Modern businesses increasingly rely on information technology (IT). They use it to process transactions, store and leverage data, market products globally, and much more.
At the same time, cybercrime is on the rise. According to Cybercrime Magazine, the cost of global cybercrime in 2021 was $6 trillion. This number is expected to grow by 15% annually over the next few years and reach $10.5 trillion by 2025.
As a result, the need for IT support is greater than ever. Not only do businesses rely on more technology and data, but they are also more vulnerable to cyber attacks than at any other time in history.
In this article, we’ll go over what IT support is, what it does, how it can benefit your business, and the future of IT support.
Let’s get started!
What Is IT Support?
IT support refers to assisting a company with its information technology (IT) needs, whether they are hardware- or software-related. It’s technical help for issues related to computers, computer programs, and other electronic systems and devices.
And since most businesses use computers and software on a day-to-day basis, IT support is a mainstay within virtually every company.
What Does IT Support Do?
The duties and responsibilities of an IT support team vary widely, but here are some of the most common tasks they perform:
- Install, configure, and maintain equipment. First and foremost, IT support is tasked with getting a business’s information technology set up and running. From there, they are in charge of its routine maintenance, including repairing and upgrading systems when needed. Anything technology related is handled by IT support.
- Ensure cybersecurity. IT support teams are responsible for performing regular cybersecurity audits of a business’s data infrastructure. This may involve penetration tests, which simulate a cyber attack on a business to see where its vulnerabilities lie. In addition, IT support teams monitor cyber threats and educate employees on best cybersecurity practices like using strong passwords and avoiding phishing scams.
- Enable disaster recovery and backup. It’s the IT support department’s responsibility to establish a data recovery and backup plan. Usually, this involves performing regular data backups to a cloud server so that it’s easy to recover business files if they ever get lost, stolen, or damaged.
- Respond to IT tickets. Most companies have an IT ticket system that lets employees across all departments submit requests for hardware or software issues to be fixed. IT support teams manage these requests and prioritize them based on time, status, and other criteria so that they can attend to each in an appropriate and timely manner.
How Can IT Support Benefit Your Business?
IT support benefits businesses in many ways. Here are just a few:
- Reduce downtime. According to Gartner, the average cost of network downtime is $5,600 per minute (or $300,000 per hour). For technology-intensive businesses, this number can be even higher. An experienced IT support team can respond to network outages quickly to get business operations back up and running in no time. This reduces losses from downtime, thereby increasing the company’s revenue and total profits.
- Lower the risk of a cyber attack. According to IBM, it takes an average of 277 days (about 9 months) to identify and contain a data breach. Furthermore, the average cost of a data breach in the U.S. is $9.44 million. This makes IT support well worth the investment. Why? Because they can quickly identify and protect against cyber attacks and train other employees on how to spot common cyber threats like phishing scams and malware attacks.
- Increase employee happiness. When you have a robust IT support team to take care of IT issues, it allows other employees to spend less time worrying about and dealing with them on their own. Instead, they can submit an IT ticket and focus on what they do best instead. This lowers stress levels and helps employees feel happier.
- Boost productivity. IT support teams have the skills and tools to keep your business running smoothly. This lets your company do more while spending less. Waste less time putting out fires and more time on customer service, sales, research and development (R&D), and marketing. Your business will be more efficient and productive as a result.
- Improve business continuity. All businesses face setbacks. It could be high startup costs, an unexpected loss, or a shift in the market. IT support teams can help you overcome these hurdles by increasing your company’s operational resilience. They can help ensure employees have the tools and network connectivity they need to succeed even in the most challenging business environments.
The Future of IT Support
According to GlobeNewswire, the global IT services market was valued over $1.11 trillion in 2021 and is expected to reach $2.55 trillion by 2030, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.8% between 2021 and 2030.
Needless to say, the need for robust IT support is here to stay.
At the same time, there is a shortage of skilled IT workers. According to a 2021-2023 Emerging Technology Roadmap for Large Enterprises report by Gartner, 64% of IT executives cite talent shortages as the most significant barrier to the adoption of emerging technology, compared with only 4% in 2020.
So now is the time for businesses to take IT seriously and staff their IT support teams accordingly. If they wait too long, it may become too late.
The Bottom Line
Now that you know what IT support is, what it does, and how it can benefit your company, you’re ready to take your business to the next level by investing in it.
Explore managed IT support companies in your local area for a ready-made solution or start recruiting in-house IT support staff today. A few years down the road, after your business has grown, you’ll be glad you did.