IT – Internet technology – is an integral part of your small business. Like any other entrepreneur, your goal is to receive IT services that meet your business’ needs and work smoothly and reliably. However, small business owners decide whether to employ in-house IT solutions or go for managed IT services.
In an in-house tech support plan, IT experts are incorporated into the workforce, while in the outsourcing plan, innovative IT services are provided by a different firm. Several IT companies in Little Rock provide small business tech support, but first, you need to understand the pros and cons of each plan to decide what might work best for you.
What Is Small Business Tech Support?
Tech support is the provision and management of IT solutions to a business. Most business owners require innovative IT services to help improve their daily operations. However, as a small business owner, you may not have the requisite knowledge or time to install and maintain an IT system. Therefore, you need an IT expert to set up and maintain your information technology systems for you.
As mentioned above, there are two types of tech support: in-house IT support and outsourced tech support. While your business does need some kind of tech support, you should not rush into choosing either of the two plans. You should do an in-depth analysis of the benefits and drawbacks of the two options before settling on one.
In-House IT Support
The in-house IT support plan requires you to hire a resident IT specialist. The specialist will draw a salary and other benefits that affect your payroll and overhead like any other employee. PayScale.com puts the average expense of hiring an in-house specialist at $58,000 or more per year.
Benefits of In-House Support
The self-managed support plan provides flexibility in your job design. You could appoint one of your existing personnel to provide IT support in addition to their regular duties. This method would also allow you to assign other duties to a newly hired IT specialist. A resident specialist also understands the nuances of your business and continues to build experience in supporting your specific systems.
Drawbacks of In-House Support
In-house support may provide only limited services to your business compared to what you would get from off-site IT companies in Little Rock. The self-managed plan may also not allow you to respond effectively to issues arising during your peak season when you may be dealing with more inventory and are getting more traffic online and in your brick-and-mortar locations. Outsourced services may be able to better respond to technical hitches on a busy day since the outsourced firm increases support and expertise based on need.
Outsourced Tech Support
Outsourcing your tech support means allowing another firm to manage your IT systems. The firm you utilize employs the experts and charges you an hourly rate for the services provided. For most small businesses, outsourced monthly charges are as low as $500 to $2000, which is significantly less than employing someone in-house.
Benefits of Outsourcing
Outsourcing avails innovative IT services to businesses without restructuring the existing workforce. Firms specializing in IT consulting in AR, for instance, will help you design and install an IT system that optimally supports other departments of your business. IT companies in Little Rock can also help you maintain that system and respond effectively to any technical challenges that arise.
Going with managed IT services also brings a wide range of experts to your business, meaning you can resolve any IT challenge in your day-to-day operations. Compared to managed services, the in-house plan requires a higher investment to get the same range of expertise that IT companies in Little Rock provide.
Outsourcing tech support also allows you to concentrate on other aspects of your business, like marketing or research and development, while you leave others to troubleshoot system challenges. Managed tech support transfers the worries of system failure to another firm, giving you more time to spend elsewhere, not to mention peace of mind.
Drawbacks of Managed Tech Support
The downside of outsourcing your small business tech support is that you have little or no control of your IT expenses – support charges are sent to you regardless of whether you use the services or not. You may incur higher expenses compared to the in-house plan as you can assign other duties to your IT staff when their support duties are not needed. You are, therefore, encouraged to compare several providers of IT services in Little Rock to get the best hourly rate.
Choose the Right Tech Support
Considering tech support in isolation may make a viable option look less pragmatic than it is. Consequently, you will need to consider other departments of your business before settling on a tech support plan.
Some departments may need closer attention than tech support; most small businesses place IT issues at the bottom of their to-do list. Regardless of the ranking of tech support in your priority list, you need a functional tech system to support other departments in the business. Companies specializing in IT consulting in AR can help you pick the best IT services in Little Rock that can act as a backbone to other functions of your business.
When considered together with other needs of the business, the managed tech support plan is the best for small businesses. While it may appear less practical to outsource your tech support, outsourcing automates your support services, providing around-the-clock support. The automation of managed tech support removes the risk of skipping routine activities like data backup.
Managed tech support also ensures that you get the latest services and software updates at no additional cost. Software updates ensure the security of your data as well as providing better services to your business. Companies offering IT consulting in AR can also train your staff and advise you on the application of technology to other aspects of your business.
Let Scale | We Can Help
At Scale Technology, we provide small business tech support and IT consulting in AR. We believe smart businesses outsource their tech needs for maximum efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Scale Technology is here to walk you through the tech world if you are looking for managed IT services in Little Rock. Contact us today at 501-213-3298 for more information.