If you think information technology (IT) support is only needed at large companies, think again. Your small business needs well-functioning computers, hardware, software, printers, and other related technologies. If any business-critical problems arise, you need them fixed immediately so they don’t affect employee productivity, or your bottom line. Additionally, your current technology setup requires continual monitoring to address potential issues before they occur. Software, Internet browsers, website servers, and security systems, among others, should be checked regularly. They should also be updated and/or upgraded when needed. Knowing all of this, how can you not afford to invest in IT support? Balboa Capital compiled a list of three reasons why your small business needs IT support. Also included are ways to get it.

1. Helps maintain productivity

Technology-related problems happen all the time, and some of them can put a roadblock in front of your company’s productivity. These include computers that constantly need restarting, slow Internet connections, website issues, and malfunctioning office imaging equipment. You and your employees are not trained to correct these problems, so you would most likely waste many hours trying to do so. An IT professional is uniquely trained to pinpoint and fix tech problems in a relatively short amount of time. That means you and your employees will have less downtime, and your productivity won’t suffer as much.

2. Saves your business money

Imagine the problems you would have if your website went offline for a long period of time, or if your computer servers crashed. Everything would come to a standstill. The end results are frustrated employees, upset customers and vendors, and missed sales opportunities. Hiring or contracting IT support is definitely an investment, but it can actually help you save money down the road. Eliminating downtime keeps your small business moving forward, and helps you avoid lost business opportunities and wasted payroll dollars.

3. Keeps your network and data secure

Online fraud and data breaches are on the news all the time. Online thieves are targeting companies big and small, and they are always looking at new ways to break into computer networks. A well-trained and experienced IT professional or team can give you the tools you need to keep your sensitive data confidential and safe. They are experts in their field and can recommend the best solutions to safeguard your business against cyberattacks. So, don’t just assume that your employee and customer data is secure on its own. That is a sure recipe for disaster, not to mention and potential lawsuits.

4. Allows for fast internal support

An IT expert’s core responsibilities go beyond business-critical tasks. They also provide fast internal support to you and your employees. Common duties include fixing jammed office printers, updating outdated software, setting up employee workstations, and ordering computer supplies. Having an on-staff IT expert allows these and other related tasks to be completed quickly, which is a huge benefit.

How to get affordable IT support

As your small business grows, the demand for top-quality IT support grows, too. Depending on your company’s size, needs, and budget, you can either hire an in-house IT manager, or outsourcing IT services. Both are good options. However, staffing an IT professional who is at the office each day affords you the benefits of faster repairs and updates, and more control of the various technologies that your business uses. Outsourcing your IT services can help control your IT costs because you are not paying an employee’s salary or benefits. Instead, you are paying an hourly rate or flat fee for IT work. Think of it as “renting” and IT expert when something needs to be repaired or upgraded. Of course, you might also need to buy or lease computer hardware or software.