Small business is in need of a more efficient solution for managing their Information Technology support needs. Due to small business's need for custom solutions, IT service providers must dedicate highly skilled personnel to client business sites, incurring high overhead costs and restricting their ability to apply their employee base to multiple clients. This restriction in cost and flexibility places a high cost burden on small business clients, straining an already limited budget. The use of remote IT support technology may provide the basis for a solution to these problems. By applying remote technology, an IT provider could centralize their employee workforce, managing clients from a single location rather than dedicating manpower to client sites. If the technology was available to support such a model, this change in the methodology could result in a more manageable solution. Small business had the highest propensity to outsource IT support for the management of their hardware, software, web hosting, server/host management, networking, and security requirements. Many remote tools currently exist to support these needs, offering solutions for access, alerts, system monitoring, diagnosis, and reporting of a client's IT infrastructure. Using these tools for remote support, a remote solution showed the greatest ability to manage the software, server/host management, and networking needs of small business organizations. Web hosting service requirements were strongly supported as well, although the use of remote solutions would cause a change in the current overall structure of web hosting support, leaving the solution more difficult to implement. In the areas of hardware and security, although many of the primary needs for support were strongly addressed, flaws were discovered that made the use of the methodology less than ideal. The primary flaws of remote support resulted from the inability to manage hardware device failure, the inability to manage the network medium, and security issues resulting from the ability to separate a system administrator from the designated system through denial of service type attacks. Although each of these flaws displayed a significant issue with the use of a remote management IT solution, it was determined that the risk of each could be limited through the use of redundancy, offering a feasible work around. From both a business and a technological perspective, remote solutions proved to be a viable alternative to on-site support for the management of small business IT needs. The total cost of remote solutions is extremely comparable to the average yearly salary of an IT employee, typically offering the same potential for the support of a client's IT infrastructure as a one time investment. In addition, remote solutions offer significant savings to the provider in the reduction of administrative overhead and the increased potential for business expansion, allowing for significant cost savings to be passed on to the client. Although the use of remote technology does not offer a perfect solution in its support of small business, the functionality which is readily available presents the strong potential to increase the efficiency of current small business IT support methods and offer more cost effective solutions to small business organizations.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Business enterprises--Computer networks; Small business--Computer networks

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Information Sciences and Technologies (GCCIS)


Troell, Luther

Advisor/Committee Member

Border, Charlie


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works. Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: HD30.37 .L83 2004


RIT – Main Campus