IT support: on-site or remote?

Lots of companies – including many IT service-providers – swear by coming to work on-site when IT incidents occur. What they don’t think about is that on-site support is a good deal more expensive and takes up more time. Not to mention the fact that staff are often disturbed in their work longer and that the ecological footprint involved is always greater due to the travel involved. And what happens if the problem is too complex to resolve immediately on-site?

Although on-site support is definitely necessary in certain cases, remote or off-site IT support has a great many advantages. These are the main ones:



1. Less loss of productivity

With off-site or remote IT support, intervention times are generally a good deal shorter. With a well-oiled Service Desk problems can be tackled, logged and tracked straight away. And because problems are solved more quickly, there’s less downtime and staff can get back to work more quickly. Which means the impact productivity is much smaller.


2. Cheaper and more transparent

In most cases, remote support is cheaper and easier to budget for, because a fixed price is agreed in advance with the provider. (Expensive) travel expenses also fall out of the equation. Of course, it is advisable to make clear arrangements with your provider about which services are (and are not) included in the contract. Service Level Agreements offer security as to the speed and quality of the support provided.


3. Access to more expertise

What happens if the IT specialist who comes out on-site is unable to resolve the issue immediately? You can’t assume that a whole team of specialists will be despatched to help you with every incident. This means in practice that you will have to wait longer before your problem can be fixed. Larger IT incidents may also have a serious impact on the business. By contrast, remote support services are available everywhere, 24/7. The problem is escalated straight away to the appropriate expert and tracked according to the arrangements made.


4. Avoid incidents with proactive monitoring

If you use a Managed Services Provider for remote IT support services, it may also be able to help you prevent IT incidents from happening by offering proactive monitoring and management. Using specialised tools, experts keep a close eye on your IT systems and make sure that most problems are solved before they even occur. The combination of proactive services and remote support in a service model is a powerful solution for restricting loss of productivity and downtime for your company.

Of course, on-site attendance is still required for a large number of tasks. Examples of this are replacing infrastructure components (network, servers), connecting cables and routers, plus larger IT projects and more complex work on the IT environment. But for the majority of everyday IT incidents, remote support remains the best option for avoiding loss of productivity, costs and downtime.

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