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The limitations of IT support on demand

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By Swift Digital

1 st Dec 2015

There has been a great deal of emphasis placed upon on demand IT support solutions. This third-party service is able to offer a number of unique benefits and yet, clients need to be aware that there are a few notable limitations which should be recognised. As opposed to contractual support, aid that is provided on demand may not be all that it appears at first glance. Let us therefore briefly examine some of the disadvantages that may be encountered along the way.

Cost

The price of an on demand service will normally be the top priority for any organisation. As these spur-of-the-moment techniques will often be required in an emergency, it is not entirely uncommon for a firm to charge a significant amount of money. This is naturally problematic for smaller businesses that may be on a tight budget.

Flexibility Issues

It should be noted that on demand IT support solutions are not necessarily a panacea for all issues that may occur. Due to its short-term nature, some problems may not be able to be adequately addressed within a limited time frame. This potential lack of flexibility could also be observed in the software packages available and the ability for the IT specialist to address the unique requirements of the customer in question. On demand services normally represent much more of a "broadsword" approach. In other words, they will offer more generic solutions which could fail to adequately rectify the issue. With contracted IT help, it is much more likely that the experts will be intimately aware of the unique needs of the customer.

Limited Call-Outs

In some instances, on demand companies will only offer a certain number of call-outs during a given time period (such as a month). Should numerous IT problems occur (such as cascading system crashes or cloud software issues), a company could find that it has exhausted all service solutions. This is in direct contrast to a contractual agreement. Under most contracts, a flat rate is paid on a monthly basis. Any problems that occur will be dealt with promptly; regardless of their frequency.

Expertise and Prioritisation

While it should be noted that the vast majority of on demand services employ IT experts, there are undoubtedly times when an issue cannot be resolved due to a lack of in-depth knowledge. There could even be clauses in the end-user licence agreement which limit their liability for such instances. Contractual support all but eliminates this risk. These problems can be compounded when an on demand service responds on a first-come, first-served basis. In such cases, the end results can be significant downtime and lost revenue.

These are some of the major critiques of on demand IT support solutions. Although it is important to mention that there are indeed times when such services can be quite helpful, many companies choose to embrace a contractual agreement. As the business world is now reliant upon speedy solutions to IT problems, a knowledge of these drawbacks is critical to make the best choices possible.

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