Does your business need IT support, but can’t justify a permanent staff taking up office space? Are one-off repairs from local technicians not quite cutting it? If you need a bit more support than the local computer tech, third party IT professionals are ready to take you on as a client. That said, consider a few budget and feature balance questions to help you get the right level of services without overspending.
First Tier Support With Quality Leadership
Are computers just administrative tools for your business? If most of your systems are dedicated to entering orders, typing up documents, or doing a bit of web browsing and emailing, you don’t need a full IT staff dedicated to re-envisioning your entire business.
Most business at the small business and basic back office level will be fine with a helpdesk department, which can be outsourced For most tasks, a team of entry level technicians and one or two skilled leaders at the helm will be fine. This usually covers basic certifications such as the CompTIA A+, Microsoft’s MTA, or a 2-year college degree in Information Technology/Computer Science related studies.
You’ll likely have standard IT helpdesk issues that need to be handled by most businesses. Adding and removing user accounts when an employee is hired or leaves the business, adding or removing software, upgrading hardware, changing passwords, and removing viruses are daily tasks that can not only be handled by entry level professionals but automated to some extent.
The cost level for such professionals is much lower than trying to talk the world’s top tier talent into fixing your business IT needs, and you don’t need to reach for the stars in the first place. The tasks are simple, the demand is low, and it’s easy to work with an IT staffing consultant to help figure out how to make third party technicians fit within your company’s culture.
Networking Team Staffing
Beyond basic helpdesk, concerns is your company network. Networking concerns range from complaining to your Internet Service Provider (ISP) for you if the internet is slow/down, to the more inventive routing protocols needed to make sure the right tasks and employees get the right amount of resources.
At the basic internet and workstation troubleshooting level, helpdesk is still your main concern. The lead of a helpdesk team is usually at least a jack of all trades and merely needs to dabble in basic networking to solve your problems, but if your business requires with switches, routers, Voice over IP (VOIP) solutions or multiple networks for hundreds or thousands of computers, a specialist is needed.
Networking specialists have their own separate advancement tiers that coincide with popular networking certifications. CompTIA’s Network+, Cisco’s CCNA, and Microsoft’s MCSE are a few of the entry level networking certifications that can help you either build a network for a small business or put together a staff for larger businesses, but it can be difficult to gauge what your business truly needs without an IT consultant to figure out how much ongoing work is necessary.
For businesses needing more than a basic modem from a residential/business ISP, a certified and experienced networking professional is needed to start the initial design, but can be called in as needed for major incidents while your helpdesk personnel handles everything else.
Businesses that transfer large files (terabytes per day) and need to transfer information between multiple locations will need dedicated networking personnel. This can be a mixture of entry level helpdesk professionals and certified, but still inexperienced networking specialists with a networking expert at the helm.
Security Concern For Targeted Businesses
Anyone can be the target of a digital attack, but these attacks are often passive, relying on the accidents of computer users to download a virus or inadvertently give up business network secrets. Helpdesk can help that, or a one-time security consultant that can train the helpdesk in suspected attack vectors (sources and methods of attacks).
A company that has been attacked by hackers or business rivals for their digital information has no room to risk using a basic set of computer repair and security professionals. Get an experienced security professional on your third party contacts list, and make sure they’re training the rest of your IT professionals in security practices.
Security certifications are relatively new for non-government and non-enterprise businesses. Entry level security certifications are CompTIA’s Security+, the International Info System Security Certification Consortium or (ISC)2’s SSCP, and the International Council of E-Commerce Consultant’s Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
Advanced levels of Cybersecurity and INFOSEC (Information Security) certifications are still volatile and dominated by big names, such as the (ISC)2’s CISSP certification or the Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) certification from the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA).
Ideal Business IT Balance Summary
Are you the business that just needs computers to make paperwork and communications easier? One experienced, professional system administration professional can be your helpdesk.
Do you have a large IT inventory that needs a lot of help or multiple locations? An IT inventory management professional may be necessary to keep everything in order with a checkout procedure while a staff of 3 or more helpdesk professionals handle the daily tasks, and that manager can be their leader.
If you’ve been the victim of hacking before, or can’t seem to get employees to stay away from dangerous links, one cybersecurity professional is necessary.
A networking team is only needed to monitor traffic, look for network failures, make switch and router changes, and pull cables.
Contact an IT staffing and third party tech assistance professional to discuss your business and its unique IT needs.