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6 Ways to Avoid Common IT Support Pitfalls

The harsh reality is that businesses with insufficient IT support are going to have trouble surviving these days. If any part of your system goes down, the results can be devastating. Constantly evolving business demands tell us it’s essential to stay on the cutting edge of tech innovations. What if the thing you could innovate is how you handle your IT support? We’ve got some tips for you to be forward thinking on how you take care of your IT tools and avoid common pitfalls in keeping them up and running.

Don’t Wait for Something to Break

We’ve all been there: your car is malfunctioning and the mechanic asks when the last time you had X looked at. He or she reminds you that maintenance prevents problems or at least spots them before you are left high and dry. IT support is the same way. Don’t wait until you are in a crisis to find out that your servers can’t handle the traffic or are in the middle of a data crash to discover you don’t have adequate backup. By partnering with expert IT specialists, you can learn exactly what it takes to protect your hardware, data – or anything you need to operate every day – from loss, and implement a strategy that meets your specific budget and needs.

Look into Third Party Support

Much like a trusted mechanic can sometimes often offer you a better deal than fixing your car at the dealer, third party maintenance (TPM) offers an alternative to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) support for IT hardware. TPM providers can provide less expensive support all on one contract for a variety of vendors. If something is easier, more cost-conscious and simpler to manage, why wouldn’t you consider it? But finding the right TPM provider means doing a little homework. Create a checklist of resources and capabilities a third party IT maintenance provider must have to fit your needs. Do they provide 24-hour US-based support to help customers in all time zones? Can they provide phone support and a field engineer for on-site help? If a new part is required, will they get it ordered, delivered and installed? Make sure the provider meets your specific needs.

Protect Your Assets

According to Security Magazine, the average cost of data breach recovery for small and midsize businesses can top $50,000. “After” isn’t the time to find out if your data protection and security policies are effective and clearly enforced. Just ask Target or Panera or Equifax. Create and routinely test your breach or disaster recovery plans “before” anything happens. Spot the issues, call in support to fix them, and sleep better. You may not get a thank you for blocking a data attack or preventing a server crash, but you will unquestionably hear about it when systems go down, or private information is shared.

Don’t Needlessly Replace Your Hardware

The OEM may try to convince you that upgrade is the only option when your equipment is getting to end of life. However, why switch to new hardware when what you have is working just fine? And why upgrade on their timeline when that means escalating costs on something that doesn’t seem to need replacing? Choosing third-party maintenance for your storage, server, and networking equipment can not only save you money, but also the headaches that do with data migration and upgrades. Upgrade when it makes sense for you – not when the OEM says you should.

Know Your Resources

Do you have a centralized reference point for your equipment details? If not, start one now. It’s important to keep accurate records on all of your devices and system configurations including age, location, and any past service. However, it’s equally important to have access to that information when they require maintenance or service. If you’re like most organizations, you have more than one vendor providing your server, network and data center equipment. So what happens when they stop working correctly? Will those manufacturers pick up the phone if you have to call after 5:00 pm? Will you know the details of your equipment when they ask?

Spend Wisely on Good Partnerships

If you’re a smaller business you may not feel you have the capital to hire an outside or third party maintenance provider, but it’s in your best interest (and your bottom line’s) to work with one. Most third party maintenance providers can offer savings of at least 50% off the OEM support price, so now is the time to crunch those numbers. You may discover that by bringing in a TPM on retainer, your business will not only be more efficient but also more cost-effective and profitable when critical tech issues arise.

Smart 3rd Party is an IT hardware maintenance and support company offering a practical alternative to costly manufacturer maintenance to support your IT assets beyond their warranty or service agreement. We can create a customized solution to extend the life cycle of your hardware while protecting your bottom line. Contact us today to find out how we can help your business or call us at 800.583.3894.

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