A Football Analogy About IT Support

by | Dec 26, 2022 | INSI Articles, IT Support

Independent Contractors for IT support can be beneficial for several IT projects, maintenance, and support for your Atlanta business. However, they should not be the primary means of IT support for a company dependent on their technology. A good analogy of this is a football team against a single player.

How Does IT Support Compare to a Football Team

We all remember that legendary high school football game when our team was down by one touchdown. When all seemed lost, the center snapped the perfect hike, the offensive line protected the quarterback from certain destruction, and the running back distracted two defensive players. Suddenly, the quarterback threw the winning pass, and the kicker made the final extra point, which took the team to victory. Then, with just one point in the lead, the defense held the opposing team to prevent a comeback! Victory!

In the same way, your business network needs a team to protect it and ensure your staff stays productive.  After all, your IT holds all the intellectual data of your business. Every email, phone call, and document is a window into your business. It is essentil to protect this valuable information from hackers, hardware failures, software glitches, and end-user mistakes.

Yet, one person has limited skills and bandwidth to protect and care for your network properly. Like an individual trying to play all positions on the football field, they lack the people, resources, and technology to protect your network. That is why you need a mature Managed Service Provider.

Concerns of Using Independent Contractors (IC) for IT Support in a Thriving Business

Independent Contractors typically do not have the tools, resources, or technology to deliver the same level of support that a mature Managed Service Provider can. Some examples of this include:

  1. Unpredictable Cost – Independent Contractors offer ad hoc “pay-as-you-go” services. Due to the many issues associated with ad hoc, the risk is high, and the cost can get out of hand quickly.
  2. Single Point of Failure – Sickness, vacation, full-time job offers and even death can devestate your business IT if you use an independent contractor.
  3. Limited Knowledge – While you can find independent contractors who are incredibly talented, there is not one IT person who knows everything that to support a network fully. Further, they typically don’t keep up with new certifications. This results in the IC learning on your time.
  4. Lack of Documentation – It can take years to succeed in IT support operations. For this reason, ICs lack robust ticketing systems, asset tagging, and business processes to track the issues and assets.
  5. Low Availability – One person can not be in two places simultaneously. Consequently, the IC will put its more profitable clients first.
  6. Lack of Insurance – The vast majority of ICs do not have business insurance.
  7. Insufficient Monitoring – Monitoring is essential for catching issues early on. Yet, robust monitoring tools are not affordable for ICs.

It’s important to ask questions surrounding these concerns when considering any outside individual for ongoing IT support.

When To Use an Independent Contractor for Business IT

There are times when it makes sense to use an independent contractor. For example, it is excellent for companies with less than 1/4th of an hour per person per month for support. Or if a company has less than five computers. In these cases, the companies are not highly dependent on their IT to justify daily support. Instead, their needs are sporadic, and an IC is more appropriate.

Another time independent contractors are good for business is when their specific skill sets can help with strategic consulting or temporary projects. This makes sense when you have an internal IT department and need outside expertise temporarily.

When NOT to Use an IC for Business IT

An indpendent contractor won’t do when you need more than 1/4th of an hour of support per person per month. In these cases, you are highly dependent on your IT and are likely a target of hackers. You need the breadth/depth of experience, technology tools, and resources only a Managed Service Provider can provide. With a mature Managed Service Provider you will get the following:

  1. Documentation
  2. Monitoring of Network and Desktops
  3. Tracking of Key Performance Indicators (KPI) and Continual Improvement
  4. Asset Tracking
  5. Live Network Operations Center
  6. Breadth and Depth of Multiple Engineers and Various Levels of Expertise
  7. High Availability

Trust INSI For All Your IT Support Needs! 

For over 25 years, Innovative Network Systems (INSI) has offered an integrated IT support and cybersecurity approach for small and medium-sized businesses in the Atlanta area. Their 100% local, college-educated, and experienced engineers provide a range of services from basic monitoring to fully Managed IT services.

The INSI IT support model gives their clients the exact level and type of service they want while providing greater accountability and reduced ongoing IT support costs. INSI options include cloud, cybersecurity, backups, cabling, wireless, business phones, and more. To learn more about our services, call 770-387-2424 or email solutions@insi.net.

About the Author

Deborah Frazier is the author of IT Outsourcing Secrets – A Small Business Guide to Compare IT Support Companies. With nearly 20 years of experience consulting small and medium-sized businesses on their IT support needs, she brings a wealth of knowledge to INSI as Head of Marketing and Sales. If you like this article and would like to get notified when a new article is posted, click here.

To make an appointment for more information about INSI and our Marietta and Atlanta metro IT Support services, click here.