Remote vs. On-site IT Support From Your Managed IT Service Provider

remote vs. on-site IT support In the last couple of years, organizations of all types have started to use the term hybrid to describe their services, workforce, meetings, etc.

But before nearly everyone became familiar with the term hybrid and remote work, IT consultants, including The KR Group, have been providing hybrid services.

For our managed services customers, this looks like providing many of our services remotely, but also incorporating on-site support when it’s beneficial.

In general, the vast majority – between 80 and 90% – of your IT issues can be solved remotely by your managed service provider (MSP). However, some issues, particularly hardware ones, do require an engineer to come on-site.

The reality is IT support has always been hybrid but has shifted from predominantly on-site to primarily remote.

Remote support is the first method your managed IT services engineer will use to address your issue. Whenever possible, your engineer will address IT issues remotely.

Once it’s been determined remote support isn’t the best option for a problem, your MSP will resort to on-site support for hardware issues

With that sorted out, let’s get to the follow up questions you likely have surrounding remote vs. on-site support. Here are some of the most common ones we hear:

  1. What are the pros and cons of remote support?
  2. What are the pros and cons of on-site support?
  3. How is the type of resolution decided?
  4. Do you have any say in the type of support?
  5. What support does your contract cover?

Remember each MSP will have a slightly different take on managed IT services. The information below applies to most MSPs, buy you may find a provider who has a different take on remote and on-site support.

Related: Check out our ultimate guide to managed IT services to learn everything you can expect from an MSP.


Pros and Cons of Remote IT Support

If remote support is deemed the best course of action to address your IT problem, you can expect the following pros and cons:

  • Pro: Remote support offers a quicker resolution time.
  • Pro: Most managed IT services contracts incorporate the cost of remote support.
  • Con: MSP engineers can’t solve all problems remotely.
  • Con: Remote support eliminates some of the relational aspects of IT support.


Pros and Cons of On-site Support

Alternatively, of your problem requires on-site support, there are also pros and cons you can expect:

  • Pro: On-site can resolve all IT issues.
  • Pro: Working with your MSP engineer at your office provides a more personal experience and eliminates communications barriers.
  • Con: When on-site support is required, resolution may take longer.
  • Con: Not all managed IT services contracts cover the cost of on-site support. If this is the case for your company, you’ll receive a separate bill for time and materials.


How MSPs Determine Support Type

When you submit a service ticket, a dispatcher will review your request, triage it, and determine the best method of resolution.

They’ll refer most requests for on-site support, at least initially. When your ticket comes up in the queue, an engineer will reach out to you via a phone call or email. Then, they’ll walk you through some troubleshooting steps and use their remote monitoring and maintenance tools if necessary.

Hardware failures are the most frequent request that warrant on-site support from the get-go. If the dispatcher recognizes this is the cause of the issue you’re reporting, they’ll communicate the need for on-site support to the engineering team.

Otherwise, the engineer may initially try remote resolution until they narrow down the list of possible issues to ones that require an on-site visit.


Requesting a Type of Support

But wait, do you have any say in what type of support you receive?

While the dispatcher does play a crucial role in determining if on-site or remote support is the best course of action for resolution, you are welcome to request a type of support.

Keep in mind, however, if you request on-site support for an issue that can be resolved remotely, it may take longer. And on the other hand, even if you request remote support, most hardware issues require on-site attention.


Support Covered by Your Contract

Your contract’s details also play a role in determining which type of support your MSP will deploy. 

At The KR Group, our managed services agreements include remote and on-site support, and most MSPs structure their contracts this way.

There are always exceptions, however, and some MSPs offer remote-only managed services contract and charge for on-site support. Other providers may include both types of support in the contract but have strict limits on how many hours of on-site support you’re entitled to each month.

No matter how your MSP addresses on-site support in their contract, it crucial you let your MSP know of hardware issues as soon as you’re aware of them. This ensures all your IT environment is empowering your business.


What to Expect When Your MSP Provides Support

Even though the resolution methods have many differences, your MSP should explain clearly when you can expect remote or on-site support.

Before you sign a contract, your MSP will review the different processes for service request resolution, including details on receiving support.

Ultimately, your MSP should provide you with the support option that fits your request and most efficiently addresses your issue. However, your MSP may take other factors into account, such as the details of your contract.

In general, you can expect remote IT support as the first attempt for application issues, while on-site support is required for hardware problems.

For more information on how support is written into a managed IT services contract, check out our free guide.


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