FACT: Most people do not know what IT Support does. Sure, when a password doesn’t work or a monitor won’t come on, employees know that it’s going to be their IT that sets it right. But beyond the idea that It people fix computer or network issues it’s a mystery.

Just last week, an IT Support LA client said, “We hardly ever put in a ticket (request for service), so I’m wondering why we even need you.” Their IT liaison employee had left, and they were trying to figure out what was going on with their IT.

The flip side of that coin is the company that tells their Bad IT support, “Every day, things break down! Do you even know what you’re doing?”

In this sense, really good IT suffers from the same perception as really bad IT (of which there is plenty): The “Why do we even pay you IT guys?” sentiment.

Why the same question for 2 different results?

Bad IT Support

Information Technology is a largely unregulated industry. Unlike professions and trades, anyone can hang out a shingle saying they are an IT company. Unlike your doctor, lawyer or accountant, there is no degree needed – no proof of training and no licensing required. Even the company that erects a new fence around your yard or remodels your bathroom has to be licensed.

This inferior section of IT – at the very least within the IT Support Los Angeles community, consists mostly of companies or solo practitioners who use the outdated Time & Materials model, based upon a simple hourly rate – which the industry refers to as ‘Break/Fix’: something breaks and they come out to fix it. They make money for billable hours therefore they have little reason to fix things quickly or effect lasting solutions (providing ‘band-aid’ fixes instead) – more visits = more money.

But the client grows tired of all the downtime waiting for the tech to show up and take too much time to fix the problem.

Good IT Support

While there are experienced, reputable Break/Fix people out there, Good IT is generally found within the realm of Managed IT Services providers – although quality varies there as well, but there is a minimum standard of service.

Clients who wonder what they’re paying a Managed Services Provider (MSP) for do so because they typically DON’T see a lot of visits or a flurry of action. Things tend to run smoothly, but this is not because of luck. The trick is, since clients pay a monthly retainer or subscription, a Managed Services Provider makes more money the LESS time they spend on a client’s account.

An MSP does the heavy lifting up front, setting up the network with the main focus on monitoring and proactive preventive maintenance. Using automation and AI (Artificial Intelligence) among other tools, a great MSP already knows when most problems occur – they predict a host of potential issues beforehand and adjust the network accordingly. Even if the IT HelpDesk isn’t on the phone and no field techs are poking around in the server room, much work is being done to provide as close to a permanent ‘YES’ response from the network as possible.

When this situation arises where a new person – or worse - the owner does not understand what IT does and therefore is not seeing the value, an educational dialog needs to take place. It’s important to avoid ‘Geek Speak’ and follow the ‘KISS’ rule (Keep It Simple, Stupid). It’s a good time to remember what Albert Einstein (who did not deal with the type of IT we have today) said: "If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself."

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why do you need IT support?

A:  Two main reasons:
1) To ensure that your network runs smoothly, with as little downtime as possible in order to maintain productivity and attain company goals.
2) To ensure that your data is effectively protected, stored, and backed up.

Q: What are different types of IT support?

A: In terms of business support there are really only two models worth looking at, although software for specific industries, such as insurance, offer support – but the support is limited to their own software and its immediate interaction with the network. Full IT is still needed – typically supplied by one of these two types:
1) Managed IT Services: Features remote monitoring & repair, onsite tech services, proactive and preventive maintenance, Cybersecurity, and backup and disaster recovery among other services. This model provides services on a retainer or subscription basis – usually billed monthly.
2) Time & Materials or Break/Fix provided by companies with varying degrees of expertise. Typically has no remote repair – it’s based on a tech coming out to fix whatever breaks and is paid by the hour.

Small Business Trends breaks various IT offerings down into sub-categories HERE.

Q: What should I look for in an IT support company?

A:  For a thorough checklist and what to ask prospective Managed Services Providers, please see our page on this site HERE. The quick rundown of the top 5 things you need in an MSP:
Proactive Management.
No Long-Term Contracts.
Experience, Certifications, and On-going Training.
Clear Response Times.
Data Security Expertise.

Q: What do you get from an MSP?

A: At a minimum, a qualified MSP should offer:
Full IT infrastructure management
Network and server optimization
Onsite tech support
Remote monitoring and support - Help Desk
Back up and Disaster Recovery
Cloud services
Vendor management
IT budgeting and road map

How does YOUR IT stack up?

It costs you nothing to find out. IT Support LA offers a FREE, no-risk network and security assessment to all companies in the Greater Los Angeles area with a minimum of 10 computers and 1 server. No strings, no obligation. Upon completion, we deliver you a free report that is yours to keep. There is no obligation to do business with us.

Just fill out the form on this page or call us at: