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Managed IT Support vs. Maintenance: What’s the Difference?

IT equipment is so fully integrated into standard business operations that we often take it for granted. But, whether the issue occurs on-site or it involves the coordination of remote employees, the need for IT support and IT maintenance rises as the complexity of an organization grows. The terms IT support and IT maintenance are often used interchangeably, even though they are tailored for specific purposes. Depending on the season, the goals, and the needs of your company, you may lean on one type of service over the other. We’ll go over the main differences between IT support and IT maintenance so that you can be better prepared for implementing the right type of IT service as needed. As we like to say, ‘Make the Most of IT.’

IT Support Has a Sense of Urgency

IT support is designed to solve a problem on the spot and, therefore, comes with a sense of urgency. Imagine that you’re driving your car to a given location, and en route, your car breaks down. You’d likely call a roadside service immediately — not before the issue occurs and not many hours later. Similarly, IT support is there to assist you for those problems that are entirely unanticipated. There are three main areas where you may need IT support for your organization: cyber attacks, communications, and data management. 

  • Cyber Attacks: Unfortunately, due to sophisticated viruses and advanced phishing scams, cyber attacks are on the rise, which can be disastrous for businesses. Cyber attacks can disrupt business operations and damage internal resources. For this reason, a quick response is needed if a cyber attack has occurred. IT support is there to prevent the scammer from further infiltrating your business and to provide additional safety measures to protect against another attack. 
  • Communications: Our modern world is becoming increasingly digitized. We now depend heavily on emails, internet access, data sharing, virtual meetings, and more, as a way of communicating with each other. When the IT system is down, collaborating with colleagues and clients becomes difficult and workflow comes to a halt. IT support is there to get your communications up and running again.
  • Data management: Any given company stores a wealth of data. The data can be about client information, internal projects, or any other information that is crucial to the financial sustainability of the business. IT support will help make sure your data is stored safely. In addition, IT support will ensure that the data is only accessible to those who have permission to prevent any incidences of data theft.

IT Maintenance Focuses on Long-Term Goals

IT maintenance is there to support the organization’s daily essentials and to ensure maximum efficiency. At the same time, IT maintenance is part of a business’s overall, long-term strategy. IT maintenance may involve revamping your current IT system for better performance, or replacing it entirely. The two common areas where IT maintenance is needed are software updates and networks. 

  • Software Updates: The demand for a wide variety of software applications has increased in the past several years. From HR, to payroll, to communications, to project management, software updates are what allow these applications to work in optimal conditions — interdependently. Software support prevents security issues from arising and goes on to make sure that the programs in use are compatible with each other. 
  • Networks: The type of networks that you have in place will determine the productivity of your business. Depending on your company’s goal, you may choose a local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), or even a virtual LAN (VLAN) if you’re an enterprise. Networks depend on the type and number of devices that are present on site along with the number of employees. If your company grows from having 20 employees to 200 employees, then that’s a sign that it’s time to upgrade your current network to meet the new demands. Routine adjustments in software and networks are part of IT maintenance. 

You can read more about the differences between IT support and IT maintenance here and how you can make the most out of your IT budget. Are you looking for an IT solution or help with your business technology? Contact us today!