IT Support

A closer look at IT support for professional services

In this brief overview, we're taking a closer look at IT support for the professional services sector, exploring its pivotal role, inherent challenges, and the myriad benefits it offers. We also provide practical advice on selecting the ideal IT support service, ensuring that you are equipped with essential knowledge to enhance your firm's technological capabilities and success.
A photo of Ian Welch, who is a partner & technical director for Network

Written by

Ian Welch

Ian is the Technical Director @ Network and a certified ethical hacker (CEH), security professional (CISSP) and ISO27001 lead implementer with over 25 years experience.

Updated on

February 9, 2024

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Before we dive in

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Key Takeaways

  1. Specialised IT support is crucial for the professional services sector, offering enhanced cybersecurity, efficient cloud service management, and strategic alignment with business goals.
  2. Selecting the right IT support service involves considering factors like industry-specific expertise, customisable solutions, and proactive management for long-term business success.
  3. Engaging with a managed IT service provider can significantly streamline your firm's operations, ensuring tougher cybersecurity measures and innovative technological solutions are in place.

Understanding the role of IT support in the professional services industry

Many professional services firms are recognising the immense value of outsourcing their IT support. Managed IT services offer support that is on par with internal teams but without the extra operational costs and the complexities of HR management.

This strategic choice enables firms in the professional services industry to concentrate on their primary business objectives, assured that their IT infrastructure is managed both efficiently and effectively.

Why IT Support is a strategic asset for professional services firms

For firms in the professional services sector like architects, accountants and others, outsourcing IT support is increasingly becoming a critical business decision. It transcends the traditional role of merely addressing technical issues; it’s about proactively preventing them. IT support in this context brings a dual advantage: it offers high-level expertise and simultaneously reduces overhead costs.

This is particularly beneficial for professional services firms, providing them with a competitive advantage in an increasingly digital marketplace. Effective IT support ensures seamless daily operations and strengthens the firm’s defences against evolving cyber threats and stringent compliance requirements. Opting for external IT support is more than a cost-saving measure; it’s a strategic move that bolsters business resilience and operational efficiency.

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Do these technology challenges sound familiar to your business?

You're working with IT support that moves at a snail's pace, leaving you and your team hanging.

You’re worried your business is not fully prepared for the next major cyber attack.

You're frustrated that the business technology you've invested in isn't performing as well as it could be.

What technology challenges does the professional services sector face?

The professional services sector in the UK faces several key technology challenges, especially in the realms of cyber security, artificial intelligence (AI), and cloud services.

Cyber security threats

Businesses are often reactive rather than proactive in their approach to cyber security. Investments in this area are frequently driven by regulatory requirements or in response to breaches. Cyber security threats like phishing scams, ransomware attacks and malware infections attacks pose significant risks.

To combat cyber threats, businesses should enlist the help of IT support providers who offer advanced security services to develop effective strategies and incident response plans to properly defend their IT environments and users​​.

Cloud security and adoption

Cloud computing has gained immense popularity due to its scalability, cost-effectiveness, and flexibility. However, it brings its own set of challenges.

A significant percentage of UK senior executives expect cloud-based threats to significantly affect their organisations. Businesses are adopting cloud services for their IT operations but must also focus on secure data storage and managing the associated cyber risks.

The role and challenges of AI

AI poses unique challenges for the professional services sector, especially in its integration and management within existing IT infrastructure. Professional services firms are increasingly adopting AI to enhance efficiency, improve decision-making, and gain competitive advantages. However, this comes with several challenges:

  • Cybersecurity risks specific to AI: As AI becomes more integrated into business operations, it creates new vulnerabilities. For instance, AI systems can be targeted by sophisticated cyber attacks, including those using AI techniques like deepfakes and automated hacking tools. The professional services sector, dealing with sensitive client data, must ensure their AI systems are secure against such threats.
  • Regulatory Compliance: With AI's increasing role in processing and managing data, professional services firms must navigate complex regulatory environments. Ensuring AI systems comply with data protection laws and industry-specific regulations is crucial. This is particularly pertinent in sectors like legal and financial services, where non-compliance can have significant repercussions.
  • Balancing Innovation with Practicality: While AI offers innovative solutions, professional services firms must balance this with practical application. The focus should be on how AI can support and enhance the delivery of services to clients, such as through improved data analysis, predictive modelling, and client interaction tools.

