As a small or medium size enterprise (SME) owner, you might find yourself stuck between a rock and a hard place. You’re at that awkward size where you need high-end IT in order to compete, but still find the cost (and effort) of hiring prohibitive.
If this sounds like you, you should consider outsourcing your IT function. This will give you access to the skills and expertise that keep a business ‘IT competitive’, without having to foot the bill for a full time team.
In fact, companies that outsource any specific technology function can reduce costs by as much as 30%. But it’s not just about saving money – it’s about taking the hassle off your shoulders so you can focus on what you do best.
To determine whether outsourcing is a good option for you, ask yourself these questions:
- Are my current IT systems reliable?
- How much time do my employees and I waste fixing both minor and major IT problems?
- Does my IT need handling in the short or long term?
- Do I have a big project coming up that may require additional IT resources?
- How much money am I spending by managing my IT in house?
- What cost savings could I make by outsourcing?
Should I outsource my IT & what should you outsource?
Handing over an aspect of your business to a someone else can be a scary prospect. Don’t worry – you don’t have to do it all at once. It may even suit your business to have a mix of both internal and external resources.
That’s the great thing about outsourcing – it can be tailored to suit your needs. A third party can act as a complete IT team, or complement the work your existing IT team does.
A good outsourced IT provider will take the time to understand your business, challenges, goals, and provide advice on which technologies are available to solve your problem.
So, the question might not be ‘Should we outsource?’ but rather ‘How much should we outsource?’
To start with, you should consider the following:
Building your own IT infrastructure is neither cheap nor easy. If you’ve learned this the hard way, you’ll know that it requires not only a large budget to purchase and house the equipment, but also for IT to maintain it.
Outsourcing your IT infrastructure means someone else owns the equipment and is responsible for monitoring system performance. When you get rid of this responsibility, it frees up valuable resources that can help to grow your business. You can focus more on improving your offerings rather than maintaining a large, cumbersome system.
The Best IT Support
Computers can go down at any time. If you’re not ‘techy’ enough, or don’t have someone in your company that can help with this, you can sign up for a helpdesk service which will offer 24/7 telephone support, as well as onsite technical visits as needed.
This essentially means you have an IT team without the overhead costs. A helpdesk service will provide specialist skills when needed, and support the day to day IT demands of your business.
Backup & Recovery
The last thing you should be doing is wasting valuable time and resources cleaning up IT messes that can bring your operation to a grinding halt. Having a backup and recovery system in place is crucial for securing your data and ensuring you’re prepared if something unexpected happens.
Outsourced backups ensure that your data is safely stowed away in a place that cannot be affected by an incident at your business location – whether it’s a flood, a security breach, or just human error. It’s an extra line of defence against things that can harm your business.
A word on emerging tech...
In addition to these there are some newer technologies you may have heard about, such as cloud, mobility and big data. That’s where an outsourced provider can also help – they’ll advise you on which technologies are applicable to your business which saves you the time you’d have to spend researching. We’ll discuss these in more detail in next week’s blog.
Get back to business
Business owners know better than anyone that there’s never enough time in the day to do everything, but there’s not always enough money in the bank to hire someone to do it, either.
Outsourcing allows you to concentrate on your core business activities with the peace of mind that your IT systems are safe and secure – and you’ll save money in the process.
Isn’t it time you got back to business?
Find our why your companies IT Strategy is key to your businesses succes, with our free guide below.