You’ve finally decided to invest in a robust digital network. Congratulations! You’re on the right path to become a dominant player in the digital era.
According to Statista, 77 percent of small and medium enterprise owners agree that digital presence helps them with client acquisition, and almost everyone agrees that it’s important overall for their business.
However, before you jump into estimating budgets and increasing market shares, we’d like to remind you that network support is something you’ll need as a business. Let me put it this way:
craft the networks from ground up. They will come to your office, listen to your needs, examine the specifics of your company, and come up with a digital structure that will be the underlying vehicle of your company’s management, data storage, sales, and communications.
Network support specialists
are the people who hold your hand for whatever comes after you build the network. Something doesn’t work as expected? Call network support! Rapid expansion requires another department equipped with the latest technology? Again, the network support specialists are your people.
Network support experts address all sorts of problems. They work with local area networks (LANs), metropolitan area networks (MANs), wide area networks (WANs) and global area networks (GANs.)
A typical work day of a network support engineer includes installing new software and hardware (printers, scanners, computers, etc.), overlooking security (both digital and internal), training your company’s staff, setting up user accounts, and, of course, providing technical support to your company’s employees and management.
A large part of a network support specialist’s job involves fixing problems that occur unexpectedly and facilitating changes.
SHOULD YOU HIRE A FULL-TIME I.T. EMPLOYEE OR OUTSOURCE?
As usual with I.T. staff, you always have two options: you can hire a full-time network support specialist, or you can outsource network support to a third-party provider.
Now, while it may be tempting to hire a full-time network support staff, this is rarely the best choice for small- and medium-sized companies. While it may be comforting to have a support specialist ready to jump at your word at all times, it is seldom worth investing up to $60,000 annually.
The money simply won’t pay off, as your full-time network support specialist will not have enough work to justify the expense.
Big enterprises with thousands of employees and multiple departments often have entire teams of network support specialists—but that’s because they have lots of network support work to do.
Smaller companies can rarely make use of even one full-time network support employee.
3 QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE HIRING – WHETHER YOU ARE INSOURCING OR OUTSOURCING
Whether you go for an outsourced or in-house solution, there are three important questions you need to ask a potential network support specialist (or the managed service provider whose services you will use):
Question 1: What kind of experience do you have in our industry?
While this seems to go without saying, it is absolutely imperative that you ask your network support specialist about their experience in your particular industry. There are several reasons why this is so important.
For one, network support specialists will be solving very specific problems in very specific contexts. Networks can be very different from one another, as well as the way your company utilizes those networks.
If the support specialist is unfamiliar with your industry, it may very well be the case that the specialist will need more help from you than you will need from them.
Another important consideration has nothing to do with technology. Industries are different from one another in cultural aspects, too. Someone in finance might use a completely different language than someone working in healthcare.
They might have a completely different level of understanding of technology, too. All of this will impact their expectations to how a network support specialist should behave and communicate.
Lastly, it is important to understand that network support specialists with experience in your industry aren’t just tools—they’re intelligence. They know how other companies tackle specific network issues, because they helped them do it.
Not only they can fix issues as they happen—they can prevent them, too. Experience of someone from a different industry might be of little value to your company.
Question 2: How would you approach [xx problem]?
The last thing you want from your network support specialist is to have to babysit them throughout their tasks.
To test how self-sufficient they are in their jobs, give them a couple of theoretical problems and follow their approach closely. If needed, ask additional, more specific questions. Ultimately, you want to get a feeling of:
Your business has unique culture, processes and clientele. While a network support specialist’s job is highly technical, it can heavily impact inner processes or customer experience. Therefore, in their answers, try to gauge how well do they understand the entirety of your company’s customer journey.
As mentioned previously, a large part of a network support technician’s job involves dealing with everyday issues and challenges. Through problem solving simulations, you can get an understanding of how good they are at dealing with problems in general. Do they have an effective analytical process, or are they just walking encyclopedias?
Lastly, look for whether they involve their soft skills in answering the problem simulation questions. Just fixing the problem is usually not enough; they’ll also need to diagnose the problem with the help of your employees, and then communicate the solution.
Question 3: How familiar are you with industry regulations?
The GDPR has already marked the beginning of major government control over digital infrastructures. Naturally, even genius technical solutions are of little worth if they contradict regulation.
During the interview, make sure to ask the potential support specialist of how well they’re familiar with both regulation specific to your industry, and overarching digital regulation. This might save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
If you’re still not sure whether you need a network support specialist in Springfield, MO, let us know, and we’ll help you navigate through the noise.