5 Reasons Why Off-Site IT Support Is Right for Your Small Business
Who needs an off-site IT support? When the data breach that exposed sensitive information of millions of its customers rocked Equifax, the company hired an off-site IT support.
Equifax isn’t the only large enterprise that hired off-site IT support as a result of a data breach. Once an embarrassing data breach hits large companies, these companies normally disclose that they’ve engaged the service of an off-site IT support.
Large enterprises aren’t the only organizations that need off-site IT support, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) also benefit from off-site IT support.
What is Off-Site IT Support?
An example of an off-site IT support is the cybersecurity services offered by a cybersecurity company to an independent company.
Aside from cybersecurity services, IT support could also include maintaining or upgrading IT backoffice infrastructure, data storage management, server operating system update and other IT related services such as email, remote connection and telephony.
As exemplified by Equifax, having an in-house IT support doesn’t stop a company from hiring an off-site IT support.
An in-house IT support refers to an individual or individuals who are under an organization’s payroll. An off-site IT support, on the other hand, refers to an independent IT company composed of highly-skilled and experienced IT professionals.
The IT company can be hired by your organization on a one-time basis or on a regular basis. This IT firm also doesn’t necessarily replace your existing on-site IT staff. The off-site IT firm can augment the IT services offered by your existing IT staff.
Here are the top reasons why your small business needs an off-site IT support:
1. Cyberattacks, Data Breaches
Large, medium and small businesses today have some form of online presence. Consumer behavior has drastically changed in the last few years as they finally have access to fast and cheap internet connection and powerful and cheap laptops, smartphones and tablets.
Businesses have no choice but to adapt to the growing demands of consumers and that’s to have an online presence.
Years before, the “IT guy” is limited to fixing broken computers. IT needs of businesses today have gone beyond mere fixing broken computers to current IT menace: cyberattacks and data breaches.
Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS), cryptocurrency mining malware, phishing attacks and ransomware are just a few of the broad examples of cybermenace that lurk online.
Cybercriminals don’t limit themselves to attacking large companies. Many cybercriminals see opportunities in attacking small businesses as the online presence of these businesses are less likely protected compared to the cybersecurity measures employed by big companies.
As new malicious software (malware) is regularly created and modified by cyberattackers, one staff having to deal with all these cybermenace on top of existing job responsibilities is an over-stretched.
Outsourcing IT support will give your organization access to IT professionals who are better equipped in protecting your organization from vast and growing cyberthreats.
2. Government Regulations
Government regulations are becoming tough in requiring organizations to protect their clients’ data.
Under the European Union’s law General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), to be implemented this coming May 25th, any organization regardless of size and locations so long as it processes data of EU citizens are required put in place cybersecurity measures and to report to authorities and clients in case of a data breach. Violation thereof will subject an organization to a fine up to 4% of annual global turnover or €20 Million, whichever is greater.
The soon to be implemented Canada’s Digital Privacy Act similarly requires Canadian organizations to put in place cybersecurity measures and to report to authorities and clients in case of a data breach. Non-compliance thereof will subject an organization to a fine of up to $100,000 per violation.
In a small organization, employees often multi-task. A finance officer, for instance, may perform IT tasks such as updating the organization’s software, backing up the organization’s sensitive data and preventing cyberattacks on the company’s sensitive data.
These IT tasks are often beyond the staff’s qualifications. Your organization runs the risk of having an in-house IT staff that protects your organization from cyberattacks by watching YouTube tutorial videos.
This doesn’t, however, discount the fact that many in-house IT staff, although they don’t have the formal training, have undergone informal training and have gained expertise and experience in the IT field. However, due to the staff’s other work commitments in the company, protecting your organization’s sensitive data may be last of the staff’s priorities. For instance, your finance officer for sure will prioritize his or her accounting responsibilities over the IT responsibilities.
Giving the IT responsibility to an already over-burdened staff may also lead to half-baked work results as non-related tasks could prevent the staff from focusing on the original job responsibilities.
Hiring a full-time or even a part-time IT manager is counterproductive especially if your small company’s nature of business isn’t mainly IT. Paying a full-range salary to an employee who does very little work will only create friction with over-burdened co-workers.
Hiring full-time or part-time skilled and experienced IT employees is a costly move for a small business. Expenses to be considered when hiring IT employees include recruitment costs, salary, company benefits and equipment cost.
By outsourcing IT support, your organization gets fast access to skilled and experienced IT professionals without the need of paying an IT staff 24/7 and buying expensive, yet unnecessary hardware and software.
5. 24/7 IT Service
Dependence on one staff member to oversee your organization’s IT is a risky move. What if this staff calls in sick or takes a vacation? Who will temporarily take over his or her tasks? What happens if your IT staff simply can’t deal with your current IT issue?
Outsourcing IT support will give your organization access to IT professionals that can offer 24/7, 365 IT service.
Since 1983, GenX has been providing off-site IT support to small and medium-sized organizations in Canada. GenX’s Careforce IT Service team is the eight-time winner of the Consumers’ Choice Gold award.
Contact us 24/7, 365 days a year for any IT issue that your organization may encounter.