Out of Hours IT Support: How Useful is it Really?

Emma Shaw, Marketing Manager

Trusting an external partner with out of hours IT support might be an idea you’ve previously considered but rejected. We know that any kind of outsourcing comes with certain concerns, but the benefits of having external support of this kind far outweigh any risks you might think there will be. 

In this post, we’ll explain why out of hours IT support will be beneficial for your business and what the impact of not having it could be.

Potential Business Risks if Your IT Goes Down?

We only need to look at recent real-life examples to see the impact that IT problems can have on businesses. In the UK, Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland faced a huge backlash from customers when the network that manages internet and phone banking went down. Users couldn’t transfer money, receive payments or accidentally made duplicate transactions. 

If large organisations, with suitably large amounts of resources, can face catastrophic issues like these due to IT failures, then businesses of all sizes should take note. Consider your own business - what would happen if the IT went down? 

Who would be impacted in the first few minutes? What happens if the issues aren’t dealt with after an hour, two hours, four or eight? The more time that passes, the wider the problem can become and the worse it will get for your business. 

Think about what your business stands to lose if a fault occurs and there’s no one on hand to deal with it. It could be potentially devastating. In the past, organisations have needed to pay compensation to customers when services have gone down.

With out of hours IT proactive management, problems can be solved in their infancy, at all hours, before they become a huge issue when you arrive at the office (or, worse, have to start work in the early hours).

What’s the Current Procedure for Issues Outside of Office Hours?

Basically, consider who’s responsible for making sure everything is back up and running again when no one is in the office. Are you the person who receives the email late at night telling you that something is down?

If it isn’t specifically agreed in your contract, then it’s also a bit of an HR headache for the business, as well as an inconvenience for you. They’ll have to think about whether you’re entitled to any overtime payments or time off in lieu. Plus, if you were battling away until late at night, are you still expected to come in the next day and complete your usual hours?

These considerations can be challenging for a business, which is why an external solution is the most beneficial option. A Managed Service Provider (MSP) will always have skilled specialists on hand to deal with any problems when you aren’t there. Allowing you to focus better during your normal hours, perform at a higher level on bigger business-level projects and eliminate the need for any awkward HR conversations.

What Happens if You Don’t Know How to Fix the Problem?

When you’re heading into the office after receiving the dreaded email or call about a problem, you might not know exactly what’s wrong until you get there. It could be something straightforward that you have to deal with all the time, but it could also be a problem that’s more serious and complicated. 

Understanding the actual issue can take time and there’s no guarantee you’ll know what the solution is. As you’re trying to troubleshoot the problem and deal with technical support, you’re also fielding difficult questions from management who want to know the full extent of the problem.

This is where an MSP’s out of hours IT support really shows its benefits. They constantly monitor your systems, keeping an eye on any alerts that signal something may be wrong. 

Their extensive experience with other clients and systems means they have a huge bank of knowledge they can access, so they find solutions quickly and minimise any downtime for your business. If there is a problem, they can put fixes in place before your staff have even brewed their morning coffee. 

Once they have resolved the issues, they can help put procedures and processes in place to ensure that your network is more stable and resilient. This reduces the chance of systems failing in the future and allows you to focus on what’s important.

How BCN Can Help

We offer expert out of hours IT support, monitoring and managing our client’s IT environment remotely. Our team are on hand to give you peace of mind, dealing with any problems when the office is closed for the day. 

At all times, we guarantee a 1-hour response time for business-critical issues, so the issue is being investigated before you even realised there was one. 

Consider how financially damaging an outage and the resulting business downtime would be if we weren’t on hand to help. The benefits of working with an experienced MSP like BCN far outweigh the risk of compensation payments and lost revenue a major issue could cause. 

For more information on MSPs and how they can support your existing IT team and infrastructure, download our free eBook using the link below.

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