Do you need IT support? Call in the experts and avoid trouble
PUBLISHED: 14:44 13 December 2019 | UPDATED: 10:34 14 January 2020
Rapid advances in IT technology require expert input to stay ahead of the game - but how many small and medium-sized businesses can really cope inhouse? Increasingly, outsourcing IT is becoming the smart solution.
The trouble began on the Monday. Bank customers, opening up devices to check their online accounts, discovered there were no accounts, or they were looking at someone else's finances.
TSB was going into meltdown after a highly complex weekend data transfer went dramatically wrong. Social media was buzzing, traditional media picked up the story and rapidly the boss was being called to explain himself to a Commons select committee.
Finally, on day six, the bank called in a global IT expert to start sorting an in-house mess that would cost millions in compensation 18 months on.
Speaking at his Norwich office, from where small and medium enterprises (SMEs) enjoy IT support across East Anglia, Christopher Cooper, director of Norwich-based Computer Service Centre, says: "The last thing we want to do is frighten potential clients but, as technology advances and companies grow, outsourcing complex IT makes more and more sense."
After more than 20 years and with over 70 specialist staff supporting thousands of users in the region, Computer Service Centre, the largest independent IT firm in Norfolk, has, for example, most recently helped:
- A nationwide network of more than 200 accountancy franchises, creating a bespoke support package to take on IT issues, allowing franchisees to focus on growing their businesses.
- A local insurance provider moving to a new base, relocating IT without interruption to the availability of servers, telephones or website without a hitch.
- A multi-site East Anglian legal business whose team members work remotely was provided with a fully software-based hosting solution, guaranteeing performance as well as infinite flexibility and scalability.
- A housebuilder requiring a total IT upgrade.
"With the rate IT is advancing now, it's easy for SMEs to get behind," says Christopher, whose company is a long-standing sponsor of the Tech Innovator category in the EDP Business Awards. "Businesses have to invest in IT these days - from a new laptop to a whole new IT infrastructure - and the longer they leave their systems without taking action, the more expensive it becomes to put right. It's a continuous process.
"For us, it's important that clients see the value of what we are providing. We focus on the future - we aim for a 10-year-plus relationship - and we put our clients first, helping them get the most from the technology."
Computer Service Centre, which also has a base at the Orbis Centre in Lowestoft, offers a wide range of services within its remit to develop effective IT strategies for clients and support them post-project. With connectivity the foundation of effective communication, particularly for multi-site and offshore businesses, the company specialises in stable, secure networks based on the latest technologies for security, performance, flexibility and scalability.
In addition, the Enterprise Cloud, designed to replace outdated in-house servers to store files and high-powered workstations, is growing in popularity. It moves data and software to an online server, allowing teams to connect over the internet or via a private network. All that's needed is a connection and a device such as a PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone.
New Computer Service Centre clients work with a dedicated account manager to help develop an IT strategy for the next three to five years, based on business objectives and the best way to achieve them, with recommendations for the best technologies to reach goals.
Christopher explains: "We're fully independent and not tied into selling any specific brands or technologies. However, we do have a portfolio of tried and tested solutions that we can recommend.
"For every new installation, we put together a detailed proposal showing itemised costs and a day-to-day project plan. The account manager explains what we can do and what it will cost; once everything is in place, the account manager and our 24/7 service desk will continue to support the client."
Visit computerservicecentre.com to discover 10 reasons why you should choose Computer Service Centre. To arrange an initial meeting call 01603 431200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org