10 IT Support Services Every Small Business Needs
When it comes to anything internet-related, it’s usually out of sight, out of mind. Do you really know how the cloud works? It all happens behind your screen, which makes it easy to forget (we’re not judging—we only know because it’s our job to know).
If someone were to write a blog “10 Things Your House Has to Have” and the list included things like doors, locks on your doors, and windows, you’d be thinking, “Of course, every house has to have those things.” Doors, locks, and windows provide the basic security that your house needs, and you definitely wouldn’t move into a place that didn’t have them.
The same goes for these IT support services. They’re the essentials to any business, small or large. They keep your data in and the cybercriminals out. Whether you’re running your own company from home or in an office building, here are 10 IT support services that every small business needs:
24/7 Proactive Monitoring & Network Security
One of the biggest threats to your small business is cybercrime. Hackers these days are more sophisticated, tech-savvy, and resourceful than ever before. And they’ve turned their attention to small businesses because they know you likely don’t have the same level of IT support services as a larger company would.
This is why proactive monitoring and network security are so essential. With 24/7 monitoring and protection, it’s like having a security system that will report suspicious activity directly to the police.
Since you started a business to serve your customers and not to become an IT guru, you might be thinking, “Is there a difference between cybersecurity and network security?” And of course, since we’re asking, the answer is “yes.” (You probably didn’t see that one coming.)
Cybersecurity solutions involve deploying specific tools and technologies to protect your business from cybercriminals, malicious code, and the latest threats. They go way beyond basic network security measures like firewalls and antivirus software. Some common cybersecurity solutions you’ll want to consider include web filters, data loss prevention solutions, and email security.
It’s too bad we don’t all have Spidey senses about when the next disaster will strike. But that’s what data backup is for: to help protect your business when the worst-case scenario happens.
Data backup is a crucial service because it protects one of your most important assets: your data. No matter the cause (natural disaster, human error, software malfunction, etc.), you never have to worry about losing everything because of a hard drive failure or ransomware.
Cloud computing is one of the biggest trends in IT for small businesses—as of 2022, 80% of businesses were using some kind of cloud service. It allows you to store and access your data from anywhere, at any time. You only need an internet connection and a device like a smartphone or laptop, and you can still access (and share) your files no matter where you are.
But cloud services aren’t just about storing data. They also include all the important applications you need to run your business, like email and customer relationship management (CRM) software.
Software Updates & Licensing
Whether it’s your antivirus software or an inventory management app, all of the software you use needs to be updated on a regular basis. This usually happens automatically, but sometimes critical updates are required.
And of course, you need to monitor your software licenses to make sure you’re using everything within the terms of your agreement and won’t get hit with any hefty fines for overuse.
IT Consulting & Strategy
Let’s be real: we can’t all be experts at everything (except for moms, they’re real-life superheroes). Sometimes we need an extra set of eyes and some industry expertise to help us solve problems. An IT consultant can give you the tips and tricks you need to stay ahead of the game. They can:
- Review your needs and recommend the best solutions for your business
- Develop an overall IT strategy to protect your business against cybercriminals and other online threats
- Suggest advanced tools to make your life easier and your business more productive
With the right IT support services, you can focus on what’s really important: serving your customers and growing your business.
Data Storage and Management
When you think of data storage, what comes to mind? Cloud storage is usually the first thing that pops up. But there’s more than one way to store and manage your company’s data.
Data is any information that helps your business run smoothly and efficiently. This can include product catalogs, customer records, invoices, and other important documents.
Some of the most common ways to store data include:
- Cloud storage, which allows you to access your files from anywhere with an internet connection
- Network storage, which keeps everything in one central location that can be accessed by multiple users simultaneously
- Local storage, which stores your data on a hard drive or other physical device that is only accessible by a single user at once
Whatever storage option you choose, it’s important to make sure it meets your company’s needs and budget. A managed service provider is a great resource for figuring out the right data storage and management solution for your business.
Disaster Recovery Services
One of the biggest challenges for any business is staying prepared for unexpected disasters. In today’s world, it’s not a question of if something will go wrong—it’s a matter of when.
That’s where disaster recovery services come in. These services help you mitigate the risks and rapidly recover data after an emergency occurs, so your business stays up and running. They can include:
- Data backup plans, which store your data in a secure location to minimize the risk of loss
- Quick restoration tools, which help you quickly recover lost data after an emergency occurs
- Continuous monitoring, which helps detect risks and protect your company from emerging cyber threats
As a business owner, it can be tough to find the time and resources to handle everything on your own. For example, if you’re running a small startup, you may not have the in-house IT support services required to troubleshoot common software issues or identify potential cyber threats.
That’s where remote support comes in. With this service, you can get help from an expert anytime, anywhere, without having to hire an in-house IT person. The real cost of an employee is about 1.25 to 1.4 times the base salary, meaning you could be looking at around $60,000 or more for one IT support hire.
This will depend entirely on what kind of business you run, but compliance is like making sure you have your driver’s license. Doing business without it is illegal and will get you a hefty fine.
Compliance regulations vary depending on the industry you’re in. Some common ones to be aware of are the following:
- Healthcare regulations like HIPAA, which require companies to protect customer health information
- Financial regulations like Sarbanes Oxley, which ensure that all financial transactions are accurate and transparent
- IT security regulations like PCI DSS, which mandate the protection of sensitive credit card data
Since the internet is basically still the Wild Wild West, laws and regulations are changing quickly and can be hard to keep up with. You can hire someone to help you with basic, one-time compliance or get a good compliance consultant that will charge you a monthly fee to help you stay up to date.
Work on Your Security Essentials With Common Angle
We know that this list can be overwhelming. But thankfully, IT support services are an ecosystem, and all these parts work together to give you maximum security. And IT goes beyond security; we think it’s one of the most underrated ways to boost productivity and serve more clients.
And the good news is that there are businesses (like ours) that will take care of all these things for a monthly fee. No random charges, no hidden costs—just peace of mind and a secure business that you can focus on growing. So, if venturing into IT support services is distracting you from your real business, schedule a consultation with Common Angle to see how we can help!