Boost your business with solid IT support

Eight tips for help desk support, cybersecurity protection and more

By Mark HoffmannKENOSHA.COM

A leader in the IT industry for nearly three decades, Hoffmann has helped small and large businesses take advantage of technology to better serve their customers and employees. Hoffmann is owner of CMIT Solutions of SE Wisconsin.

Small to medium-sized businesses face a lot of challenges. One of the most frustrating is when technology doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to. This can manifest itself in a variety of ways: incorrect passwords, inaccessible files, improper upgrades, or poor connectivity.

No matter what the problem, all it takes is one disruption to throw day-to-day work out of whack. And small problems can lead to bigger vulnerabilities, especially if computer users try to find workarounds for common security issues.

For business owners and managers, these everyday questions get exponentially bigger. How would we respond if a virus infected our computers? Are we meeting industry compliance requirements? Do our remote employees have the IT support they need? What’s our cybersecurity budget for the year?

All it takes is one disruption to throw day-to-day work out of whack.

That’s where proactive IT support and help desk services can provide a big lift. With a trusted partner in your corner, you can take a practical approach to cybersecurity and transform technology frustrations into competitive advantages.

At CMIT Solutions, we’ve spent the last 25 years helping thousands of businesses across North America to navigate such concerns. Here are some of the most common areas of focus that we recommend so that you can stop worrying about IT — and start focusing on your company.

1. A comprehensive approach is critical. Cybersecurity threats are always changing, leveraging tech trends and news stories to try and sneak ransomware, malware, network infections, and spearphishing scams past unsuspecting individuals. Today’s businesses need extra layers of protection surrounding all of their devices and systems. From firewalls to DNS filtering to Internet traffic analysis and remote access protocols, these extra layers can go a long way toward keeping you safe — but only if the entire business is protected. Cybersecurity works best when it’s integrated into background operations, monitoring the connections between desktop and laptop computers, networks and servers, printers, data storage devices, smartphones, and more to track malicious activity and defend against intrusions.

2. Depending on your industry, 24/7 protection may be necessary. Proactive IT support, which anticipates problems and resolves them before they have a negative impact, is far stronger than reactive support, which only shows up when bad things happen. That typically means around-the-clock protection is a must — especially with ransomware affecting businesses of all sizes and cybersecurity regularly making mainstream news. As a large North American system of more than 250 offices staffed by 800 technicians, CMIT Solutions works around the clock to keep our clients safe and provide support when it’s needed.

3. Reliable help desk services can give employees a big boost. Small companies with a few employees may find that they only need support once a month or so. But larger businesses might need more active support — especially if they have remote employees spread out across different cities, states, or time zones. CMIT Solutions can provide help desk services that solve any IT problem, big or small, simple or complex. Best of all, our help desk is available when employees need it, via a variety of methods — chat, phone, email, text, and ticket-based service portal.

4. Remote work deserves extra support. The COVID-19 pandemic has radically changed the way that we all work, with millions of employees now on a remote or hybrid schedule. Any IT provider that isn’t prepared to support such a schedule probably won’t be able to empower your staff as they navigate the ups and downs of remote access, VPNs, home Wi-Fi networks, and other common business issues. CMIT Solutions has extensive experience responding to remote work across many industries — and if your office has shifted back to an in-person office, we can support that too. The best IT support partner will work to understand your business, address your needs, and offer solutions that meet your budget and timeline.

5. Cybersecurity regulations are no joke. HIPAA, GDPR, PCI — this acronym soup may be confusing, but it is not avoidable. New state rules enacted across the U.S. have radically changed the cybersecurity landscape, and businesses in sensitive industries like health care, finance, and legal services must respond. Whether you need help with data security, compliance satisfaction, or identity protection, remember that a lack of compliance can lead to serious civil or even criminal penalties.

6. Employee training is a must. Properly functioning computers, networks, and devices are important — so is the expertise of the people using those machines to do their day-to-day work. IT support should include ongoing education and training that focuses on the human element necessary to protect your business: identifying spam emails, understanding the way ransomware works, encrypting data when necessary, and backing up on a regular basis. Smart, savvy employees who feel empowered to make a difference can be a huge boon for your company.

7. Plan for the best — and be ready to respond to the worst. Any IT provider that sells services can promise total protection and comprehensive security. But can they help clients prepare ahead of time? And then help them bounce back from flash floods, hurricane damage, and power outages? Are they staffed well enough to handle issues when multiple clients need assistance at the same time? Are they fellow business owners in the community like you? If the answer is yes, then they know how hard it is to navigate the complicated digital world we live in. If the answer is no, then you may want to consider a company focused on and built for the business community in which you operate.

8. Get to know your IT provider. Many large IT providers take a “one-size-fits-all” approach to their clients, recommending products that might work in one industry or office environment but not in another. At CMIT Solutions, our independently operated offices deliver personal local support in hundreds of cities across North America — all backed by a tight-knit network of other owners, technicians, and staff. Our family members live and work in the communities they serve and understand the challenges their fellow business owners face. Instead of worrying about faceless third-party vendors or exorbitant licensing fees, our clients get to talk to real people who care about their business and the problems it might be facing.

At CMIT Solutions, we’re fellow small business owners just like you. We know how hard it is to navigate the complicated digital world we live in. That’s why we take our customer service model seriously. We’re always available when you need us. When things go well, we’ll support your success. And when things go wrong, we won’t stop working until the issue is resolved, no matter how hard the job might be or how long the process might take.

That’s a promise we take seriously, for each and every client. If you’re looking for that level of tech support from a partner that’s ready to stand and deliver, contact CMIT Solutions today.