Guide to 24/7 IT Support
Technology has become an integral part of our everyday lives, from the smallest starting businesses to the biggest multibillion-dollar corporations. Computers are used for business emails, PR and advertisements, inventory and more, while mobile phones are crucial for contacting employer and employee alike. Without modern technology, our current business models would fall apart, leaving us unable to carry out once-simple tasks. What's more, for businesses involved in critical services, such as the healthcare industry, these delays can be a matter of life and death — quite literally.
Unfortunately, technology isn't infallible. Chances are that you've experienced a technological malfunction at least once in your life, whether it be a crashing computer or a phone that refused to turn on. Tech issues can put the breaks on what would otherwise be a productive workday, costing you, your employer and your clients valuable time and money. Depending on the severity of the issue, you can even lose important files that are impossible to replace.
Information technology (IT) services have become as crucial a part of our technological world as technology itself. IT support staff help you solve technology-related problems, saving you the time, money and stress of getting a replacement device. Even better, they can help you learn how to prevent those issues from happening again. IT services are crucial in minimizing the damage caused by inevitable technological troubles, and since those troubles can strike at any time, it's important that your IT support is available 24/7.
What is 24/7 IT Support?
24/7 IT support is exactly what the name implies — IT support available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, fifty-two weeks a year. Whether you're having an issue at two in the morning or on Easter Sunday, a 24/7 IT service will be available and ready to help. They manage this by either utilizing a steady shift rotation or by using staff located in multiple time zones. 24/7 IT can include a variety of IT services, such as:
- Backup and recovery: Backing up important files is an important step for anyone handling vital information. IT services can guide you on how to back up your files and where best to store them. They can also assist you if you need to recover important files.
- Analyzing logs: If you're unsure of how to access logs or other management data, IT support can help you through the process.
- General troubleshooting: If you're having issues with your device and you aren't sure what the cause could be, IT will help you root out the issue. It can be malware, software that hasn't been updated properly, a misplaced file and more.
These are just a few of the available services. In general, if a service is performed by standard IT, it will also be performed by a 24/7 IT service.
Benefits of 24/7 IT Support
At first glance, 24/7 IT support may seem like overkill — after all, how many businesses really need to operate around the clock? Your computer isn't going anywhere, so you might think that you can afford to wait until morning to call about your issue, or even put it off until the next business day. However, there are several benefits to having access to constant IT service:
- Reduced waiting time: Having access to 24/7 IT support means being able to tackle technical issues as soon as they appear. While it's true that not every issue needs to be handled the instant you discover it, for businesses that depend on technology, the sooner the better. In addition, the fact that the IT service is able to take clients at all hours means that clients are less backlogged. This reduces the amount of time you have to spend waiting to see your consultant.
- Better customer reach: One of the benefits of modern technology is that it allows people to connect with each other regardless of distance. However, this means that you won't always be doing business with someone in your time zone. 24/7 IT support removes this issue, meaning you won't have to call at a late hour because it falls into the standard 9-5 cycle where your IT service is located.
- Increased customer satisfaction: Very few customers enjoy businesses that make them wait. If you're familiar with business phone calls, then you can probably think of at least one time you were left on hold — and you can also probably remember how irritated that made you feel. 24/7 IT services cut down on customer waiting time, which in turn cuts down on customer stress. You won't have to wait as long to hear back or to have your issue resolved, which means you can spend more time thinking about other things.
In short, 24/7 IT services help customers solve their problems faster and at more convenient times for them. This, in turn, leads to happier customers.
How do You Know if You Need 24/7 IT Support?
Even knowing the benefits, you may still view 24/7 IT support as unnecessary. You may think that, while your business wouldn't be harmed by having access to around-the-clock support, it doesn't necessarily need it. So you may wonder, How can I tell if my business will benefit from 24/7 IT support? Here are a few indicators:
- Your business is active 24/7: There are many jobs that need to be done regardless of the time of day or what day that is, such as jobs in the healthcare industry. There are also jobs that, while not time-sensitive to an extreme degree, benefit from being done quickly. For example, if night shift employees in a nursing home discover an issue with their computer, it would be better for the issue to be resolved that night instead of them having to wait for the day shift workers. If you have clients demanding your services around the clock, you can't afford to wait for your IT support's hours of operation.
- You want to serve a wider demographic: Depending on how big your business is, you may be serving clients in multiple time zones. Having access to 24/7 IT support means that you can solve issues that occur during their hours of operation as well as yours.
- You want customers to have a better experience: One of the best ways to show your clients that you care is to be available for them around the clock. If you run into technical difficulties, you won't be able to serve your clients until the issue is sorted out, and every second you wait is another second your client grows more irritated. Being able to solve tech issues quickly will save both you and your clients time and stress. In situations where you encounter your clients regularly, such as in a nursing home, ensuring their satisfaction makes interactions easier for everyone involved.
