Every day, numerous articles and blog posts are published touting the benefits of digitisation. IT experts and business leaders alike explain in-depth how agility, scalability, and the ability to take advantage of the latest technology trends, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and predictive analytics, can help organisations of all sizes advance.
However, if you’re the owner or CFO of a small- to medium-sized company, it’s not always in your best interest to maintain an in-house IT department that manages your IT infrastructure, monitors your cybersecurity measures, and integrates any new applications. Here are four signs you need to outsource your IT function.
An in-house IT department is expensive. Due to the skills shortage, IT personnel generally demand higher salaries than other workers. Employees with certain specialisations — for example, cybersecurity or data management — often negotiate even higher remuneration. In addition, there are the costs associated with creating and implementing the infrastructure, including all hardware and software.
When you outsource your IT function, you usually pay a pre-determined price for a service package that provides precisely the services you need. That means you’re not paying a team of employees — complete with benefits — for full-time work hours. Moreover, IT consulting companies can get you better deals on hardware and software from reliable vendors.Sign 2: You Don’t Train Your IT Staff
Let’s face it: we all know our employees require periodic upskilling. When it comes to IT, however, there are so many training options out there that, unless you’re a high-level IT professional, it’s impossible to know where to begin — so many of us just let it go. While this is understandable, it’s also a fast-track to an ineffective IT department — and that places your company’s performance and security at risk.
If, on the other hand, you work with an IT consulting company, you get the benefit of consultants who not only specialise in specific areas of IT but who also stay up-to-date on developments in their specialisations with the best trainings available. Moreover, since they work in their specialisations day in and day out, they possess vast and invaluable experience.Sign 3: Your IT Is Not Keeping Up
IT is continuously evolving. Both employees and customers expect to be able to access companies remotely on a range of devices and operating systems. In addition, digitisation means that an increasing number of mid- to back-office functions are moving online. If you’re unable to update software and adjust configurations to allow for new or improved functionalities, it will result in impaired performance that could cause you to lose business.
An IT consulting company is always up-to-date on the latest developments regarding infrastructure, data management, collaborative tools, VoIP systems, and any other relevant areas. It also has access to the most recent technology so your consultant will select and implement the best solutions for your company.Sign 4: You Can’t Take the Risk
If your security system isn’t continuously updated, you’re vulnerable to cyber threats such as ransomware, zero-day attacks, and advanced persistent threats. Consider the following statistics from a survey by Zurich: 31.5% of Australian SMEs are concerned about the impact of a cyber breach on their reputations, 26.5% are worried about theft of customers’ personal data, 15.5% are anxious about the loss of funds, and 14.5% are concerned about disruption of business as usual. These are very real risks that can cause significant, sometimes even irreparable, damage to a business.
This is where outsourcing your IT function can make all the difference. Specialised IT consultants have access to the latest knowledge and technology — and they know which solutions are right for your company. They also know how to consolidate multiple security applications that have been implemented over time into a single streamlined solution that provides visibility of your entire network. As the capabilities of security software advance, IT consultants can also integrate new features such as self-learning and artificial intelligence that basically allow your security system to autonomously develop protections against sophisticated threats.
There’s also another aspect to risk, and that involves regulations and compliance. Depending on what business you’re in, you may have to comply with national or international regulations regarding communications and data protection. If you fail to comply, you could face hefty fines and reputational damage. Because of this, you need the ability to conduct audits of your infrastructure and security system, as well as generate reports of those audits.
An IT consulting company not only reduces your risk because its consultants will ensure your network and cybersecurity measures comply with all relevant regulations, they’ll also have the expertise and technology to quickly and efficiently perform audits and generate reports.Outsourcing Is the Smart Choice for Forward-Thinking Companies
Agility and digitisation are prerequisites for companies to drive innovation and growth in today’s competitive market. So is having effective, affordable IT capabilities. That’s why forward-thinking companies outsource their IT functions to save money, eliminate inefficiencies, reduce risk, and gain the expertise they need. That way, IT becomes a powerful tool that companies can use to support their core activities, improve their competitive positioning, and reach their business objectives.
Lanrex offers a range of business IT solutions, including integration, security and compliance, business continuity and recovery, and help desk support. To find out how we can help your business achieve its goals, get in touch today.