defenses aren’t adequate, or you need extra help reaching legal compliance in regards to data protection, you’ll want to seek help from an IT support provider.
3. Businesses That Need Scalable Solutions
Thirdly, outsourced IT support for businesses is hugely beneficial to companies that plan to grow quickly. If your business is booming and expanding, you won’t necessarily have the time/capability to hire in-house IT support.
External IT support is scalable, which means as you grow, so does your help. Additionally, an IT support provider can conduct an IT assessment to learn how and when you will grow, how to adjust your budget, and what to do to prepare your IT systems.
Of course, your business doesn’t have to fall into either of these three categories to benefit substantially from IT support in Baltimore. If you have questions, let us know. We’re happy to show you how an IT company like ours can improve your business’s productivity and safety.
Finding the Right IT Support in Baltimore
And there you have it: that’s what IT support is all about.
It’s not some new-fangled service that serves little purpose for your business. It’s an enhancement - and protection. A way to ensure your business is operating at full steam all day, every day.
At TSquared Tech, we’re all about simplifying your technology, not complicating it. Our IT company will work around the clock to provide your business with the efficient workflows, reduced downtime, and cybersecurity solutions it needs.
Many IT businesses focus more on the “IT” part of the equation, but at TSquared, we’re about the “support.” We’re here to walk you through whatever dangers or changes are around the corner. Your business’s long-term success is our priority.
To learn more about IT support in Baltimore, or to schedule a free consultation with our IT experts, give us a call at 833-523-TECH. You can also shoot us a message online. Our IT support specialists are standing by, ready to explain everything we have to offer and answer any questions.