Outsourced IT support can sometimes be a scary subject for businesses, the idea of there no longer being a person (or team of people) sat inside of your business controlling everything IT related is hard concept for some businesses leaders to deal with.
Technology has now become the biggest part of almost all businesses, from mobile phones and PC’s to signing in and stock control. With this increased reliance on IT, how can you make sure you get full support?
So why outsource your IT support? Here are a few reasons why:
The benefits of outsourced IT support
Outsourcing your IT has many financial benefits like a fixed cost price and much lower operating costs compared to a fully staffed IT department.
A good managed IT service provider will also help you out with your budgeting and future planning to look at the most cost-effective and best-suited solutions for your business. Additionally, outsourcing buys you a mixture of support levels, from first-line “desktop” support right through to senior infrastructure architects and strategy consultancy.
With the average salary of an IT Manager ranging between £40-50k+ a year, using that cost on a seat by seat basis will give you access to a whole host of resources and experience.
What’s more, prices are strictly connected to a Service Level Agreements (SLA) which should be agreed upon beforehand, this guarantees your business receives a suitable level of service.
Improved business continuity
In today’s technology-led environment, if something IT is not working, the person affected is likely not working either. From something as simple as an Excel spreadsheet to access to the company CRM platform. In today’s varying business hours it’s increasingly more important for staff to have access to Support when they are working. In-hours IT is often governed by standard working times, say 9am – 5.30pm Monday to Friday. But nearly all businesses have people that work a shift-based difference to the in-house IT departments. Outsourced IT can provide a longer spread of coverage for your full business, not having to find cover for holiday periods, sickness, out-of-hours support and providing year-round support.
Avoid recruitment nightmares
Getting the right people inside of your business is key to having a successful business. However, hiring for a role in a business that has as much depth of knowledge as IT is sometimes a nightmare. With so many variations in IT standards and services, it’s sometimes hard to get someone that will control and handle the most sensitive information and systems, whilst also working for your best interest and your company’s future. It’s also very hard to recruit for a position that has such a specialised knowledge requirement.
One thing to always account for is…. What if everything broke down? If your business suddenly had a major incident how are you going to recover? This is the simplest form of disaster recovery.
Whether due to a fire, flood, or cyber-attack, a business’s data is its most precious resource. Whether or not it’s known to most businesses just where their weaknesses are or if they are ill-equipped for recovery from such disasters. Not having a disaster recovery process in place can cause a company to have to halt its operations permanently.
Outsourced professionals will have this at the forefront of their minds. What’s more, a good setup for disaster recovery (nowadays focused on offsite backups, cloud-based services and remote working capabilities) can mean that businesses are also more adept at expansion and movement.
While disaster can strike at any minute, all businesses will get back on their feet far more quickly with the help of outside professionals who are well-versed in the latest disaster recovery and backup technologies.
Improved Data Security
Is your firewall up to date? Do you have a secure password policy? Do you audit your workstations and servers? Do you follow industry best practice for security policies? Does anyone else have access to your business-critical systems?
These questions and many more will all be answered as part of your standard package. A good managed IT service provider will address these with you form the start, as they additionally will need to keep a very secure and tight setup on everything data related.
Security isn’t just with systems, hardware and software its also about staff policies and training. Keeping up to date with how technology is used for good and for bad.
Outsourcing this will see a better more efficient security process that is used across many businesses, and you can rest assured that your company is minimizing the risks associated with maintaining client data, sensitive competitive information and more.
IT director’s expertise without IT directors overhead
A good IT director can help you lead and shape your business into the future. A good IT director will also cost you a lot of money, which may not see an instant impact.
The leading fully managed IT service providers offer consultancy aspects of their service to smaller businesses to help them move forward. At Netitude every one of our fully managed customers has a dedicated “Virtual IT Director” who oversees their account and helps them shape their technology future, keeping up to date with the latest technologies.
The risks of outsourced IT support
More importantly the “perceived” risks.
Less control of your data
We covered earlier that a good Outsourced IT supplier will improve your security, but a bad one might not. You can’t always guarantee what will happen with your sensitive information when you entrust it to a third party. When information is kept internal, you have a better chance of knowing where and how it is being handled. To mitigate this risk, make sure you select an outsourced IT provider who can deliver to good industry standards and data protection best practices as well as a legally binding NDA.
Changes to IT policies
Every business has its own ways of working, some regarding IT systems can be old and outdated, but the risk of changing this is the loss of functionality or changes in business-wide processes. Who will manage this?
Some complex IT functions can be difficult to outsource, but a clear awareness for what you and your business are looking for will see this improved. With any new process, there will also be a large amount of change to internal policies and staff behaviours, which is not always an easy task.
Loss of infrastructure ownership
This is only a problem if you choose a poor Outsourced IT supplier. Ownership of your IT infrastructure is a big deal to many but choosing a reputable outsourcing partner with good documentation and (if needed) offboarding process and contract is essential.
A less personal approach
The fear is that you all know “Ian in IT” and we can ask him anything and if we have to call someone we haven’t met, will they do it as quick?
Possibly not, but a good managed IT service partner will build a personal relationship with their clients as well as being held to strict service levels. So it IS possible to get to know the people who may well work remotely from you AND receive a level of service that exceeds just having a single resource in your business.