In summary, the professional services sector in the UK must navigate a complex landscape of technological challenges, particularly in cybersecurity, cloud services, and AI. Adopting proactive strategies with the help of a professional IT service is key to overcoming these challenges and supporting clients and users effectively.

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What are the benefits of specialised IT support for professional services?

Professional firms can significantly benefit from specialised IT support which caters to their unique technological needs and business goals. Here are some key benefits:

  1. Enhanced cyber security: The right IT support company can provide advanced security solutions tailored to the specific risks faced by professional firms. This includes defending against cyber attacks, implementation of comprehensive security measures, and ongoing management to adapt to evolving threats.
  2. Customised cloud services: Cloud tech is pivotal in today's business environment. Specialised IT support can provide tailored cloud solutions that align with the unique needs of professional services, ensuring efficient IT systems, data accessibility, and business continuity.
  3. Focused IT infrastructure management: Managed IT services offer dedicated oversight of a firm's IT infrastructure, ensuring it operates optimally, supports business processes, and is scalable according to business needs.
  4. Proactive remote monitoring and management: Continuous remote monitoring ensures that potential issues within IT systems are identified and addressed promptly, reducing downtime and maintaining service efficiency.
  5. Effective disaster recovery solutions: IT support for professional services often includes comprehensive disaster recovery plans. These plans ensure minimal service disruption and rapid recovery in the event of system failures, data loss, or other emergencies.
  6. Alignment with business goals: Specialised IT support is not just about managing technology but also ensuring that the technology aligns with and supports the firm’s strategic business goals and objectives.
  7. Streamlined project management: IT support can introduce advanced project management services and systems that facilitate better collaboration, resource allocation, and project tracking, keeping everyone on the same page.
  8. Expertise in compliance and regulations: Professional services often operate under strict regulatory frameworks. Specialised IT support can ensure that systems and processes comply with relevant laws and standards with managed compliance services.
  9. Cost-effective solutions: Outsourcing IT support can be more cost-effective than maintaining an in-house team. This approach offers access to a range of expertise and solutions without the overheads associated with employing a full-time IT staff.
  10. Ongoing support and consultation: Having a dedicated service provider means professional services firms receive continuous support and expert consultation, enabling them to navigate technology challenges faced in their industry efficiently.

Selecting the right IT support service for your professional firm

Choosing the appropriate IT support service is crucial for the smooth operation and success of your professional firm. Here's a list of factors to consider:

  1. Experience in your industry: Look for a provider with a proven track record in your specific industry. This ensures they understand your unique challenges and needs.
  2. Range of services offered: Ensure the IT support service offers a comprehensive range of solutions, from cyber security to cloud services and disaster recovery. This will enable your organisation to have all its IT needs met under one roof.
  3. Customisation and scalability: The provider should be able to tailor their services to your specific requirements and scale them as your firm grows.
  4. Quality of customer support: Consider the quality of customer service, including responsiveness, availability, and the ability to provide clear, actionable advice.
  5. Proactive approach to IT management: Choose a service that takes a proactive approach in managing your IT systems, ensuring potential issues are addressed before they escalate.
  6. Strong reputation and client testimonials: Look for testimonials and case studies from other clients, particularly those in similar industries, to gauge the provider's reputation and reliability.
  7. Compliance and security standards: The provider should demonstrate compliance with relevant data protection and security standards, ensuring your organisation’s data is safe and secure.
  8. Consulting and strategic planning capabilities: A good IT support service should offer more than just problem-solving; they should provide strategic IT consulting to align IT solutions with your business goals.
  9. Transparent pricing structure: Ensure the pricing structure is clear, with no hidden costs. This helps in budgeting and financial planning for your IT needs.
  10. Innovative solutions and technology: Look for a provider that stays up-to-date with the latest technology trends and offers innovative solutions to keep your firm at the forefront of technological advancements.
  11. Commitment to ongoing training and development: The best IT support services invest in the ongoing training and development of their team, ensuring they can deliver the latest solutions and advice.
  12. Ease of communication and collaboration: Choose a provider that you can easily communicate with and that understands the importance of collaboration for the success of your organisation.

In summary, a service that combines industry knowledge, technological prowess, and a client-focused approach can be a valuable asset to your professional firm.


Does your firm encounter similar challenges with IT support? How does this aspect impact your team and overall business operations? We're eager to learn about your experiences and needs.

If you're considering a new managed IT service for your professional firm, our team is ready to assist. Please don't hesitate to reach out for guidance or support – we're here to help streamline your IT infrastructure and contribute to your business's success.