4 Top Tips for Finding the Best IT Support Service for Small Businesses in the North East

IT support for the North East business

IT has become the literal pulse behind just about every operation conducted by small businesses in the UK and indeed on the banks of the Tyne and in and around the north east of England.

Data storage, specific data retrieval, better communication, instant access to vital information as well as a multitude of marketing activities are greatly enhanced with the right IT systems.

Both time and money are saved (and generated) by having a robust technical solution underpinning our business operations.

However, with an increased reliance and dependence on these systems comes an augmented need for support and direction when it comes to keeping your IT systems running at full capacity

We’ve taken some of the initial concerns that our clients – both north and south of the Tyne – have had and answered them here in the hope that any other small business owners out there who are needing help with their technical support can find guidance here.

 

1. IT company with the best response time

“How long does it take for an it company to respond to it support?”

One of our Gateshead based clients started his journey with us by asking this very question.

There is no ‘one’ answer to that question, but I understand why it was asked:

If something breaks, then you want to be safe in the knowledge that disruption to ‘business as usual’ is minimal.

Companies will often offer a guarantee that they will come out and have your problem fixed within a certain time frame. Let’s say four hours (as four to eight hours is the norm for many IT companies). Now, something to be weary of is that if all your IT support company is offering is that ‘break / fix’ model then their entire business success relies on your IT systems NOT working.

They only get paid when your IT is malfunctioning!

Therefore, with some companies, it doesn’t matter what is wrong with your IT processes they will take the maximum amount of time allowed to fix the problem. They are after all, paid by the hour.

Not all your business tech fixes need a physical visit from your IT company. In this case you also need to be searching for a company that can offer a level of remote assistance – that is,
when a technician uses software/hardware to access a client’s devices offsite, in order to provide maintenance and support. This could include anything from installing updates and security patches to troubleshooting other issues.

 

2. IT Support – Proactive vs Reactive

“What is the difference between proactive and reactive tech support?”

Reactive IT support is when your IT team responds to problems with your hardware and software. For example: if a server goes down, your IT provider will take the necessary steps to get it running again. They take action based on the problems that are reported to them.

Proactive IT support is basically the opposite of the break / fix methodology that we mentioned above.

You can help prevent problems before they happen with proactive IT support services. By automatically identifying and resolving potential issues, proactive support can save your business time and money.

The level of proactive service you receive will very much depend on whether your business IT support is a managed services model or a TSP (technology success provider).

Managed Services Provider (MSP)

An MSP is the system most used in the UK. Your company’s critical infrastructure and systems are proactively monitored and managed, ensuring that they stay up and running smoothly. Typically, MSP’s provide around-the-clock support and protection against cyber threats.

Technology Success Provider (TSP)

TSP is the natural evolution of the MSP model mentioned above. It has all the benefits of MSP with an increased focus on your short medium- and long-term business processes. The TSP model recognises IT as an investment and a core function of the business. As such small businesses that use the TSP model will save time and money and can eventually end up costing 1/6th of your current IT support spend.

 

3. IT Security for the small business

“is ransomware a cyber-attack?”

One of our Newcastle based engineers was asked this recently and the answer is an emphatic yes!

This type of malware works by preventing you from accessing your computer or the data that is stored on it. In some cases, the computer itself may become locked. In others, the data on it might be stolen, deleted or encrypted. No matter the case, ransomware can be a major pain to say the least. If you’d like to know more about how to protect your small to medium sized business from a ransomware attack, then one of our previous posts is a must read. You can get it HERE.

Ransomware is only one of many cyber-attacks that north-eastern businesses have fallen prey to recently. Whichever IT company you select to partner with they need to have strategies in place to tackle the multifarious threats that are out there. It is also advisable that your IT provider is at the very least an MSP but ideally TSP meaning that potential threats can be identified and protected against before they have a chance to surface.

 

4. IT Training for the small business

“Do my staff need to be IT literate?”

The quote above from an estate agency client in South Tyneside raises a valid point:

Small businesses need their staff to have a degree of computer literacy. Exactly how much depends upon their job description.

In general terms, employees who are computer literate are able to work more efficiently, producing better results in less time. This enhances workflow and the overall experience within the workplace.

Some IT companies provide specific training to help staff use technology to perform their duties. Training can also include data protection (GDPR) and security measures to help prevent cyber threats.

A final word…

I hope this information has helped. Munki Business IT is one of the few IT companies in the UK that use the TSP model and believe in brining big IT to small businesses. For too many years corporate clients have exclusively enjoyed the very best in proactive IT support and now that level of service is available to you at an affordable price. Contact us below to find out more.