SME survival guide: Why the IT department is one of your most vital assets

With the world of business becoming increasingly digitised, there’s never been a more important place for IT support teams within an SME.

However, often one of the areas to be glossed over most in the boardroom, the value of great IT assistance should not be overlooked. Instead, the cruciality of your IT department should be well known throughout the business at both an employee, and senior leadership team, level.

Despite its name, this part of the company does more than its title suggests. IT is often the foundation to a business’s operations, and without it very little – or sometimes nothing – would get done. So, here’s why it’s time to recognise this division as one of your SME’s most vital assets…

Gatekeepers of safe communications

With nearly all modern-day SMEs relying upon the power of emails and telephone conversations for its business operations, IT is of paramount importance for maintaining this effective stream of contact with customers and colleagues alike.

Without a robust communication infrastructure, many companies’ external and internal dialogues would ground to a halt. So, whether it’s managing savvy email storage or encrypting your telecoms to ensure conversations and data are kept confidential, remember that without cyber-confident techies, the little things you take for granted wouldn’t run as smoothly as they do and should!

Safeguards of data and systems

Expanding on the above, IT professionals know a thing or two about cyber-security and how to apply and implement measures effectively to a business – and that’s something to shout about.

IT teams are ahead of the curve when it comes to the technical landscape – and it’s their job to know what the latest cyber-threats are, as well as how to tackle and protect against them, all the while ensuring minimal disruption and maximum safety.

Organised cyber-crime is on the increase – with 42% of SMEs reporting an attack or breach in the last 12 months – so as custodians of system security, IT technicians’ importance can’t be overlooked.

Eyes and ears of the business

“Ok, so everything looks to be working fine, let’s leave it and check in again in a few weeks’ time…” These are words you’ll never hear a techie utter. Because IT departments know that in the cyber world, situations can change very quickly.

Everyone has a to-do list as long as their arm, and taking a look at IT infrastructure would rarely – if ever – make the top on a non-IT professional’s plan. Using technology that monitors systems 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days of the year helps to prevent any disruption, your IT leaders are proactive onlookers responsible for keeping operations running some rain or shine, so time to give kudos where it’s due.

Contingency planners

It’s in IT workers’ DNA. It’s great when everything is running without any issues, but tech teams like to keep things that way with a little planning.

Sometimes, things happen that are out of your control – power outages, natural disasters, attempted data breaches, you name it. That’s why it’s vital to have people dedicated to constructing a cyber safety net which effectively backs up and replicates data and files, ensuring nothing is lost forever, if anything were to happen.

Data handling and storage isn’t for the faint-hearted, so when it comes to preparing for data loss, be safe in the knowledge that your tech team is keeping your information safe and intact.

Support-line for in-house teams

Finally, for SMEs which have in-house IT teams, you may be questioning why you’d ever need two IT departments – but from experience, we know that everyone needs support and guidance.

It’s no secret that internal teams have issues to resolve and tasks to complete, and that’s where outsourced IT professionals can act as a trusted second or third line infrastructure – keeping abreast of all maintenance and system statuses, which can often get deprioritised by on-site divisions.

If you’d like to find out more about how and why outsourcing IT support could benefit your overall business operations, get in touch with the friendly Q2Q team!

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    Technical IT Support illustration at Q2Q HQ Lancaster, Lancashire and the North West