The UK economy is now more reliant on IT than ever; without the internet, thousands of businesses in the country would become bankrupt, and if you don’t have support when an IT problem strikes, you risk losing precious time and money as a result of lost productivity.

1.  You won’t always have time to solve your own IT problems

When viruses, data loss, hard drive failures or dozens of other computer problems occur, they often do so at the worst time. If you have other priorities and no one else on your team is qualified or has the time to resolve an IT issue, the problem will merely escalate and could end up costing you your hard-earned money in the long term.

IT support is a compulsory need for almost all companies

You cannot afford to lose money from IT failures that could easily have been averted or quickly fixed with IT support in the first place. As virtually all businesses of all shapes and sizes are reliant on information technology to some degree, there is simply no room for IT failures, nor is there any choice not to have IT support on hand.

2.  Computers are unpredictable – you never know when a problem might occur

Even when everything is plain sailing and you are able to operate without any additional support, a problem could suddenly arise that could cause serious disruption to your team and your business growth. After all, computers are manufactured by humans, which means they are not immune to manufacturing faults, just as humans are not perfect.

3.  The knowledge and experience of IT specialists is an invaluable asset for your business

When there is a crisis and your IT systems suddenly fails for no apparent reason, you may be clueless about how to proceed and what steps to take. However, when you hire someone who has years of experience in resolving issues like this, they will be far more capable of recognising the causes of the problem, the seriousness of it, and what should be done to resolve it.

Compare the cost of having IT support with not having it

Let’s illustrate this point. Imagine if you had lost confidential client data that you need as part of a project that absolutely had to be submitted by the end of the week. Let’s say the client was due to pay £5,000, or 50 percent of your fee after the client’s initial 50 percent deposit, but as the client’s terms and conditions would have stipulated that no data should be given to third parties or destroyed, they decide not to pay you because of they interpret this as a breach of contract.

Not investing IT support leaves your company exposed to these kinds of situations and can result in mammoth losses.

Computer viruses can wreak havoc on businesses

In the same scenario, an IT specialist might discover that the computer where the data was lost was infected with a virus that was not identified by the business’s anti-virus software, because the software in question was out-of-date. Had the business chosen to hire an IT specialist to choose and install the new software for a £200 fee beforehand, it would have effectively saved thousands of pounds. This is a situation that you cannot afford to let happen.

The solution here is to keep track of upcoming threats to your system and ensure your computer is up-to-date with the latest anti-virus software. If you don’t have time to do this yourself, let an IT consultant to it for you.

4.  IT specialists can show you how to prevent and solve future problems

IT consultants are not just there to fix a problem; they are also there to offer you professional advice. It is always easier to listen to advice in person as opposed to reading it off the web, as professionals can demonstrate what you need to do so you don’t end up misinterpreting it.

5.  You don’t have to hire IT specialists as employees

IT consultants can be hired when they are required, which means you don’t need to pay for anything more than the services they provide. Having an IT department, however, can be much more costly, as not only are you paying salaries, you are also legally required to provide sick leave payments, paid holiday and other benefits that are not applicable to independent contractors.

Finally, choose a local IT specialist

The closer you are to your IT consultant, the quicker you can get problems resolved. As many contractors will often charge expenses for travel costs, this may also be a more cost-effective option, not to mention more environmentally-friendly.

Damian Coates is the Commercial Accounts Manager for Utilize, which provides award-winning IT support services and solutions for businesses in London, Kent and Essex