With a growing business comes increasingly complex IT support needs. To ensure your systems stay online, for day-to-day troubleshooting, for staying on top of routine maintenance and to keep up with the latest technologies, businesses are faced with a choice: do you keep everything in house or do you outsource your support?
There’s no right or wrong answer that will apply to every business. It’s a matter of working out your specific requirements as well as taking into account your likely future needs. It’s also important to remember that this need not be an ‘either, or’ question; for some businesses, the right approach might involve keeping some aspects of IT support in house, while outsourcing others.
But in general terms, there tend to be significant advantages of outsourcing IT support for SMEs, and many (but by no means all) of those benefits revolve around “the numbers”. Here are five of the main ones…
A lower total outlay
So firstly, it’s a matter of doing the maths. Are you going to achieve better value for money through outsourcing your support as opposed to managing it all yourself? When comparing like for like, it can be easy to underestimate the true costs of keeping everything in house.
The most significant cost relates to hiring a suitably skilled and knowledgeable network administrator (and finding someone with the right skillset can be tough). It’s not just the basic salary to consider, either. You also need to factor in additional costs such as holiday cover and ongoing training and management costs. By contrast, outsourcing can result in a significant reduction in operating costs.
A predictable outlay for more accurate budgeting
With an IT support service contract, you know where you stand. As part of an agreed package, systems are kept running smoothly and problems are ironed out in exchange for a regular fee. Knowing that you are not going to be hit by ‘nasty surprises’ gives you more certainty with your budget.
Deal with potentially expensive problems quicker
When businesses across the globe are asked about the biggest risk they face, business interruption consistently comes at or close to the top of the list. When a technical issue or security breach hits, the longer you are offline, the greater the potential loss to your business. If the specific problem lies outside the realms of expertise of your in-house guy, you are exposed to greater risk. Reliable, on-call support from an experienced partner can help you avoid or significantly mitigate any financial loss.
Focus on more profitable activities
If your existing IT staff are freed up from having to handle routine support, that valuable manpower can be put to more profitable use within your business. From being redeployed on making your customer service infrastructure more effective through to working on your new product range, their time could be better spent elsewhere.
Stay ahead of the competition
There’s more to IT support than just fixing problems as and when they arise. Technology evolves at a rapid rate, and for a business juggling with everything in house, it can be hard to keep track of the latest developments.
So yes, an IT support partner will help you stay on top of day-to-day issues. But equally, it will help you keep your processes and tech solutions under constant review, make recommendations and ensure you are taking advantage of the most useful technological advancements – helping you stay ahead of the competition.
Are you realising the benefits of outsourcing? Speak to a consultant today to ensure your IT budget is put to work in the most effective way possible.