Why scheduling “once-a-week” IT on-site support isn’t a good strategy

Why scheduling “once-a-week” IT on-site support isn’t a good strategy

In the pre-internet or even early internet days, it was common for organizations to hire a computer or network support person to come into the office environment on a particular day of the week, pick up their list of to-dos that had accumulated over the past week, and diligently work through them to the best of their ability. Whatever they didn’t complete could wait until the next week. Staff became accustomed to this cycle, either patiently waiting for the next week to arrive, or coming up with sketchy workarounds to solve their problems.

This became a habit for companies—an expectation that this was the best and only way to resolve tech support issues. It has persisted well into the era of high-speed internet and remote support technologies, with some companies even including this arrangement in their Requests for Proposal for managed IT services providers in Toronto! While there may be some comfort in seeing an IT person onsite on a regular basis, it’s actually not a good strategy for your business.

Pros and Cons of Onsite IT Support vs. Managed IT Support

An on-site technician is not as effective as full support staff when it comes to resolving problems

Understandably, managers and business owners who lack exposure to IT feel uneasy paying for services they don’t see get rendered. If a problem is worked on remotely, and it isn’t resolved, they might feel it’s better to have the technicians doing the repairs on site to have a better grasp of the problem.

Many would think that the best mode of tech support is one that's right in your place of business, but they’d be wrong. This is because an onsite technician often does not have the tools or appropriate specialists at their disposal to help resolve issues.

Managed IT services providers take a tiered approach

A full technical support team or outsourced IT support, on the other hand, is comprised of many IT experts with different specializations and levels of expertise. Top-notch managed IT service providers usually implement the tiered support model where requests for support are assigned according to how much specialized effort is needed to be spent on them.

  • Tier 1: Also known as the service desk, this primary line of support normally resolves 70% of issues submitted by IT users. This tier is comprised of generalists who are given time boxes (e.g., limited amounts of time) to resolve support tickets before they escalate these to Tier 2.
  • Tier 2:Tickets brought to this tier are handled by technical or application management teams that have more skills, specialized knowledge, and time for resolving issues. This tier closes approximately 20% of all issues reported and escalates the remainder to Tier 3.
  • Tier 3: This is often a development team or a vendor and handles the most complex of managed IT solutions. This last line of support is called upon sparingly because the expertise and effort they put into resolving tickets make them more expensive.

Once-a-week visits make for poor response times

One of the major cons of onsite IT support is that time-sensitive issues may not be resolved fast enough. Let’s suppose that an IT technician is scheduled to visit your site every Thursday. This means that Friday’s issues will always take almost a week before they are resolved, and that these will be stockpiled with tickets from the other days leading to the technician’s visit. The expectation that the technician must resolve everything when they're there will be too high. More often than not, every concern will not be addressed, and so a backlog will accumulate.

Of course, when backlogs occur, some staff members will try to solve problems on their own instead of waiting for the technician. While their initiative can be seen as admirable, their lack of expertise may lead them to make bad decisions (such as downloading “free” apps that load your network up with malware), opening your firm up to more risks.

Outsourced IT MSP support gives you live 24-hour support

Premier MSPs in Toronto, like XBASE Technologies, offer live 24/7/365 support so that issues can be tackled as soon as they are reported by you or the MSP’s monitoring systems, thereby preventing problems from getting worse and requiring costly and time-wasting fixes. And the faster these are resolved, the sooner your staff can resume focusing on their tasks and be as productive as they can be for the business.

Once-a-week visits could leave your business more vulnerable to cyberattacks

Some of the worst cyberattacks in history occurred within hours of a vulnerability being discovered. If a technician is only applying patches or updates on a weekly basis, your system could be exposed for days.

Similarly, if a user notices something unusual about the performance of their computer or network activity that seems out of place but waits to report it until the technician comes in, bad actors could be enjoying unfettered access to critical data for days.

Companies that are currently allowing employees to work remotely and are planning on continuing to do so after the pandemic need even more comprehensive and robust IT support than ever before. It’s simply not enough to just have an IT technician come in once a week to troubleshoot certain issues and then leave.

IT MSP services in Toronto find problems and fix them proactively

Your outsourced IT support partner systematically and automatically applies all patches and updates to computers remotely as soon as these patches and updates are available—even in the middle of the night—and monitors your networks for suspicious activity, so that they can alert you immediately and work to thwart an attack in progress.

Top-tier and highly skilled managed IT services providers can also set up robust monitoring software solutions to track your network’s performance, watching for issues that might impact critical processes or user productivity, often before you’re even aware of them. Remote MSPs in Toronto use these 24/7 network monitoring systems to ensure that workloads are balanced, internet access points are working, and that there is no unauthorized access to your sensitive company and customer information.

On the rare occasion when there are no outstanding issues, a technician’s visit can be a waste of everyone’s time

Just as much as you won’t call a plumber to your house if you don’t have any leaky faucets or busted pipes, you will not want an IT technician to come over if they have no issues to fix. With weekly scheduled onsite IT support, you don’t have the option of calling a technician only when you need one. This could end up costing you a lot of time and money in the long run on services you don’t actually need.

Managed IT services providers extend their capabilities to you

Managed IT services in Toronto use all of their own high-tech equipment. They have invested in all of the latest technology, hardware, and software applications needed to manage your environment, meaning you get the benefit of the performance, capacity, and security of these solutions without having to pay for them upfront yourself. With once-a-week onsite support, you are limited to the equipment you already own or are willing to wait for, which can impact your productivity, competitiveness, and security. And, if you’re growing quickly, premier MSPs in Toronto, like XBASE, have the cloud hosting/data centre facilities that can grow with you, scaling immediately to your needs with a simple telephone call.

We’re not saying that all on-site visits are a bad thing…

There are many cases where these are actually called for. In fact, XBASE Technologies will always dispatch a technician onsite if it's determined that's the best way to resolve an issue.
If you do decide to move away from once-a-week technical support visits and embrace on-demand, 24/7 support from a managed IT services provider instead, then you’ll need to help your staff make behavioural changes. For instance, instead of saving up trouble tickets for the visiting technician to tackle one day, they must be encouraged to call or email the support line as soon as they encounter issues. This learned habit helps to mitigate risk and keeps staff as productive as possible every day of the week.

If your business experiences the issues associated with once-a-week technical support visits, then it’s time to look into breaking that habit and hire a trustworthy MSP in Toronto. Talk to our consultants at XBASE Technologies to learn more about our Exponentially Better™ IT support services today.

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