Everything SMEs need to know about outsourcing IT support services

There are almost 6 million SMEs in the UK, and each one is unique. Yet small business owners and employees have one thing in common: you’ve got better things to do than fight IT gremlins.

In an ideal world, every SME should have access to the right technology, software and support to run your business effortlessly. Without needing to be an IT expert.

The quickest, simplest way to get rid of technical headaches is to outsource your IT. To someone who can create cost-effective support packages that fit your exact needs.

Interested? Read on to discover how outsourcing your IT drives SME business growth and find the right service package for your current and future needs.

 

Why should SMEs outsource their IT?

Some SMEs will choose to outsource their IT from day one, using an external company for technical support. Others will manage IT in-house, until it becomes too burdensome or too costly.

Either way, there will come a point when you outgrow your current set-up. The point where you consider switching to an IT managed service provider, who will take care of everything.

When the moment arrives, it’s important that you find the RIGHT partner. Someone who will work collaboratively with your team to deliver value every day. Value like this…

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Minimum effort, maximum potential

For your team to be productive, you need the right IT set-up. But you don’t want technical admin taking up everyone’s time.

At the moment, a quarter of SME leaders struggle with IT issues on a regular basis – costing them up to 52 hours a year, which could be spent on more valuable tasks.

Partnering with an expert support provider ensures the tech you need to run your business “just works”, so you don’t waste time and energy managing company IT.

Outsourcing your IT requirements is a great way to add extra resource, gaining access to technical experts that you can’t afford to employ full-time. Your provider will be responsible for preventing a large number of potential issues. And if a problem does occur, they’ll fix it quickly.

More importantly, they’ll take time to understand your needs today, and your goals for IT support services. Then they’ll use this information to create a support package that can grow with your company – whether you’re a start-up with 10 employees, or a scale-up employing 50-300 people.

When you choose to outsource, an IT expert will recommend the right tools and support services you need to nurture growth, including:

  • Hardware/software set-up and maintenance
  • 24/7 highly trained service desk support
  • Broadband and telephony management
  • Technical health checks and performance reports
  • Cyber security protection and certification
  • Back up and disaster recovery
  • Business continuity planning
  • Technical integrations and upgrades
  • Strategic IT roadmaps

Plus, they’ll also offer training and support services, to ensure your team members reap
the benefits of a professional IT partnership.

 

Trustworthy technology, wherever you work

The beauty of running your own business is that work can be done almost anywhere. But you need an IT set-up that can manage this level of flexibility.

Even in location-specific industries like manufacturing, field sales or live events, there are still back-office tasks that can be actioned from home or on the move.

COVID-19 thrust the need for flexible working into the spotlight. Happily, 43% of small business owners were up and running remotely within a week of lockdown – but quick changes aren’t always optimised for long-term performance.

An outsourced IT partner provides a trusted technical network that runs efficiently and securely, whether you’re at the office, at home, in a public place, or on your mobile.

This may include migrating to the cloud if you’re not already there. Cloud services provide remote access and file sharing capabilities for your whole team, while preventing sensitive data falling into the wrong hands.

Your IT provider will also monitor and analyse digital performance, mitigating technical issues before they cause costly downtime.

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Expert strategy, constant innovation

Day-to-day, your team needs reliability. They want to know that their internet connection, devices and software will work when needed, and they can access essential data.

However, there’s a secondary benefit to outsourcing your business IT. To accelerate growth, you need to identify new technology trends that will enable your company to run faster, improve processes and enhance functionality. But SMEs often don’t have the time or expertise to do this in-house.

A managed services partner will offer strategy, insights into how your set-up is currently performing and innovation, creating a business IT roadmap that drives long-term success.

And they’ll regularly audit that roadmap, measuring success and adapting as you evolve.

Best of all, when you outsource IT, you get dedicated resources for planning and implementing strategic migration and infrastructure projects with minimum disruption to your existing routines. Leaving you free to focus on business development and building the bigger picture.

 

A safe, secure pair of hands

While we like to focus on the positives, it’s important to think about risk, too. In truth, most SMEs decide to outsource business IT after a bad experience – often involving security.

Last year alone, 31% of small businesses suffered a data breach or cyber attack, rising to 60% in medium-sized firms.

