Small Business IT Support: The Importance of Routine On-Site Maintenance

Tue, Jan, 30, 2018 @ 11:01 AM

Summary

Gas is expensive, and there’s already too much gridlock out there as it is. So it’s a good thing that managed IT support providers, such as Sagiss, can deliver the majority of their IT support services remotely. Using tools such as Teamviewer, Kaseya, and Logicmonitor, these providers can address a multitude of technical issues for several different clients all at the same time. Over the past three decades, IT support professionals have created a remarkable set of tools that almost eliminate the need to ever visit a support client in-person.

Almost.

That’s right, for as capable as today’s cutting-edge support software may be, it cannot solve every IT issue that comes up. Sometimes, you just need to hop in the truck, drive over, and take a look for yourself. And that’s an important thing for business owners to remember.

Why? Because on-site availability is a critical factor to consider when you’re shopping for an IT support provider. If you meet an IT shop that claims they can solve every problem remotely, turn and run the other way. What they claim is not only untrue, but also unwise.

The truth is, not every IT problem can be solved remotely. Moreover, making it a point to visit our client’s offices on a routine basis allows us to prevent small problems from snowballing into larger ones.

We’ve gathered a few of the key reasons your IT support provider should conduct routine on-site visits, and hope you’ll add to the list in the comments below.

1. Cybersecurity starts with physical security

Data security is just as much about locks and doors as it is about cryptography and passwords. If your IT provider has a vested interest in keeping your computing environment secure, they ought to conduct regular site inspections. Their goal should be to ensure that sensitive data and equipment are not exposed to the general public. A good provider will check that your server closet is secure and that any sensitive network equipment is also under lock and key.

Are you unsure how to secure your infrastructure? Speak to your IT support provider and discuss potential solutions. It may be as simple as installing a mag-lock on your front door … or maybe not. The best security solution for your organization depends on the type of physical space your business occupies, and the volume and nature of the network equipment you need to secure.

2. What’s that plugged in over there?

An office IT network is not a static environment. Phones, laptops, iPads, servers and all manner of other devices are constantly logging in and out. For your support provider to deliver the highest possible level of service, they must have a complete picture of your day-to-day IT infrastructure.

Find an IT provider that takes the time to document physical changes to your network on a routine basis. Investing this time speeds up future support calls and clarifies communication between the support provider and client. During these visits, your provider may identify equipment plugged into the network that poses a security risk, or perhaps needlessly slows down traffic. It may seem like a small step, but it’s one that some support providers casually overlook, often to the detriment of their clients.

3. Better service

Today’s best IT support providers have created multiple ways for their clients to reach out for help if they hit an IT glitch. Often, clients can submit support tickets via email, phone or a chat box. Still, despite having numerous ways to report technical problems, some small issues go unreported and unnoticed. 

You’ve seen these issues time and again. Maybe the printer ran out of paper, and no one thought to refill it. What about the contents of your server closet? Is it normal for those lights to blink on the front of your router? Has that cord come loose from its socket? Your managed service provider will fix that. When your support provider takes a walk through your office, they can correct small issues before they balloon into real problems.

 


 

We’d love to hear your own examples and thoughts about how proactive, on-site IT support can keep your mission-critical systems healthy. Please leave us a comment below.