Thinking of Outsourcing Your Business IT Support Services?
Last Updated on May 14, 2018 by Bobby Niswonger
Looking for peace of mind? It just may start with your business IT support. Here’s why you should consider outsourcing, and what it will get you.
For almost every business and every industry, IT and its underlying infrastructure are the lifeblood of the business. Whether its customer engagement, logistics, marketing, communications, pricing, finance, or just sending emails to colleagues, it’s absolutely critical for the day to day operations.
Some businesses have even gone so far as to have a paperless work environment, with IT literally supplementing pen and paper. And what keeps these critical system functioning?
However, for small and medium-sized business (1-50 people), business IT support can be a real struggle, both financially and just to get the services you need for your business.
Fortunately, there’s another way.
Outsourcing is a cost-effective way to maintain your IT systems and keep them up and running so your workers can focus on there job.
Read on to find out why outsourcing business IT support might be right for you.
1. Outsourced business IT support is cost effective
There is no question about it! Outsourcing your business IT support is the most cost effective way to manage your IT support systems.
This isn’t just a matter of cutting costs. Outsourced, third party companies can take the brunt of the day to day work with low labor costs, freeing up time for in-house staff to do more complicated things like:
- Taking care of your customers
- Improving your product offering
- Focus on sales and less on your IT equipment.
The truth is, as information technology becomes ever more integrated into our lives, the business IT support systems available in-house become more and more taxed. Your employees end up spending their time fixing broken computers and helping solve problems like ‘blue screen of death’ rather than putting their skills to better use solving critical, complex business problems with IT solutions.
In short, outsourcing is more an example of competitive advantage than anything else. It’s the best way to keep IT resources where they’re needed most.
2. Less investment in infrastructure
If you fully outsource your IT systems, you outsource a big chunk of your risk along with maintaining your business. For example, if you outsource your servers from in-house to a data center somewhere, you do increase your rental costs, BUT you outsource a lot of risks. Risk like:
- Security – the servers are less likely to be hacked directly since most data centers provide robust on-site security options.
- Digital security – many services provide managed server solutions, meaning they take care of any security vulnerabilities that you might not be aware of. It ensures that your server side software is always up to date and your data is always secure. After significant hacking events in the last several years (including a bank in the UK).
- Data backup – when you outsource the management of your servers, they often offer a content distribution network and backup options, both of which will help protect you against data loss.
This is just one example of how outsourcing can reduce the risk carried by your firm. This sort of off-loading also offers scalable solutions for you without requiring major infrastructural investments that you’re then left with as business naturally ebbs and flows.
3. You don’t have to have a ‘jack of all trades’ on staff
Rather than working with a ‘jack of all trades’ who needs to know the ins and outs of server management, know how to fix your website when it breaks, AND be a deft hand at web design, when you outsource you can specialize a lot.
For example, when you’re redesigning your website, you might want to bring on a web designer. With outsourced business IT support, it’s a simple task to do that without the rigmarole of hiring a freelancer or a short term contractor.
Plus, you get a specialist, rather than IT generalist who sort of knows how to design a site, but perhaps isn’t the best tool for the job.
4. You can scale your IT support in response to demand
Sometimes, you don’t need that much IT support. Other times, you need a LOT. For example, if you’re rolling out a software update across 50-100 computers, then you need a LOT of staff in a short period of time.
Likewise, if there’s some IT crisis (which, despite all our best efforts does happen) you probably need more than your in-house IT resources.
If you outsource, you can effortlessly scale up to handle the increased demand without compromising your long-term profitability, nor run into short-term liquidity problems.
For example, what happens if there’s some IT crisis at 3 am and your normal tech is on vacation? Do you just wait it out?
The opportunity cost of being off-line can quickly spiral into the hundreds or thousands, especially if you have expensive client-facing staff members unable to work (hourly wage multiplied by number of workers multiplied by the number of hours offline). What’s more, this sort of problem can have spin-off effects on clients, requiring a huge surge of overtime to get the job done.
Or, worse, actually losing a client, requiring a supreme sales effort to recoup your losses.
With outsourced IT, you have support available 24/7, with enough resources to fix problems quickly and effectively so your crisis opportunity cost stays low.
5. Opportunity cost of high IT overhead
Speaking of opportunity cost, there’s more than just crisis opportunity cost associated with in-house IT. There’s also the cost of maintaining in-house IT staff.
For example, if you employ two IT specialists at $60,000 and $70,000 annual salary, your overhead is at least $130,000. If you outsource for say, $100,000 a year, you can then hire a new sales staff, a new producer staff, run a new marketing campaign, or pay down business debt.
The return on any one of these investments in your business, whether its market growth, say ‘yes’ to more clients, or improving returns be reducing costs (via debt reduction), it’s all going to improve your bottom line MORE than in-house IT staff.
Outsourcing IT business support isn’t a decision to be made lightly. But for many small and medium-sized businesses in the modern economy, it’s an essential cost-saving measure that has too many benefits to look past.
Got questions about outsourcing? We’ve got answers. Get in touch today to see how we can help you!