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A growing business always means more —more customers, more revenue and more staff. Most companies rely heavily on technology to keep their expanding business running smoothly. That means managing everything from keeping a website up and running to troubleshooting network problems to ensuring data is kept secure. With so much riding on the successful management of your IT network, it’s crucial to have a dedicated IT support team. If you still have your receptionist or office manager doubling as your in-house IT support, here are 5 reasons why that’s a bad idea:

1. Longer response and resolution times

When your staff needs to juggle their regular duties with IT, it inevitably leads to longer response times. If you run into IT issues during peak office hours and your receptionist can’t step away from the phone to handle the issue, it could be hours before the issue is addressed. That isn’t counting the time it takes to reach a resolution. Ideally, response time should be anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes (or less). Any longer than that means it’s time to find more responsive help.

2. Unattended after-hours issues

If the whole office packs up at 5 for the day and doesn’t come back until the next morning, who’s handling the IT help desk and offering support? No one. This can present a security risk, since hackers and viruses don’t run on a 9-5 schedule. Inability to effectively manage your IT issues at all hours can also reflect negatively on your business to your clients. When your client calls your help desk and no one is there to address the problem, it doesn’t inspire much confidence.

3. Lost business

Employees that balance their daily tasks with technical support aren’t able to accomplish as much during the day when they frequently need to turn their attention to technology issues. The constant interruptions mean tasks take longer to complete, which negatively affects your bottom line. The wrong IT support can also cost you sales or leads. Let’s say you’re holding a 24-hour sale to drive customers to your site, but the site is down for 4 hours in the evening. A dedicated and experienced IT staff would address this issue immediately to have you up and running soon. Your daytime employees/tech support wouldn’t even know about it, and you’d lose valuable business as a result.

4. Insufficient technical knowledge

In the IT world, you gain technical knowledge and expertise through experience. It’s most likely that your office manager or receptionist has very little technical knowledge when it comes to all of your technical needs. As a result, he or she will inevitably need to call in outside help. This adds to the time it takes to resolve the problem, not to mention the added costs.

5. Increased costs

You may think you’re saving money by having your receptionist, office manager or any other member of your staff take over IT duties, but in the end, you’ll inevitably end up spending more money. The money you spend in overtime or the amount you pay to an outside IT specialist to help often ends up being significantly more than it would cost to outsource your IT. Your IT network is one of the most important aspects of your business and deserves the attention of a dedicated IT staff. If your employees are pulling double duty and juggling IT with their own jobs, it’s time to consider some outside help. A business that relies on technology to run smoothly can’t afford to skimp when it comes to IT management.