Without dedicated IT support, your practice can experience any number of technological hiccups which, when not addressed promptly, can handicap operations.
Dedicated IT support could take the form of one or more employees who are responsible for your tech, or using outsourced managed IT services. How can you tell if your practice needs help?
Start by looking at the size and complexity of your practice.
Generally speaking, the larger the firm, the more essential it becomes to have dedicated IT support, because it becomes more likely that you’re working with larger computer networks. And, the larger the network and the business, the more crippling a tech disruption can be.
In addition to looking at where you are today, consider the growth rate of your practice. Are you expanding quickly?
You may soon need support that you don’t require today.
Plus, with expansion, dedicated IT support becomes essential for implementing system changes and creating an architectural plan.
Let’s take a look at the two types of dedicated IT support available to you:
If yours is a small sized practice (up to 50 employees), most likely managed IT services are your best bet, because you may not have the budget to pay an in-house IT guy/gal a decent salary – and you may not need the full-time presence anyway.
Instead, managed services can offer you 24-hour support fixing issues as they arise.
If the service provider offers a small army of technicians, you might even get help faster than you would with an in-house employee, who could be tied up with any number of tasks or projects.
Another benefit of managed IT is that service-providers tend to stay on the cutting edge in order to remain competitive, and that’s good for you. An in-house IT employee may not have time to stay continually abreast of the newest thing.
For mid sized larger firms (more than 50 employees), an in-house IT manager or team makes more sense.
In the event of an emergency, issues can be solved right away without needing an outside technician to travel to your location.
Additionally, in-house support will be familiar with your firm’s equipment and potentially have a better understanding of where and how to fix a problem than an outsider.
There are those who say in-house tech support tends to work more slowly, but that’s usually because they’re making an effort to thoroughly resolve a problem so that larger-scale teams can continue to work seamlessly.
The “call-in” managed IT person may not have the same depth of knowledge of the system, and therefore may be “in-and-out”, but leaving you with some chance of a recurrence of the issue.
Some practices strike the right balance using both an in-house tech manager (an office manager could play that role), and a managed service that can be called in to assist at the in-house manager’s direction.
Regardless of the size of your practice, having IT support is crucial to client satisfaction, productivity and growth. Find the solution that’s right for you now, and re-evaluate periodically as your firm and your needs expand.