SME-ebook_img-3-1Working with a trusted expert gives you peace of mind that your IT systems are operating securely, and valuable data is being safeguarded. An outsourced partner will look at every aspect of your tech security, including:

  • Improving safety of the hardware and software you’re using
  • Protective measures like password optimisation and multi factor authentication
  • Putting policies and compliance protocols in place to maximise security
  • Training your staff to be aware of common scams, threats and breaches
  • Rapid response to security issues – whether it’s a cyber attack or a real-world problem, like an
    employee’s work laptop being lost or stolen

Epoq IT even offers an in-depth Free Microsoft 365 Security Audit as part of the welcome process, ensuring that your new IT solution addresses hidden vulnerabilities. We benchmark your current security levels, analyse potential threats, and make strategic recommendations for managing devices and enhancing data security. So you can resolve unidentified issues before they become a crisis.

 

How easy is it to switch managed service provider?

All these benefits sound great if you’re currently managing your IT in-house. But what if you’re using an external IT company already, and they’re not giving you this level of service?

Many SMEs put off switching IT provider because they think setting up a new partnership will be a hassle. However, it’s much easier than you think – if you choose a partner that is flexible, friendly, and focused on what your business needs to drive growth.

Epoq IT will walk your business through the complete IT switching process, making the migration to outsourced managed services completely painless. You will also have a dedicated IT Service Manager working with you every step of the way.

 

Which IT support package is best for your business?

Paying for IT support is a step-change for some smaller businesses. However it’s worth the investment if it delivers big improvements and reduces technical downtime. And can often save costs by streamlining processes, eliminating inefficiencies and ineffective purchasing.

For maximum ROI, it’s important that you find a partner that will listen to your requirement and create solutions tailored to your needs. Epoq IT offers three SME IT Service bundles, based on: the size and maturity of your business, your sector, and the complexity of your technical requirements. For example…

BUSINESS BASICS PACK

If you’re a micro business with 10 employees working mostly from home, and you need to make sure they can access their emails and work files at any time, store documents securely and get easy access to technical support, you’re best suited to our BUSINESS BASICS PACK.

STANDARD SERVICES PACK

However, if you’re a faster growing business operating in a regulated sector like finance or pharmaceuticals, where data security and compliance is paramount, you need something a bit more comprehensive – like our STANDARD SERVICES PACK which includes identity management and encryption, along with enhanced email security.

PREMIUM SERVICES PACK

If you’re running a medium sized scale-up that’s running multiple online communication channels and handling a lot of business data, then you’re best suited to our PREMIUM SERVICES PACK.


These competitively priced offerings are flexible building blocks – there are many further options available now, and in the future, according to your unique needs and plans.

Check out the full details of our SME IT Services Bundles to find out more about the services we offer. Or GET IN TOUCH to discuss which outsourced IT package best fits your needs.

 

Want to know more about Epoq IT?

Epoq IT is trusted by SMEs across the region to provide outsourced IT managed services.

Since being founded in 2002, we’ve built long-term relationships with businesses, becoming their partner for growth and innovation. We have a proven methodology for onboarding new customers, and a dedicated Service Manager will look after you every step of the way.

At Epoq IT, we pride ourselves on offering down-to-earth support – because we know how hard SME owners work to thrive. Our approach is constant, clear and collaborative. We’re here whenever you need us, and we’ll always offer you our best advice.

While we like to share the latest IT development and trends, we’ll never try to sell you something you don’t need. That’s just one reason why 99% of our customers rate our services as excellent.

In the unlikely event you’re not you’re not fully satisfied with our services, Epoq IT offers a 90-day customer satisfaction pledge, so you are free to switch, should you so wish, at this point.

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CUSTOMER SATISFACTION PLEDGE

Your Peace of Mind Guarantee.

Ask about our Customer Satisfaction Pledge and how it applies to your business.

GET IN TOUCH for a free, no-obligation quote.

 

Epoq IT

Written by Epoq IT

Epoq IT builds long-term relationships with businesses that want their IT systems and technology to support their stability, growth and competitive edge. We specialise in helping organisations to achieve and demonstrate regulatory compliance with services that span IT Strategy, IT Security, Continuity, and Support solutions using our proven processes. A complete solution for managing your IT strategy and effectiveness, compliance, risk management and cyber security, our award-winning IT support and consultancy services are flexibly designed to meet your business needs.