Common IT Problems 24/7 Support Addresses
Now that you understand the larger benefits of 24/7 IT support and know it's right for your business, you may be wondering what specific problems it can help with. There are all sorts of technological malfunctions and mishaps, but some of the more common ones are included on this list. If you've experienced one or more of them, then you'll understand how they can disrupt your workday and how important it is to have them solved as quickly as possible:
- Slow performance: When your computer's performance slows down, it can take much longer to perform simple tasks. While computers slow down naturally with age, there plenty of other causes for sudden loss of performance speed. These can include too many programs being open at once, a lack of space on the disk, or malicious software. If you aren't sure what the cause is, then contacting IT can be useful.
- Slow connection: Similarly to a slow performance speed, a slow internet connection can drastically increase the amount of time it takes for you to perform work-related tasks. Slow connections can be caused by overloaded wifi routers or a blocked wifi connection. Before contacting IT, be sure the issue isn't the physical location of your computer, such as a thick wall between it and the router.
- Lost password: A strong password is important for your digital security, as it serves as the first line of defense if your device is compromised or physically stolen. However, this security can easily turn against you if you forget or lose your password. Many programs have ways to recover or reset passwords, but if they don't work, IT may be able to help you regain access. IT may also be able to help you if you've lost access to the device itself.
- Lost files: Losing business-related files can be catastrophic, especially if the files housed critical information or contained work necessary for an approaching deadline. In the best-case scenario, you'll have to regather and re-enter the information — in the worst-case scenario, you're left without it permanently. In the healthcare industry in particular, losing information can be disastrous. It's not always possible to regain lost files, but if it is, an IT support service will help you do so.
- Printer issues: While plenty of work-related information and paperwork can be stored digitally, there are times when a physical copy is necessary. Obtaining one, however, is only possible if your printer is working. Aside from not printing, some printer issues can even slow down connected computers. Printers count as work devices, especially the more sophisticated ones, so don't be afraid to contact IT when they malfunction.
- Overheating: This issue is exactly what it sounds like — your computer's temperature gets too high, forcing it to shut down. In some cases, overheating can permanently damage your computer. While it can be caused by placing your computer in the sun or in places where the fan is blocked, or by the accumulation of dust inside the case, it can also be a deeper issue that you'll need IT to solve. Even if you think the issue is physical, it's advised to contact IT before taking your computer apart.
- USB Issues: Even the most spacious of computers can't hold everything. In those cases, a USB drive is useful for storing additional files, but only when the drive works. USB issues don't always come from the computer — sometimes they come from the USB device itself. However, there are times when the computer's USB driver is the issue, making it a job for IT.
- Malware: Malicious software, or malware, is software specifically designed to damage, slow down or otherwise interfere with your computer. With the advancement of modern technology, malware is becoming more and more subtle in its infiltration. Even if you've avoided clicking on suspicious links or downloading unknown files, you may still end up with malware. If a malware program has made its way on to your computer, IT services can help you locate and remove it.
Even if your issue isn't listed here, IT services are there to help, so don't be afraid to call.
Why is 24/7 IT Support Essential?
At this point, it's safe to assume you have a decent grasp on the benefits of 24/7 IT services. But you still may be wondering — are they truly essential?
The answer is yes. In today's modern world, technology is a more important part of keeping businesses running than ever before. For example, in the healthcare industry, computers are used to store important patient files. Hardware failure, network connection issues and malware are just a few of the problems that can interfere with modern technology.
24/7 IT support means that you can get these problems fixed as soon as possible. Gone are the days of waiting for the next business day, for the holiday to be over, or for the service to open up in the morning. With 24/7 IT support, you can contact an IT team about your problems as soon as they occur. Not only will this minimize the losses caused by these problems, but it will save you and your clients both time and stress. You can spend less time worrying about when the issue will be fixed and more time focusing on your work.
If you still aren't quite convinced, think back to the last time you were put on hold for IT services. Think about how long you waited for tech support. Now ask yourself this — How much time could you have saved if that support line had been open 24/7?
Contact Us for 24/7 IT Support
Technology has become a crucial part of the modern business experience. Without functional computers and mobile phones, many business practices would grind to a halt. Unfortunately, breakdowns and malfunctions are an inevitable part of any machine, meaning businesses do grind to a halt until the issues are fixed. In order to keep your business running, it's crucial to have access to IT support when you experience technical difficulties.
If you're a healthcare company, long-term care provider, or small business in need of IT support at all hours, consider Prelude Services. We're a SSAE SOC Compliant business dedicated to improving your security and functionality. We offer specific IT services for senior living care, nursing homes, retirement home services and assisted living, including 24/7 IT support. If you want to know how Prelude can help you, contact us today!