As much as you’d like them to be, the technologies you use in running your small- to medium-sized business (SMB) aren’t perfect. They’re bound to malfunction or break down from time to time. Printers will jam, computers will freeze, and internet connections will lag and completely cut out, sometimes when you’re right in the middle of an important task. Fixing these issues take up a lot of your employees’ time — time that could be otherwise spent on efforts that actually add value to your business.
An IT support specialist may just be the answer to your productivity- and profit-draining technology issues.
What is an IT support specialist?
Also known as a computer support specialist, an IT support specialist provides organizations with assistance in addressing their technical, hardware, or software needs. Some businesses have in-house IT support staff, while others partner with managed IT services providers (MSPs) such as Frontline that offer IT support services.
In general, an IT support specialist uses various programs and equipment to address an organization’s tech-related concerns. They can perform their duties remotely and/or on premises, depending on what a particular job entails. For instance, they may walk a customer through troubleshooting systems and applications over the phone, or they may pay a visit to the client’s office to check up and maintain network equipment.
What tasks do they perform?
Responding to help requests from clients is not all an IT support specialist does. There’s a lot more to the job that requires them to perform a variety of duties that span different areas of expertise. These include:
- Installing and configuring software and hardware, such as new operating systems and computer peripherals
- Performing regular systems maintenance
- Running diagnostics on malfunctioning software and hardware
- Replacing malfunctioning, damaged, or outdated hardware parts
- Setting up user accounts/emails/profiles and granting/revoking access to systems
- Documenting systems performance, including writing reports on the status of all programs and equipment used within an organization
- Assessing and testing new technologies
What’s more, IT support staff may handle specific aspects of an organization’s computer support requirements. For instance, their only task may be to work on computers or mobile devices used by the company’s employees, or they may deal with all facets of network security and monitoring.
Should you hire an IT support specialist?
The short answer is yes. Knowing the value of technology to business, there shouldn’t be any question as to hiring someone to provide the IT support your business needs. The real question lies in whether to hire an internal IT support specialist or work with an MSP. Each has advantages and disadvantages, and ultimately, the choice depends on your business’s needs and goals.
For SMBs, however, outsourcing may be the only practical option. Working with an MSP that specializes in IT support services is cheaper than employing full-time staff; aside from salaries, the cost of an internal IT support team includes social security contributions, annual bonuses, training, and an array of other expenses. Outsourcing your IT support needs, in contrast, requires you to shell out a flat monthly fee, making budgeting relatively easier.
Additionally, an MSP can provide proactive support 24/7/365 as opposed to in-house staff, who usually work only during business hours. With outsourced IT support, any issues that come up after hours or during weekends and holidays can be resolved immediately with little or no disruption to your operations.
The value of technology to businesses of all sizes has never been more apparent, making an IT support specialist an absolute necessity for your organization. With a competent, reliable expert by your side, you can rest easy knowing that your systems and networks will always be in tip-top shape, able to meet the day-to-day demands and requirements of your employees and clients.
If you want to know more about how an IT support specialist can improve your Los Angeles-based SMB’s profitability and success, give Frontline a call today. Our experts are committed to taking care of your technology using an array of IT support services, giving you the freedom to focus on driving your business forward.