It’s Monday morning, and the office is gearing up for a busy week. Team members are at their desks, firing up their computers and ready for a productive start to the week. Then out of the blue, an IT issue crops up. The server is down, the internet connection is too slow, or some integral piece of software refuses to cooperate. As if by magic, work stops, and you can practically hear the lost minutes (and dollars) start to accumulate with no end in sight.
It’s a frustrating scenario, but one that happens every day to companies all over the world, in every line of business. No one is immune to it, but the outcome varies widely depending on how prepared you and your business are. A quick, coordinated response from a managed IT provider that knows your systems inside and out can mean the difference between minutes of downtime or days of lost productivity.
What Are Your IT Options?
Employing an in-house IT specialist can be incredibly useful to your office, but for medium and small businesses, keeping this type of professional on payroll might not make financial sense if you only need them a couple of times a week. Plus, they would likely require additional outside resources to proactively improve technology performance and align your systems with your business needs.
For businesses with more demanding needs, though, finding someone who has the capability to maintain, run and repair your entire IT infrastructure might be critical to your success.
Odds are, you'd rather focus on what you do best — running your business — and leave computer issues to those who are trained to deal with them efficiently. That’s why the simplest answer to your IT management problems is outsourcing. Plenty of companies use this method to stay focused on their business and still have the peace of mind that their technological systems are updated, safeguarded, and monitored by a qualified team.
When it comes to choosing an outsourced package, there are two choices: remote IT support or onsite support. Each approach has its own benefits and drawbacks, so the best fit for your business will depend on your needs and goals.
What Remote IT Support Is
Remote IT support services are a great solution to ensure your technology is always helping your business function smoothly and achieve goals.
With remote IT support, when a tech issue arises, you can call the help desk and a technician will log onto your system remotely. They can access affected machines or servers via a web-based application, then diagnose and repair the issue.
One benefit of this option is that technicians are typically available 24/7 and can operate from anywhere in the world. This is particularly useful if your business has more than one office or has a portion of staff who work from home on remote computers and others onsite. With remote work becoming so popular, and more tasks being completed on mobile devices, remote tech support is also growing in popularity. This option ensures everyone in the company has access to the same support, regardless of their location, device or time zone.
Another major pro of remote IT support services is that they're cost-effective due to its speedy nature. Help desks employ multiple IT professionals who can help to address end users needs quickly. All you need to do is create a ticket with your tech support company, submit it to the desk and a tech will reach out to walk you through the solution. This can also cut down significantly on downtime.
Finally, while your remote IT support tech is troubleshooting your issue, a continuous record is made of ongoing work and problems. With managed remote IT support, your systems are continuously monitored to predict any future weak points. The data collected is put to good use to plan the most efficient and useful IT strategy for your needs. This goes far beyond standard programs like Microsoft Office and includes optimization of your most vital line-of-business software, as well as malware removal, cyber security and anti-virus defenses and even monitoring help desk ticket trends so you can train employees how to troubleshoot common issues.
What Remote IT Support Is Not
Every method has its limitations, and remote IT support services are no exception. The response time is top-notch, and with remote access, remote companies can provide practically any technical support service you need, but there is still the issue of not having anyone to service on-premise hardware.
With modern cloud computing, fewer and fewer businesses still use on-premise hardware as their primary hub for their tech stacks, but it is still done in certain situations.
So if your internet connection is down because of wiring issues within your server, and it's on-premise, remote IT support may not be able to do much. The same would be true if a computer physically breaks; your remote tech won’t be much help. However, some 'remote' IT teams still offer the ability to come onsite if needed. So if that's the only reservation, be sure to ask your remote provider if that is an option.
Additionally, business owners that deal with more sensitive information might hesitate to use remote services due to security or privacy concerns. The belief is that allowing remote access to their system could open the door for unwanted vulnerabilities. And though the reality of data breach is always there, an excellent managed IT team — remote or not — proactively guards against that. To make sure your business’ information is safe, ask potential IT services how they guard client data and remote connections, as well as what protocols are in place in case something is breached.
Lastly, some companies simply prefer face-to-face interaction from their technical support service. They like the feel of building rapport with their IT team in person. In a digital world, that is quite understandable! It's for those reasons that we at Daystar, for example, prioritize relationship building with our clients and are intentional about getting to know their business inside and out.
So Should I Go With Onsite IT Support?
Onsite tech support services have their pros and cons too. One positive element of having someone come to your business to address your IT issues is that there's no need for connectivity. So even if your internet service provider is experiencing outages or your system needs some hands-on care, an onsite technician can get you back on track.
Another advantage, as we’ve mentioned above, is the personal touch that comes with onsite support. Technicians will learn your needs and strategy and get to know your team and their individual requirements. As you develop a relationship over time, your IT company can help you strategize for the future, update your IT infrastructure and keep your hardware and software up to date and running as smoothly as possible.
When it comes to pricing, however, the unavoidable fact is that full onsite support is more expensive. Add to that the additional downtime when a technician has to travel to your address to fix something, and the costs can grow even more. If you have remote access computers spread around the country or world, your onsite technician won’t be able to work on all of them efficiently. This also applies to staff or offices in different time zones or if you have an IT problem outside of normal office hours. If a server crashes on a Friday afternoon, you could be left until Monday with no working system due to a problem that could be easily rectified by a remote operative.
The Answer Is Both
So now that we’ve seen the pros and cons of both onsite and remote IT support services, it’s time for us to make our recommendation. And that is not to choose one or the other, per se, but rather look for the best of both worlds with a hybrid approach. At Daystar, we combine the advantages of both onsite and remote services to offer the best possible managed IT services for your unique needs. A combination of 24/7 remote support and monitoring, along with hands-on technicians who personally get to know your day-to-day requirements, makes for a comprehensive, cost-effective, and hassle-free IT support solution.
Our remote IT support service, Daystar Direct, allows you to quickly get answers to your questions on the phone, by email or through our online portal. When you need more than remote assistance, our onsite engineers will happily come to your office to provide direct, hands-on help for your network and teams. We encourage you to learn more about how Daystar's unique IT solutions focus on your business success with both remote and onsite IT support services.