Whether you’re a start-up with two people, a team of 10, or an SME of 100+ employees, well thought out IT solutions for small businesses can make the difference between thriving or merely surviving. When it comes to the long term success of your organisation, IT solutions are key – especially when something like 2020 comes along to throw a spanner in the works!
To put together the best IT solutions for a your business you should have a good understanding of the type of business you have, the people that work there, the budgets available for IT overheads or staffing costs, and how staff need to work to best meet the objectives of the company.
By working through these points and the IT-led key business areas below, you are able to get a good understanding of the kind of IT solutions that you will need for your small business.
- Hardware choices and their installation
- The best apps, cloud software and systems for efficient productivity
- Advanced security to prevent data loss and breaches
- Back-ups and safety protocols to keep operations flowing
- Project management to get IT needs delivered
- Help desk support for when things go wrong
- Network design & system monitoring to keep you online
Once you have considered each of the points above, you will start to get an idea of whether you’re best suited to freelance IT support, setting up a dedicated IT team in-house or outsourcing your IT needs to a 360 degree service provider.
The right IT solutions will be bespoke to you and your business. This could be a freelance IT consultant, a dedicated IT team in house, supporting your team with a fully outsourced IT solution like the one offered from Premier IT Solution, or a hybrid of these options. This article can help you to find the right IT solution for your small business in order to remain agile, responsive to customers, connected and moving in the right direction.
As a trusted provider of proactive and efficient IT support, the staff at Premier IT Solution take the time to listen to your needs and can help you to put together IT solutions that covers all of the key areas above whilst working with your business needs and budgetary requirements. Talk to Premier IT if you’re looking to balance a service you need, at a price you’re able to afford.
No matter where you are in your small business journey, you need the best technological infrastructure possible to get the most from your employees and your business. Read on for more advice on building the best IT solutions for small businesses including; what to consider, where to get help and how outsourcing your IT could be a brilliant way to help your team to work smartly and efficiently whilst meeting the needs of your customers.
Small Businesses And IT
According to the Federation of Small Businesses, companies with 0-49 employees make up a whopping 99% of all UK business and in 2020 there were 5.9 million in operation with an estimated turnover of £2.3 trillion!
It’s fair to say that small businesses are the backbone of the UK economy with over 16.8 million people (61% of the total workforce) being employed by a small business. As technology is the central nervous system of any business, especially in our increasingly digital society, it pays to get the right IT solutions in place. The right IT support can offer cost saving, efficiency and a happy workforce, so let’s find out more about how small businesses can benefit from well thought out IT solutions.
What Do Small Businesses Need IT Solutions For?
IT solutions come in all manner of shapes and sizes – it’s not just somebody on the other end of the phone when your computer is playing up.
From working on the performance and suitability of the hardware and software used at your business day-to-day, to looking at the bigger picture such as road mapping the lifecycle of your entire IT infrastructure – IT is everywhere. The outcome of good IT solutions will be technology that remains fit for purpose, managed upgrades and a connected and protected workforce.
Excellent IT solutions can also help small businesses to find the right IT strategy for them, understand and implement the tools that staff need to do their jobs more efficiently and manage contracts for upgrades on your behalf. We explore each of these points in more detail below.
The Right IT strategy
A team that understands your business, where you want it to go and have the skills to help you get there when it comes to your IT infrastructure are invaluable. IT professionals can suggest new ideas you may not have thought about and come up with a proactive plan to help you achieve all that you want to.
What Do Your Staff Need?
How many staff do you have? Do they all need the same level of licences for the software your company uses? Are you an agile workforce that can work from anywhere or do you favour a traditional office set up? Knowing how you want your team to work and giving them the right tools to succeed is key in providing IT solutions that work for your small business.
Cloud based apps and programs are commonplace in the workplace these days and your IT provider can help you to migrate your systems to the latest versions and keep on top of updates needed so you’re always online, working smart and staying connected. Providing staff with mobiles, tablets, laptops equipped with security features that keep their work safe with remote access & locking features can provide valuable peace of mind when it comes to IT Solutions.
Everyday Support & Managed Services
If taking the stress out of troubleshooting and staying on top of IT needs sounds appealing then outsourcing your IT could be just the solution you’re looking for.
For everyday help-desk support you want to hear a friendly voice on the other end of the phone or a response to your email within an agreed timeframe when things go wrong. When it comes to managed services, you want everything to be taken care of for you. Managed services are where you outsource the responsibility for maintaining and anticipating your IT needs. Common services here include PC licences such as office applications, PC replacements, anti virus protections, office 365 etc. and the good news is all of these services are offered by Premier IT Solution.
Business needs change and evolve over time and your IT infrastructure should evolve with you. If you engage an IT support company for project management of large IT projects such as moving your users to office 365, upgrading your IT network’s infrastructure or server, moving from server to cloud based storage etc. then all this will be taken care of with minimal stres – great for when you want to focus on the day to day running of your business.
IT Project managers will work with you to scope out the requirements of the project, put a delivery plan in place and then execute the plan with all required stakeholders and follow up to ensure everything went smoothly.
Cloud Technology For Small Businesses
The beauty of IT is that it’s everywhere. From the PC or laptop you use to work, to the apps and programs you access to store your data and communications. These days all of these things can be accessed with a few clicks thanks to cloud technology that helps your business keep costs low and working efficiently.
