10 Benefits of an On-Site IT Service

You’re at work cranking along and suddenly, the internet goes out. No access to email, no web-based software, no phones, no WIFI, basically you and everyone else in the office grind to a complete and sudden stop. This is the moment it hits us: without a connection to technology, we’re completely helpless.

The level of IT support an organization has becomes a priority in these situations. Most days, it’s simply fleeting, if not a slightly annoying necessity for any business. For labor-intensive industries like healthcare, call centers, or manufacturing, though, it means thousands of dollars of lost productivity down the tubes for every hour the outage continues.

Depending on the organization’s contracted technical support, this may mean a co-worker sitting on the phone with a technician for hours waiting for them to identify and fix the problem, while employees and customer swarm constantly pecking for updates.

On the flip side, there’s on-site IT services- where the technician shows up riding in on a big white horse, smiles down at the nervous crowd, and says, “No worries. I’ve got you covered.”

Sounds like a fairy tale, but it’s true. In the event of an emergency, humans still look for heroes to save them – preferably in person.

What’s the Difference Between Remote and On-Site IT Service?

On-site IT service is a team embedded in the company’s organizational structure – a pseudo-employee or team that delivers full-time technical support at various levels of expertise. They don’t rely on connectivity and management communication software to provide support. The team is available both online and offline and only limited by the specific constraints of the contract.

On the other hand, remote support monitors IT infrastructure using remote monitoring tools that are not physically located inside your company. Service is offered via phone or chat messaging, and requires an internal resource to serve as the main point of contact for the remote service provider. On-site visits are an additional fee and often are not available in a timely fashion or guaranteed at all. Remote monitoring, while able to support cloud-hosted infrastructure all the way up to full disaster recovery, leaves a lot to be desired in terms of user support and team collaboration. Remote service firms run like an agency serving multiple businesses at once.

10 Reasons to Consider On-Site IT Services for Your Business

In most organizations, the decision between remote and on-site IT services often comes down to money. How much do we really need someone in the office in order to justify the extra cost?

Strong word of caution: this is the wrong place to be short-sighted and stingy. Remember, it takes just one extended outage or data breach to cost your company thousands of dollars, and worse yet, lose the confidence and trust of your customers.

Depending on the company’s size, a single hour of downtime can cost a business up to $100,000.

According to an independent survey conducted by ITIC, since 2008, average downtime costs have risen by 25-30% every year. As you digest this enormous number, keep reading for more reasons to consider on-site IT services for your organization.

  1. You can look them in the eye. In-person communication is far more effective than remote. Research by UCLA psychology professor emeritus Albert Mehrabian found that 7% of a message is derived from words, 38% from the intonation, and 55% from the facial expression or body language. During phone conversations, we’re unable to see facial expressions and body language, build trust, or show details on-the-spot, which all lead to greater understanding and faster issue resolution.
  2. They know your business, deadlines, and projects. Because technicians are part of the team they know what’s going on within the organization, which important deadlines are looming, and what large projects require IT project management support. Also, staff is available to attend regular or on-the-spot meetings as required to support the needs of the business.
  3. Available for crisis management support. On-site IT service teams are available when needed for emergencies, no matter what. Just like an employee, it’s their job to stabilize operations and get employees back up and running as quickly as possible.
  4. Technicians are intimately familiar with IT equipment and network infrastructure. In many cases, they’ve conducted the installs, understand the configuration, and may even have created the network maps and policies. There’s simply no substitute for institutional knowledge at this level when it comes to emergency troubleshooting. An on-site IT service team with infrastructure knowledge is far better able to avoid disasters and recover faster if one should occur.
  5. Address issues before they get out of hand. Preventing expensive emergencies is the goal for any organization. However, on-site IT services have a huge leg up when it comes to preventing disaster. Not only do they know the infrastructure inside and out, but employees are comfortable sharing their daily concerns, which often provides proactive clues to a much bigger issue.
  6. Access to users to better understand internal needs. On-site IT service staff with access to users know what’s needed to make recommendations for internal improvements and cost savings. Plus, they know the internal decision-makers to approach with ideas or suggestions.
  7. Required security clearance and access for HIPPA and PCI compliance. Specialty clearance requirements mean locked-down user access, whether it be physical access to the office or administrative access to network data. On-site IT staff will have passed all clearance checks to be immediately helpful when needed. They also understand and can support required technical compliance needs for the organization.
  8. Access to powerful IT management tools typically only available to larger companies. IT support companies only have one focus, technical support, meaning they heavily invest in the most efficient, current tools on the market. Since they support multiple businesses the investment is worth it for them, not typically the case for in-house support teams. The company benefits from access to powerful enterprise-level tools that would normally be out of reach.
  9. No need to hire or manage in-house IT staff. This one’s self-explanatory: in general, staff is time-consuming, expensive, and in the IT industry, hard to recruit and retain. On-site IT means that you don’t have to deal with the hiring headache; you’re guaranteed an expert.
  10. Saves your company money. On-site IT service teams offer a higher level of expertise at a fixed cost than you could ever afford to hire in-house. Most companies hire one IT person and expect them to handle everything. IT generalists, by the nature of their role, don’t typically have the same level of depth as a systems engineer. The contracted on-site team has access to engineer-level resources that would be impossible to replicate in-house for the same cost.

What to Look for in an On-Site IT Services Provider

A good on-site IT service provider is flexible in its approach, will tailor the contract and staff around your business needs, assist you in fixing immediate problems, and even act as an advisor for improving your IT environment to meet technology demands and satisfy your customers’ needs.

If you prefer fairy tales with a happy ending, now may a good time to give an on-site IT services provider a test drive.

Look for well-rounded firms offering staff with expertise in Total Network Security, 24/7 Emergency Support, Backup and Recovery Solutions, and Compliance as a Service to deliver resources to protect your company and prepare for the future.