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How to Find the Best IT Support Solutions: Remote or Onsite?

April 27, 2021

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Remote IT Versus Onsite IT: Is Outsourcing IT For Your Business?

Contrary to the common perception, established organizations are not the only businesses that need IT support. Even small growing enterprises leverage technology to streamline operations, manage employees, manage client relationships and store data securely, among other tasks. In this modern, technology-driven world, almost all enterprises are computers and IT solutions to handle tasks efficiently. 

With an increasing reliance on IT solutions, companies must now, more than ever, put emphasis on the essence of IT support. Having proper IT support in place is vital for any business to resolve occurring tech issues and restore services as soon as possible. Server downtime or a network crash can substantially hinder an organization's functionality, leading to massive losses even if the issue persists for a short time. 

IT support solutions are broadly categorized into two groups: remote and onsite IT support services. Onsite support is a team established with the company's organizational structure to provide IT full-time support. Remote IT support, on the other hand, is not found within the organization but offers IT support services or processes via the cloud from cloud-hosted infrastructure. Most organizations providing remote IT support services operate like an agency serving multiple businesses via the provision of the necessary hardware. 

When it comes to IT support services, companies, no matter the size, face the same dilemma-to choose onsite or remote IT support services. What's the best IT support solution for your company? Here's an outlook. 

Onsite IT Support 

As the name implies, onsite IT support refers to the in-person management of IT issues. Onsite IT support services are usually provided by an in-house IT department or a dedicated team of local IT support engineers, available both offline and online. Onsite IT support often involves in-person or face-to-face management of IT issues, but full support hours are limited to regular business hours.

Benefits of Onsite IT Support 

Onsite IT support's primary benefit is that IT problems can be supported in real-time, enabling an organization's network to be back online and fully functional. As such, onsite IT support can prevent businesses from making substantial losses arising from an IT infrastructure failure. Better still, online IT support can diagnose and resolve a larger number of technical issues compared to remote support. For instance, an onsite IT technician can handle issues that affect network connectivity or physical damage to a system more effectively compared to a remote IT technician. 

Also, unlike remote support, onsite support doesn't rely on device connectivity or management interfaces. This means that support can be provided on all devices, both with and without connectivity issues, including devices failing to boot. Besides, an IT engineer or technician troubleshoot faults more efficiently when sat in front of the device. 

Some of the many benefits of Onsite IT support services include: 

  1. With onsite support, IT issues can be supported in real-time

  2. Onsite IT support is more focused on your IT issues since you’re the only business they’re catering to-there is no competition 

  3. Onsite IT support can address an IT issue at its early stages, preventing costly disasters later on. 

  4. Onsite IT support averts unexpected expenses since the IT staff are full-time employees on a monthly payroll. 

  5. The IT team providing the IT solutions can build relationships with other people in the company. 

  6. By dealing with the same equipment and software day-in, day-out, onsite IT employees learn from past issues and mistakes. This makes it easier and quicker to resolve arising issues, ensuring an organization quickly gets to its feet. 

Limitations of Onsite IT Support 

The major downside of Onsite IT support, especially for small businesses, is its expensive cost. Besides, unlike remote IT support, onsite IT support is limited by the available service hours. It may be unlikely to reach an in-house technician outside of business hours. Some of the limitations of Onsite IT support include: 

  1. Onsite IT support can be more costly compared to remote support. As a business proprietor, you'll pay full-time employee(s) with employee benefits whether or not their services are required. 

  2. Onsite IT support could take some time to resolve an issue depending on the situation at hand. Therefore, it could be inefficient for your business. 

  3. An onsite IT engineer/technician's expertise could be less than that of an organization consisting of an IT team with varied knowledge and experience at hand. 

Remote IT Support 

In recent years, there has been significant growth in remote IT support growing by nearly 6% in the previous year. With remote IT services, IT technicians access client machines via a browser-based application or remote access software to solve the issue at hand. The technicians are off-site but still get the access they need to address IT problems.  

In a remote IT support setup, a company doesn't personally employ an IT support team. Instead, the company contracts a support company to provide the required IT support services involving maintenance, fixes, troubleshooting and other assistance remotely, usually via remote access software.

Some common IT issues that can be addressed remotely include error messages, VPN connectivity, shared network drive access, password resets, locked accounts, slow PCs and failure in programs and applications launching. 

Benefits of Remote IT Support 

Some of the benefits of remote IT support include: 

  1. Remote IT support is cost-effective since you only pay for the services you need and use 

  2. In most cases, remote IT support fixes issues relatively quickly since most of the problems they handle are commonly occurring tech problems. Better still, most remote IT support providers operate under Service Level Agreements (SLAs), keeping the amount of downtime to a minimum. 

  3. Most remote IT support companies are available 24/7; therefore, a business is always assured of IT support. 

  4. Remote support allows you and the IT support technician to connect and resolve issues withstanding geographical limitations. This comes in handy, especially for organizations with branches spread out in cities or countries. 

Limitations of Remote IT Support 

The major downside of remote IT support is that physical IT problems may not be dealt with immediately. Besides, while these forms of support are accessible in time of need, they cater to many businesses; therefore, it could take time to resolve as an issue due to divided attention. Some limitations of Remote IT support include: 

  1. Remote IT support could be difficult to budget for, throwing your business into costly unplanned expenses. 

  2. Remote IT support doesn't involve face-to-face interactions making it almost impossible to establish a rapport between employees. 

  3. Remote IT support can diagnose and resolve only those issues that do not affect network connectivity. As such, a machine that cannot connect to the Internet or fails to boot entirely makes it impossible for a remote technician to access and resolve the issue. 

  4. Therefore, data privacy isn't applicable with remote IT support, making it unsuitable for organizations that handle sensitive information. It also puts a company at increased risk of cyber-attacks since cybercriminals have been known to pose as support engineers to gain access to an organization’s systems.

The Best Option for your Business Is… 

From the above comparison, it’s evident that both remote and onsite IT support have benefits and limitations-none is perfect. Therefore, IT support should not be a one size fits all solution. Rather, the ultimate choice comes down to a company’s requirements which differs greatly based on industry, company size, staff skills, and many more factors. 

To choose the best IT solution, a company needs to analyze its IT needs carefully, IT budgets, and common IT issues it may experience. This will enable the company to establish whether their most common IT issues can be handled remotely or require a physical, onsite inspection. In the long run, it will choose the best IT solution. 

Most organizations these days are implementing a blended solution where an in-house IT team offers onsite support while still getting support from a remote IT service. House of I.T offers comprehensive IT solutions tailored to meet your business’s specific needs. Talk to us today to find out more about the best IT support solutions plus how you can avoid costly IT issues using our products. 

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