If you’re a business owner or operations manager, there’s probably a good chance you have spent time figuring out the IT needs of your business. It’s not as easy as searching online and picking the cheapest option or the company with the best reviews. The cheap option may not provide the services you need to keep your business at the top of its game, and the best-reviewed business may be too expensive or offer services that are completely unnecessary for your business.

To put it simply, if you want to get the most out of your IT support services, you must have a clear understanding of what you need, and do some research into how to best serve those needs. If you haven’t spent a lot of time in the world of IT, it can be difficult to figure out where to even begin the process.

We’ve got you covered. We’ve put together the three most common forms of IT support and explain the benefits and drawbacks of each so you can confidently decide on the best option for your business.

1. Managed IT Services

In this option, the IT services company takes over the role of your in-house IT department for a fixed and agreed-upon monthly rate. They’ll install, support and maintain all the users, devices and PCs connected to your network on a routine basis. They will even take care of your hardware and software needs for an extra cost. If you’re trying to plan for a monthly budget or want routine maintenance and IT support, this option will work wonders for your business.

It’s my sincere belief based on my decades of experience that the managed IT approach is undoubtedly the most cost-effective and smartest option for any business.

With managed IT services, your business will be protected from IT-related problems, and they will keep your systems up and running. They can effectively deal with common “disasters” such as lost devices, hardware failures, fires, natural disasters, and a host of other issues that can interrupt or outright destroy your IT infrastructure and the data it holds.

2. Technology As A Service

Another option that might work really well for your business is using a company that offers technology as a service. With these companies, you’ll get everything that managed IT services offer but with the addition of new hardware, software, and support. This service ensures that your business is always up to date with the newest software and hardware.

The greatest benefit of technology as a service is that you’ll avoid the heavy cost of new hardware and software when you need it, but you will be paying far more for the same hardware and software over time. You’ll also need to pay attention to the services they offer to ensure they can provide what you need and that it does not cost extra.

3. Time And Materials

Time and materials are often referred to as the “break-fix” method. This essentially means that you pay an agreed-upon hourly rate for a technician to “fix” a problem when something “breaks.” It’s a simple and straightforward way to pay for IT services but often doesn’t work in your favor and can lead you to pay more for basic services.

I would only recommend the time-and-materials approach if you already have an IT team, and you need additional support for a problem that your current IT team doesn’t have the time or expertise to handle. Under the break-fix model, the IT company has no immediate need to stabilize your network because they are getting paid hourly. The break-fix model is unable to supply ongoing maintenance and monitoring, which computer networks need to stay secure.

Depending on a time-and-materials contract to save the day if a catastrophe of any magnitude occurs is not going to be a winning strategy unless losing your systems or access to them presents zero risk to your business.

Help If You Need It

Choosing the right IT option for your business can take time and is certainly not something you want to rush into. Take your time and do your research to find the best option to fit your needs. If you’re unsure of where to begin – or need some help navigating the sometimes-confusing world of IT support – give us a call. We would be glad to help you define and find the IT support you need.

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