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3 Ways the Pandemic has Impacted IT End User Support for SMBs

By Eli Newman –

Over the past year, small and medium businesses (SMBs) have experienced what most would call one of the most shocking – and ultimately, one of the most rewarding – shifts in IT service delivery. Coronavirus forced many organizations to convert to a work-from-home model almost overnight, revealing some deep-seated flaws in the traditional delivery of end user support. As enterprises everywhere scrambled to adapt to the new requirements imposed by COVID-19, the opportunity to reassess and improve their existing business models made itself more and more apparent. Read on as we discuss three ways that the pandemic has positively affected IT service delivery for SMBs.

1. The Demise of Traditional Internal IT Departments

SMBs – especially those in the mid-sized category – have historically relied on internal IT teams for their end user support. Unfortunately, these in-house teams aren’t always exposed to the same competitive pressure and industry best practices that third-party IT providers are, often resulting in poor incident management. With this traditional method of IT service delivery, troubleshooting user issues becomes more of a game of tracking down the nearest IT staff member for help instead of utilizing a simple, more organized support ticket system. While the former is unsurprisingly inefficient, it was a popular choice for enterprises in pre-pandemic circumstances because users could enjoy fast, hands-on service, while those in the IT department valued being perceived as critical problem-solvers.

At the dawn of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, this approach to end user support met its match. With the catalyzed shift to remote work forcing companies to rethink their current strategies, employers began to realize that when an issue popped up, their IT staff was no longer down the hallway, poised to provide immediate assistance for employees that were experiencing tech troubles. In addition, employees that were not used to working remotely had many questions, which absorbed the majority of IT teams’ attention and caused routine software upgrades and security patches to be delayed (or worse, neglected entirely). In-house IT departments with subpar incident management capabilities soon found themselves utterly overwhelmed.

Clearly, SMBs needed a solution to this less than desirable IT situation – fast. This predicament marked the beginning of when mid-sized businesses really started to recognize the importance of implementing user support best practices, leading to a mass movement towards adopting outsourced IT services that offer enterprise-level capabilities at reasonable prices.

2. The Development of SMB-specific Solutions

Another reason that SMBs have been slower to leverage outsourced IT services is that they usually have limited resources. Prior to the pandemic, IT providers often took one of two routes: They either catered their services to suit larger corporations or they lacked the resources and expertise to truly match the needs of a mid-sized business. After the COVID-19 pandemic, however, mid-sized firms sought a “just right” solution. This sparked the development of new, innovative approaches that were designed specifically for SMBs.

These fresh approaches included the use of top-notch talent, pooled resources, affordable prices, and streamlined contractual models to keep costs down while delivering consistent, high-quality IT support for clients. Additionally, most providers recognized that end user support shouldn’t be confined within a company’s office walls, especially during a pandemic. Therefore, remote support services have become another key offering that more and more managed service providers (MSPs) are now tailoring to smaller businesses.

3. The Reevaluation of the End User Experience

With the massive shift to remote work, there has been a huge change in employee mindset. The basic issue of whether we should work in a traditional office setting or from home requires flexibility. To remain competitive and to retain the best talent, enterprises today must be able to offer this high level of flexibility to better address candidates’ individual needs and preferences. To do this, though, employers must be able to adequately support their workers via an optimal user experience, no matter where they might be working from.

Here at Contigo, giving your employees a more personalized and easy way to address their IT issues is our specialty. Our end user support services include everything from on-demand user support to smartphone and tablet management to new user provisioning and more. If you are looking for a better way to address your end users’ daily IT hiccups, contact us at Contigo today.

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