Businesses in the modern economy often find themselves trying to do more with less. It isn’t always feasible, especially for a company in the start-up phase, to have technology solutions provided by an in-house team. For some, even hiring dedicated consultants through a managed IT service can be cost-prohibitive. If these kinds of constraints are affecting your business, on-demand IT support could be the answer you need.
What Is On-Demand IT Support?
When a firm provides consulting services for your technology needs as circumstances arise, that’s the on-demand IT support model. You can use on-demand services only for the purposes and time spans you most need them, and the best of those services won’t try to lock you into any minimum time commitments.
The power of this model is flexibility. An on-demand service saves you money on staff, time and hiring, supplements your internal IT guy to cover the bases they can’t and helps you scale your technology solutions to meet your needs.
What On-Demand Support Does
An on-demand IT support team can help with a wide variety of tasks and projects. Some of the model’s most common uses are:
- Basic technology needs
- Business continuity and disaster recovery
- Cross-platform work and virtualization
- Emergency support
- Networking and storage
- Security and data protection
We take a more detailed look at each of these use cases below.
Basic Technology Needs
If your printer won’t print, your network is glitching, your internet access isn’t working or your computers are experiencing clutter and slow-down, sometimes an outside perspective can help you resolve issues faster. This is a key area where case-by-case IT support can save you money, addressing your most serious technical issues before they can grow into full-blown disasters.
Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery
Being in business in the 21st century means needing your technology up and running. You need to be able to maintain a reliable and professional image with your clients, answer any client question and resolve any customer issue quickly and be ready to respond to opportunities. Prolonged downtime is something no company can afford.
Consulting technicians can help you to build plans and resources on a per-project basis to put in place what you need to back up your IT systems, address connectivity problems swiftly and be as efficient as possible in recovering from unexpected trouble. They can also help implement your disaster recovery plan on a per-incident basis whenever the need arises.
Cross-Platform Work and Virtualization
Adapting and testing apps and tools for multiple different platforms can be a lot more labor-intensive than in-house IT technicians can handle on their own. With consulting services, this no longer has to be an absolute barrier.
Using the knowledge and expertise of an augmented IT support team, you can implement testing in Windows, macOS and other operating systems. This can even be done by using virtualization to run programs for one operating system within an emulator that shows how the software would work in a different environment.
There’s no way around it: Emergencies will arise from time to time, and often they’ll come as a surprise no matter how much you tried to plan for every contingency. Having a trained and professional technician — or a team of them — come in during a crisis to augment your in-house IT staff is one of the most common uses of outsourced IT services.
Whether the job involves freeing your systems from ransomware, coping with failing equipment and trying to find the best replacements, dealing with data breaches or coping with any of the many other hazards of the modern digital economy, on-demand IT services can be invaluable in resolving a crisis.
Networking and Storage
Optimizing your company’s networks and finding the best data storage and backup solutions can be a daunting task given all the many options on offer in today’s marketplace. It can be hard to know which solutions to trust, track down all the information available on the various companies that may or may not have name recognition and stay current with the latest developments as big names in data storage or network infrastructure rise and fall.
Consultant technicians can help close the gap, providing expert knowledge on a case-by-case basis to help you track down the best solution for your business. This kind of business IT support can make a major difference to the overall big picture of your operations.
Security and Data Protection
There is perhaps no concern more urgent in the online business world than security — being able to conduct secure transactions, be trusted with your customers’ data and avoid malware or other attacks on your digital infrastructure that could lead to costly downtime.
Knowledgeable and informed IT experts are a must-have to keep your company up to date with the current best practices in digital security and data protection. They can provide assistance with everything from the high-level decision-making needed to champion data integrity right down to the users in your company whose buy-in is essential for a truly functional and secure workplace.
A consulting IT partner can be the missing piece in the puzzle for companies that have struggled to keep pace with their digital security, acting as an extension of your own team’s expertise and with the ability to speak freely about security concerns and find solutions rapidly.
Other Jobs for On-Demand IT Support
Consultant services for IT can come in a variety of forms. Managed IT services, for example, can tackle more sophisticated tasks like strategic planning and even the provision of virtual CIO services. The tasks that virtual IT support can tackle are as diverse as tech and its applications.