IT providers are more effective when they’ve got a really good understanding of the businesses they support. If your IT service desk is on the other side of the country, or even the world, it may struggle to deliver the same level of service as a more local firm.
Although many IT managed services can - thanks to cloud-based software - be delivered remotely, there is no substitute in knowing that if something goes wrong, an IT specialist can support your team on-site. It is equally useful knowing that IT specialists can take a look around your facilities in-person. This way, they can assess how to improve connectivity, security, and deliver the most effective IT solutions for your team, based on how people use computers, devices and other tech services.
On-site visits are easier when you are working with someone in your area.
More Benefits of Working With Local IT Providers
Beyond ensuring your IT is running smoothly, working with other local companies comes with other benefits that aren't as obvious.
As a business owner, you know all too well the various challenges you face every day, week, month and quarter. From bringing in enough money, to looking after clients, staff, suppliers and your companies legal and compliance obligations. You also know how valuable it is to have others around you can trust and rely on, suppliers who you can form strategic partnerships with.
When you work with a local, reliable IT service provider, you establish a valuable connection in the business community (pls also read our previous blog on: 'How Your Business Influences Your Local Community' here). Chances are, you both know companies that could benefit from each other’s services. Not only are both your companies supporting jobs, and therefore putting money back into the local economy, but there are also ways both businesses can help support each other’s growth and development.
First and Second-line Support
The longer you work with a local supplier, the greater insight you get into each other’s companies. An IT service provider can provide IT support whereby problems are resolved. We call this first or second-line support, depending on how serious the problem is and what needs doing. But IT providers can also provide more strategic support, whereby they work with you to implement long-term plans that can increase productivity, support expansion plans, drive efficiencies and cost savings, provide change and transformation consultancy, and improve profitability and the bottom line.
Ist and 2nd line support will fix issues that might prevent an employee getting on with work or a customer from using a product. It limits downtime ensuring work and revenue generation is not disrupted a necessity for normal business operations.
Strategic support from a company that understands your business, and has great insight into the local market conditions and factors that can affect your success, is invaluable for helping you drive through business objectives. Whether that’s transforming a process that’s costing hundreds of team hours of work, supporting an expansion programme, or helping your business innovate and use technology in a more proactive and strategic way, this level of support is different to get from an IT provider on the other side of the world.
Can a local IT provider offer the support you require?
Many local IT providers are small businesses with limited capacity. Typically their clients are also micro or small businesses that do not require extensive support. Often they can’t offer more than operational support because they don’t have the infrastructure to do more. To explore whether an IT provider can offer the support you require this article contains key questions that you can ask to help you shortlist potential suppliers - Finding An IT Service Provider: Questions To Ask
Not all local IT providers are small. Companies like UKN Group employ many service desk analysts and have sites in key cities so they can offer the benefits of a local provider. Our teams in London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Basingstoke may offer remote IT support the majority of the time, but can also provide a hybrid service (with analysts or consultants providing on-site support as well as remote), or a full on-site service. Additionally, we have people on the ground who can visit your organisation, know the area and understand the various local factors that might impact your business.