A myriad of new technologies including mobile devices, cloud-based applications, and non-traditional computing platforms have made offices more digitally connected than ever before. This blog post discusses how digitally-connected offices have increased the need for premium tech support services for small and medium businesses (SMBs).
Key Technology Challenges
Businesses of all sizes face the same challenge of managing networks for a wide variety of devices, and providing technology support for employees that are increasingly computing on the go. While SMBs face similar technology challenges as large enterprises, most SMBs do not have access to the same level of tech support resources as their larger counterparts.
Below are some of the most common technology challenges that digitally-connected offices face today:
- Connecting a Diverse Range of Devices: Modern office networks consist of multi-platform and multi-form factor endpoints including servers, workstations, desktops, notebooks, tablets, and smartphones. Onboarding and managing moves / adds / changes for a wide range of devices (and device operating systems) is a key challenge for many businesses.
- Security: Since a lot of BYOD (bring your own device) policies allow employees to bring personal mobile devices to the workplace, and to access company data remotely, securing business data is now a major concern among many organizations.
- Data Backup and Disaster Recovery: Implementing a data backup and disaster recovery mechanism is already complex and expensive for SMBs; it becomes even more complicated due to the range of devices that hold important data.
- Network Monitoring and Management: The diversity of interconnected devices complicates network setup, and as a result network management. Unfortunately, most SMBs lack a dedicated IT Department and rely on incident-based support from small regional organizations. In the event of a system outage or network breakdown, smaller organizations may have a higher risk of prolonged productivity loss.
In addition to these challenges, SMBs are less likely to have access to 24×7 technology support.
Enriching Customer Experiences Through Premium Technology Support Services
It is important to realize that the technology support requirements of SMBs are different than the needs of larger enterprises. While a costly, dedicated, in-house IT Department is suitable for larger organizations, SMBs need a different type of technology support model that uniquely meets their demands.
According to a report recently published by Forrester Research, “Good service is difficult to deliver because the technology ecosystem that customer service organizations use has grown more complex over time. Vendor mergers and acquisitions, the rise in importance of social computing, and new cloud solution deployment options present new opportunities for customer service executives.”
Cloud-computing not only provides SMBs the opportunity to access enterprise-level applications, but also to benefit from enterprise-level technology support including:
- Affordable Accessible 24/7 Remote Support: SMBs can benefit from the resources of national premium technology support providers, where a majority of support is delivered remotely.
- Broad Technology Support: National providers of premium support services for SMBs can leverage their scale to support a wide range of devices and applications, which may be difficult or impractical for regional providers.
- On Demand On-Site Services: Despite the ability to solve the majority of problems remotely, on-site service delivery remains an important component to a premium technology service offering. Ideally remote and on-site support should be coordinated through one provider to ensure seamless handoffs when an issue is escalated.
The majority of businesses in North America (approximately 75 percent) are classified as SMBs and this number is growing. The options for premium tech support tailored to the needs of SMBs have been limited. There is an emerging opportunity for national players to provide economies of scale not possible on a regional level, and deliver on the premium tech support promise that SMBs are seeking.