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IT Support Fundamentals: A DIY Guide for Small Businesses

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Small Business IT Support

Executive Summary

  • IT support can be a complicated topic, especially when you get into the technical details. But there are still some basics that all businesses can handle themselves.
  • In this DIY guide, we’ll share the basics of good IT support to keep your business running smoothly (and securely).
  • We’ll cover IT support fundamentals such as data backup and disaster recovery, cybersecurity, software best practices, and more.

Introduction

IT support isn’t a straightforward topic.

For the team at Get Support, that’s probably a good thing, because the technical stuff gives us a reason for being.

But if your business hasn’t yet signed up for one of our comprehensive IT support agreements, there’s still plenty of “DIY” IT support you can keep an eye on to ensure your business runs smoothly and (cyber)securely.

Here are just a few IT support fundamentals to get your business up to speed.

#1: Make sure your choices are business-grade

When you first start to manage your own IT support, it’s easy to assume that the computers and software you use at home are the best choice for business, too.

While this may be true for freelancers and solo entrepreneurs, the scale shifts a bit when you’re a small business with a growing fleet of workstations. For example, Windows 10 Home might feel like an old pair of jeans, but install it on a few workstations and you’ll soon start to see the cracks – like the fact that Home edition doesn’t include certain features that Pro does, such as Remote Desktop Connection, BitLocker encryption, and more.

The same logic applies to service contracts and warranties for those workstations, so don’t be afraid to ask the professionals for IT support when the need arises.

#2: Make sure you have a backup plan

Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together?

Sadly, that’s not always the way it goes. In such cases, you want to be sure you’re covered for any eventuality – from a fried server to a disk drive that meets a magnet. It’s here that a disaster recovery plan comes in absolutely essential for every business.

While they can get quite complex, you should at least have a broad strategy for what you would do if the worst happens. This extends to your backup options, including what you’re backing up, where you’re backing it up, and how often. This might sound like a lot of work, but you’ll thank yourself later if anything goes wrong – trust us on that.

#3: Keep tabs on your software licensing

One of the murkier areas of IT support in businesses is software – specifically, the licensing and use of that software. This links back to an earlier point, but lots of apps which are free-to-use for personal users might not be free for business users. This can cause a bit of a legal minefield whereby your team is using software in a way which breaches the user agreement.

To avoid this, you need to ensure all work-related machines have approved and licensed software installed. While this can be a big job, even for an IT support team, one good way to handle it is by investing in cloud-based software suites like Microsoft 365.

In this case, your team are free to install the productivity apps they need, then use their business credentials to log in to each app. When logging in, all licensing approval will take place in the cloud, giving you the confidence that your team aren’t using anything unlicensed – or potentially dangerous.

#4: Stay on top of your updates (or just enforce them)

Once you’re sure all of your business software is above board, the next step is to make sure it’s all up to date.

As we’ve mentioned a few times before on the Get Support blog, outdated software can be the Achille’s heel of any IT support strategy. By not updating apps, you’re potentially opening your business up to cyberattacks, which can be incredibly costly.

If manually updating software on all of your workstations, or asking your team to do so, sounds like a lot of work, you can also use specific services – like Microsoft Intune – to effectively block users from accessing sensitive data until their machines are up to date. Or you can simply enable auto-updates and let the software do its thing – it’s your call.

Want to go beyond the basics? Bring in the IT support experts

This checklist will give you everything you need to avoid some of the common pitfalls when managing your own IT support, but it’s really just the start.

To scale up your business in a sustainable way, you’ll need to take your IT support to the next level – freeing your time up to focus on more important things. It’s here that our comprehensive IT support agreements come into play. Featuring a menu of different IT services, including our unique IT Director service, our agreements are the best way to stay 100% and 100% compliant.

Discover how an IT support agreement could transform your business today by calling us on 01865 59 4000. Alternatively, just full in the form below and we’ll get back to you.

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