As IT becomes a bigger part of all our lives isn’t the decision to outsource IT services going to be less common? Surely everybody will bring it in-house? Well, with the IT outsourcing market forecast to grow by 6% annually until 2022, outsourcing is very definitely alive and kicking.
If you run a small business trying to find its feet, IT can be a challenge. Should you outsource IT services? Read on to learn the reasons why outsourcing might be right for you.
Why Outsource IT?
Outsourced IT services could provide management for major aspects of your operations. If you are an e-commerce business IT is central to what you’re about so in your case IT services keep your core business operating.
Every modern business has some IT. Even if it’s just about keeping email flowing or maintaining your laptop, outsourcing IT services can be how you do it.
The decision about whether to outsource IT services or bring it in-house is like the decision you might make about directly employing a lawyer or engaging an attorney from a law firm. Similarly, you might employ a cleaner or use a contract cleaning company.
What’s right for your business? It depends on your size, how central the activity is to your business, your current capability, and much more.
1. Cost Control
Establishing and maintaining an in-house IT service can be expensive. You can’t achieve the economies of scale that an outsourced IT service can. The costs of in-house IT services can be prohibitive for a small business.
2. Focus on What You’re Doing
A small business, especially in a start-up situation, has to focus.
You have a core activity and resources. People and effort need to be fully engaged with it. Other activities such as IT services can feel like a distraction from what’s important.
If outsourcing allows you to bring all your attention to customer service, increasing sales, improving quality, or innovation than it may be the right thing for you to do. Your business survival may depend on your ability to focus on what’s important.
3. Better Security
Cybercrime and data security are major challenges for businesses today. Cybercriminals are sophisticated users of technology. Defending yourself against their attack needs state of the art skills and tools.
If you feel unable to respond effectively to this threat, you may need to outsource IT services. The professional mastery of IT security is very difficult to achieve on a small scale.
Just keeping up to date with the latest tools and techniques is difficult. Attracting the best minds to combat these clever criminals is also a challenge. Outsourced IT services find it easier to recruit and retain this talent and to continuously train and support them.
4. Benefit from Knowledge Transfer
Training your people to use IT may already be something you do. You’ll know that keeping up to date with technological developments can seem like chasing your tail. No sooner have you trained your people than the technology moves on and you have to do it again.
Working with an outsourced IT service means you can take advantage of the opportunities for knowledge transfer. Your IT services provider can keep you up to date with new thinking. They can also train your people when needed to use technology better.
5. Handle Rare Problems
An in-house IT team can become very effective at supporting your IT systems. Common issues are resolved using their in-house experience. The challenge comes with more unusual problems or changes.
Outsourced IT services are likely to have a wide range of experience. They can call on a diverse range of skills, experience, and knowledge. Their experience is developed by working with a range of clients with different challenges and opportunities.
When there’s something new to handle would your in-house team be able to cope? It’s very likely that while the problem is new to you, it’s not unique. Someone has fixed that problem elsewhere before and your outsourced IT services provider has access to that experience.
6. Managing Risks and Disaster Recovery
While IT might not be your core business it’s likely that your business would be hampered by losing your IT services. The risk to your business could be significant.
What are the IT risks in your business? If you don’t understand them, you may not be able to plan properly for an outage? You may not be able to put proper arrangements in place to reduce the risk of a failure either.
IT risk management is a service that an outsourced IT service can supply.
If disaster strikes, IT may be part of the solution. Recovering from a catastrophic technology breakdown takes resources and expertise that are unlikely to exist in small businesses’ IT functions.
Failure of telephony could disconnect you from all your customers. Failure in your e-commerce operation could mean sales grind to a halt. Failure in data security could expose you to reputational risk or even litigation.
You need access to expertise in risk management and disaster recovery.
7. Human Resources
Creating and maintaining an in-house IT team is a human resource challenge. The recruitment alone requires some technical understanding that you may not have. IT consulting for small businesses overcomes the HR challenge.
8. Stay Current
Developments in technology are rising at an exponential rate. Even domestic appliances are getting more sophisticated. Consumers are adopting these technologies rapidly.
The same is true of technology in your business sector. Your competitors are eager to get the latest technology and win a competitive advantage by doing so. Are you competing effectively?
Outsourcing IT services can give you access to these developments and to how you can keep up.
What Are Your Reasons to Outsource IT?
Is right for your small business to outsource IT services? If one or more of these reasons to outsource IT appeals to you, look into it further.
You may find it a source of competitive advantage!
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