8 Harsh Realities of Small Business IT Support

The IT industry has undoubtedly become one of the most important industries for our society. Almost every single thing we do relies on technology in one way or another, and so that means that businesses need to keep up with IT, or risk getting left behind.

We like to think of our IT as invincible. We want to be able to sit down, every day, at our computers, and have everything just work the way we want it to. Unfortunately though, that is not the case. Like any other industry, IT is not perfect.

So, we have prepared these points to give you a behind-the-scenes insight into some of the harsh realities to keep in mind when you sign on with an IT support company. Before you continue reading though, make sure you are ready to hear the honest truth- because that’s what this article will give you.

1. It will take time to get set up

Signing on with an IT support company is a big step. You are essentially handing over the keys to your organization’s kingdom. A good IT company is not going to be able to set your entire network up overnight. They are going to take the time to make sure everything is set up correctly, in the right order, and they are going to take the time to get to know your company so they can make sure they are providing the best support for you.

If you ever come across an IT support company who says they can have your network up and running perfectly in 24 hours or less- run away.

2. Yes, your stuff will still break

This is a reality of life. No IT network or system is flawless, no computer will run perfectly all the time, and no equipment will last forever. You will at some point get a virus. You will at some point run into an issue while using a program, and you will at some point need to replace your computer equipment. By remembering this from the get-go, you are going to be much less frustrated when a problem does arise.

3. There is no magic pill

Contrary to what you might see on TV, working with computers is not an exact science. One week you might be able to have a problem fixed in 20 minutes, and the next week it might take an hour to solve the same problem. The job of an engineer not only requires a thorough knowledge of the processes of tech equipment, but the ability to think abstractly and figure out the root cause of the issue, and come up with a way to fix it.

That’s one reason why hiring an IT support company provides more benefits to your company. When you have more than one person who is responsible for your IT, it gives them the opportunity to work together, share experiences, and determine faster how to fix the issues.

4. A lot of the time, it’s user error

This is one of the hardest realities to face, but it is very true. Much of the time, it’s going to be something you or one of your colleagues did that caused the problem. We’re not saying this to place blame or make you feel bad, just the opposite. Think of this as an opportunity to learn. Spend some time chatting with the engineer to figure out what went wrong and then ask that one crucial question- “How can I prevent this from happening again?” (Side note: That’s one of an engineer’s favorite questions).

5. Engineers aren’t Gods

It might seem like they are sometimes. We’ve had problems fix themselves just because a client called in, or at the exact moment an engineer walks into an office. We would love to say it’s because they radiate this IT-fixing power, but the sad truth is that they are just people. They can’t speed up the shipment of a new computer, they can’t magically make the internet connection come back when it’s down, and they don’t have the ability to get rid of a computer virus just by glaring at it really hard.

What they do have though, is years of training and experience and a passion for helping people with their IT problems. So when you bring a problem to an engineer, remember that they have one goal- helping you.

6. You can have it done cheap, or you can have it done right

For the most part, that really sums it up. Budget is a big concern with small businesses, and any IT support company that works with them is going to try and help with as little cost to you as possible. But the truth is, their prices will never be able to match the huge corporations. However, you can spend a minimal amount of money and get minimal quality in return, or you can work with a quality IT support company. It might cost a little more, but the payoffs are huge. Your IT will run better, which will allow your company to grow. Plus, if you opt for the cheap support in the beginning, chances are you will end up paying more in the long run when the system breaks down.

7. Most of the time, the problem isn’t as bad as you think it is

Is it a huge problem if your server goes down and no one in your office can do any work? Yup. It is a very huge problem, and your IT support needs to treat it as such.

Is it a monumental issue if your email program isn’t working, and you have to use a work-around such as OWA (Outlook Web Access) until your regular email is fixed? Well, it certainly is a problem, but since you have a work-around that allows you not to lose any time or productivity, no. It’s not monumental.

Is it a crisis if your internet connection is a little slow and you can’t catch up on your shows during your lunch hour? No. You do want to look into why your internet is slow (check out these top reasons for it) but that really isn’t a life or death situation.

Keep in mind too that if you treat everything as a huge problem, then nothing is a huge problem (think of it like The Boy Who Cried Wolf).

8. You still need to pay attention to your IT and learn something

Hiring an IT support company is a huge step in improving your IT system and bringing your technology up to a whole new level. Unfortunately, it’s not the only step. In order for your network to run smoothly, it is going to take the participation of everyone in the company.

People are going to need to learn where to save their documents (shared drives), what links they shouldn’t be clicking on, etc. Most importantly, everyone in the company needs to follow the instructions given to them by the IT professionals. If you are told that you need to leave your computer on every night and reboot it once a week, so that the updates can run smoothly, every person in the company needs to do this. Otherwise, you’ll have someone running up to you complaining their computer isn’t working correctly, and you’ll find out they haven’t rebooted their computer in 6 months. Some of the instructions from your IT support might seem silly to you, but trust that you hired good people who know what they’re doing.

Which of these harsh realities surprised you? Why? Let us know in the comments!

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Time and experience has helped us develop best practices and workflow procedures around a proactive philosophy designed to keep your focus on your business, not your technology.

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