Network technology has become an area of great strategic importance, shaping the way companies work, interact with customers, and innovate new products. But today’s dynamic network environments, where mobile devices, laptops, IoT devices, and servers interact and share valuable data, can also be fragile and prone to disruption. Your business needs the right computer network support.

Like any complex technological system, network technology must be supported to ensure your business derives both maximum competitive advantage and return on your IT investment. But what exactly should effective network support achieve? Let’s look at why IT support is so important and what a strong support program should do for your team.

Maximize Network Uptime and Employee Productivity

Even a few minutes of network downtime can cost a business thousands of dollars in lost productivity, customer dissatisfaction, and recovery costs. Those costs can quickly become crippling if that downtime extends into hours or days, so ensuring maximum network uptime should be the top priority of any IT support team.

How do you do that? There’s a long list of computer network support management tasks that a business will have to address to stabilize a network. Some of the most common include the following:

  • Patching and Updating
    Vendors for both network hardware and software applications regularly release updates to their products to close cybersecurity backdoors, add new functionality, and ensure compatibility with newly released products. Any IT support program should involve collecting information about new patches and deploying them on a set schedule to keep systems efficient and stable.
  • Network Monitoring
    Network environments are highly dynamic. To ensure stability as new data is created, deleted, and moved between endpoints, businesses should implement a robust network monitoring program to proactively check the health of their systems and prevent downtime before it strikes.
  • Network Planning and Strategy
    A significant portion of the world’s unplanned network downtime is caused by hardware failure. To prevent this from happening, an IT support program should include a catalog of the hardware a business is using so that IT support personnel know which devices are reaching the end of their lifecycle and can replace them before they fail. Network planning also involves software lifecycle management to minimize migration time and planned network downtime.

Ensure Staff Productivity and Morale

When your network or technology isn’t working properly, the morale of your staff will suffer. Repeated or prolonged network downtime can wreak havoc on how your staff feels about their work while damaging your company’s reputation with customers.

To ensure that your team stays energized and productive, any high-quality IT and computer network support program should include friendly and reliable IT help desk service. An IT help desk refers to a team of technicians — armed with specialized technology support tools — who are trained to respond to the needs of your staff. The support of a quality help desk team eliminates obstacles to workplace efficiency while ensuring your team feels supported and engaged throughout the workday. But building a quality help desk isn’t an easy task. What makes an IT help desk effective? Here are just some of the most important elements.

  • Accredited IT Support Technicians
    All the technicians at your IT help desk should have certifications from leading bodies like CompTIA’s A+, in addition to advanced credentials from companies like Google and Microsoft.
  • Positive Culture
    Every help desk engagement should make your team feel valued and respected. Fast response times, clear paths of escalation for complex problems, stop-gap solutions to help maintain productivity during the support process, and a positive attitude are all indispensable to a help desk team.
  • A High Degree of Availability
    To keep morale and productivity high, help desk staff should be there to respond to your team, no matter if they’re working onsite or remotely. For midsized organizations, that means 24/7 service that’s always there by phone, email, or chat to support your staff.

Building a help desk team is difficult for small and midsized businesses with more urgent priorities than hiring and training technicians, which is why many choose to partner with a managed IT service provider who can provide a help desk solution that embodies all the above qualities for a flat monthly fee.

Did you know that it takes your staff 23 minutes to refocus after recovering from a technology problem or other distraction?

Provide Strong Cybersecurity Defenses

The goal of IT support is to keep your technology operational and efficient. In today’s challenging cybersecurity landscape, this requires around-the-clock vigilance.

New strains of ransomware, low-cost threats emanating from the dark web, and an uptick in state-sponsored hacking threaten sensitive data and can cause catastrophic downtime if they’re not addressed. Those threats have only continued to increase in frequency and severity since the COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses to adapt to work-from-home situations, an arrangement that many weren’t fully prepared to offer.

Many elements comprise a robust cybersecurity program, including security audits, perimeter defense, network firewall management, anti-virus software management, cybersecurity awareness training, and network security monitoring. Each of those requires a unique set of specialist skills.

The Complete Network team has written extensively on each of those topics in the past, based on our belief that all strong IT support programs must fully address the topic of cybersecurity to be effective.

>> Learn more about how our team defines excellent cybersecurity service

75% of all organizations globally were hit by at least one phishing attack last year, says Proofpoint’s 2022 State of the Phish report.

Safeguard Your Network Against Disaster

A well-supported network should also be resilient to catastrophe, whether natural disaster, major hardware failure, or serious cyber infiltration. Any IT support program must include either disaster recovery or a business continuity plan to provide that assurance.

While the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, backup and disaster recovery focus on strategically identifying key data assets and ensuring that those datasets are stored securely in a secondary location. So, your team can restore those assets quickly if a disaster ever strikes. Business continuity is a larger concept that includes protecting data, designating redundant workspaces lines of communication, and ensuring that business processes are just like your data.

Whether your business decides to implement one or the other will depend on what types of risk your business faces, your calculated cost of downtime, and what forms of legal or regulatory compliance penalties would result from business disruption. What’s indisputable is that every business must design, deploy, and regularly test either a DR or BC solution as part of an effective IT support program.

96% of organizations that built and regularly tested their backup and disaster recovery plan were able to survive a ransomware infiltration, but only 54% have an enterprise-wide disaster recovery strategy in place.

Twenty Years of Computer Network Support

Is your business looking to work with a veteran IT support firm that’s been helping businesses in Charlotte, North Carolina, Albany, NY, Bluffton, South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia for decades? Reach out any time to the Complete Network team; our friendly experts would love to answer your questions!

Contact us any time at 877 877 1840 or [email protected].

How To Supplement Your Internal IT Team.

In an ideal world, technology would be a consistent source of competitive advantage and benefit for small and midsized businesses. The reality is that many fail to realize that confidence.

Without the right resources and support, even a highly skilled technology team can become overwhelmed by the growing list of technology management duties. When important tasks get neglected, it creates ripple effects throughout an organization that damage productivity and efficiency.

The co-managed IT services model solves these problems by providing your existing IT team with all the support and resources they need to successfully plan, manage, and defend your network technology.

This guide covers:

  • • Aligning technology with business goals
  • • Reducing churn while preserving institutional knowledge
  • • Empowering your staff to maximize productivity
  • • Achieving the highest level of cybersecurity defense

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