Cloud computing allows access to resources on an ‘on-demand’ basis and is typically associated with data storage and computing power. Cloud technology allows many users to access the same information at the same time via the internet and could provide a plethora of brilliant IT solutions for your small business including:
- VOIP telephone services or using online teleconferencing sametime software such as Skype or bespoke calling platforms for free calls to lower your telephone bill costs.
- Online invoicing solutions such as Xero or Quickbooks are a great way to bring your accounts into the 21st century.
- If your business charges by the hour, have you considered using online time tracking tools or apps for easy monitoring of time spent on client projects? It’s a great way to reduce paper usage and cut out manual logging of information.
- Is your workforce spread out but needs to collaborate on documents and presentations? Applications such as Sharepoint and Microsoft Teams are a great way to keep teams connected without the need for expensive office overheads.
- Customer service should be important to every business and utilising cloud technology could be a great way to take your customer service to the next level. By giving customers access to information or services with built in service modules on your website you can respond quicker to their needs.
Find Out More: Reasons to move to the cloud
In-house Or Outsourced IT Solutions?
So we’ve covered some of the types of IT Solutions that can be of use to small businesses and how you can access them even more efficiently via cloud technology, but when it comes to the delivery of these services, is it better to manage them in- house or to outsource?
The answer to this question will depend entirely on your business size, how much budget you have to dedicate to staffing, and how you like to work. Both in-house and outsourced IT solutions, when delivered well, will help you to scale your business by focusing on growing your digital capabilities but you should consider the pros and cons of each to ensure you make the best decision for your business.
In-House IT Solutions
- You will need to hire enough staff to ensure a broad range of skills are available when you need them. From day to support queries to complex technical knowledge required to set up and maintain your networks, as well as covering absences – IT staffing can be a big cost.
- Recruiting, training, providing support and equipment to staff is expensive. Many organisations will find that when they look at the cost of outsourcing, compared to managing IT in-house, the former is usually the most financially viable option.
- With staff on-site, solutions can often be found quickly without waiting for an IT company to call you back
- With the right training and development you can build a team with highly specialist knowledge of your systems and business objectives
Outsourced IT Solutions
- Outsourcing provides you with access to a broader range of expertise as the majority of IT support firms will employ a large number of qualified professionals with differing specialisms to ensure they can provide an excellent, well rounded service to their clients. This means it may be easier to scale your business.
- Avoid chaos and stress because everything is professionally managed for you. Trained and responsible IT professionals install, maintain, and improve your business’s day-to-day and long-term function by delivering proactive monitoring and reporting on your systems. They should also be able to spot issues with aging equipment, expiring warranties and problematic devices on your network meaning potential downtime is reduced.
- When using a reputable IT support company you will have an SLA in place. This stands for Service Level Agreement and it defines expected levels of service and imposes penalties when those standards are not met.
- Growing your digital capabilities is integral to the success of your business. Outsourced IT companies think about the technical stuff so you can focus on building your business. From ensuring your files are safe, staff can access what they need from wherever they are, that you have robust connectivity, and your technology is protected from viruses or malicious threats like hacking.
Find Out More: 14 Benefits Of Outsourcing Your IT.
What Can You Expect When Outsourcing IT to Premier IT Solution?
We may be a little biased, but when it comes to outsourcing IT, we think we’ve got IT solutions for small businesses nailed. From the day to day, adapting to business changes like new staff, upscaling or contracting, planning ahead and everything in between, the team here at Premier IT Solution can provide cost effective IT solutions with a human touch.
We have all the skills and strategy support any SME could need and our core support cover runs from 8.30 – 18:00 Monday to Friday with an out of hours service to complement this if you need us for up to 7 days a week.
We also value personal support for our customers and believe that our personal service and excellent team are our biggest asset. We will always be on hand to talk to you by telephone, email or in person, whenever you need us to provide workable IT solutions for your small business.
Find out more – Talk to our team to discuss your needs
IT Support Pricing
If you like the sound of outsourcing your IT needs but are unsure what this will look like in terms of cost, take a look at our IT support pricing article. Here, we take you through what you need to budget for, what’s included, the things to look out for, and how to identify markers of brilliant IT companies that will keep your business safe, connected and online.
Find out more: IT Support Pricing
Will IT Support Help My Company?
Every business has some sort of technology these days so if you would rather give the management of your devices, files, electronic storage, user licences, accounts and IT security to a team that knows the insides and outs of all this then yes, IT support will absolutely help your company.
It can be easy to think that you can manage your business’s IT requirements when everything goes well, or when you’re just starting out but it’s when things go wrong that you really notice the value of robust and proactive IT solutions for small businesses. See how outsourced IT support can get your business back up and running in the quickest way possible by overcoming the technical problems you face.
Find out more: 14 benefits to outsourcing IT
We hope this article has given you plenty of food for thought when it comes to considering the type of support you need in order to achieve the best IT solutions for your small business.
The key points to remember are:
- The IT solutions you choose can make a huge difference to your overall running costs
- The IT solutions that are best for your business will depend on the size of your business, growth objectives, the devices you use and how your staff work
- Before choosing your route for your IT solutions, you should know what is important to you when it comes to IT support – is it speed of service, reliability, access to certain expertise?
If you have any questions about IT solutions for your small business or would like to get a quote to outsource your IT needs to Premier IT Solution, please say hello to our friendly team using our contact form or calling 020 3393 3003.
Premier IT Solutions offer tailor managed IT support covering Server & VMs, Desktop, Network, Security, Mobile and Remote facilities to keep you connected to your business 24×7. Based in New Maldan, Surrey, we work with clients in London and the surrounding areas.