Every business has different IT support requirements. That makes defining what you really need an important part of the selection process

Of course, the practicality of hiring an in-house IT professional depends on your type of business and level of service it requires. But financial realities often make it difficult to add another person to the payroll. One alternative is to add the IT support role to the duties of another member of staff—or the boss ends up wearing the IT hat. Either way, the results are rarely ideal.

An increasingly popular alternative is to outsource your IT support to a company that specialises in providing small business IT services.

Your IT support options can involve farming out specific tasks or activities—from setting up computers and networks to keeping everything up and running to email set up and support—or specifically addressing backup or security. These days, there’s so much downtime from spyware, popups and viruses that it’s smart to have someone on call to deal with the consequences.