In this day and age, almost every company, no matter how big or small, depends on their IT capabilities to not only store and organize important data, but also to run their organization’s day-to-day operations. As such, IT support is essential to keep your IT secure and to maintain your IT capabilities. While you might prefer to keep your IT support in-house, not all companies have the resources to do this. Fortunately, you can outsource your IT support. In fact, even if you think that you have the resources to maintain an in-house IT department, you may actually be ahead by outsourcing your IT support instead.
Kinds of IT Support
To understand why you may want to consider outsourcing your IT support instead of establishing and maintaining an in-house IT department, consider what exactly IT support entails.
- Network Administration – Network administration involves setting up your network, keeping it up-to-date, and making sure it operates as intended. Network administration is necessary for any business that has more than one computer system. Network administrators are responsible for configuring network hardware, including servers, switches, and routers, as well as deploying and updating software, upgrading and repairing computer networks, and troubleshooting network issues.
- Network Security – Cybersecurity is a major concern for both big and small businesses. Consider all of the sensitive data that you store on your computer network, from your customers’ credit card numbers to your employees’ social security numbers, not to mention any trade secrets you may have. The last thing you want is to have your system hacked and to have this data stolen. Your IT support is responsible for your network security, including implementing cybersecurity protocols, testing for vulnerabilities, identifying breaches, and securing any breaches that occur.
- Unified Communications – Unified communications involves integrating your communication capabilities across your organization by combining video, email, voice, instant messaging, and more to a single platform. This allows employees and management throughout different departments to easily communicate and to send and share information on multiple devices from any location.
- Cloud Computing – If you use the cloud, whether it’s to store company data or to use cloud-based software solutions, then you need IT support to set up and maintain all of your company’s cloud computing capabilities.
- Help Desk – Your employees are going to run into technical issues from time to time, whether it’s problems with a software program, with their computer hardware, with the Internet connection, or with other devices connected to the network. You’ll want your employees to have access to a help desk that can diagnose the issue and help them solve it as quickly as possible.
- Data Backup – Technology has been known to fail from time to time. It can happen as a result of faulty hardware, a software bug, human error, or environmental causes (such as flooding or a fire in your building). The last thing you want is to lose your valuable data, which is why you need to have it backed up regularly. IT support is required to perform routine backups and to help retrieve data if it’s lost.
IT support is required for many different things, which is why smaller businesses don’t generally have the resources to set up an in-house IT department. Even if you have the resources at your disposal, you need to know exactly what IT support requires in order to make a more informed decision as to whether you should outsource or not.
1. Better Cost Management
Even though outsourcing your IT support may seem like an unnecessary expense (especially for smaller and mid-sized companies), it can actually result in better cost management by reducing labor costs and freeing up resources.
Reduce & Control Labor Costs
Hiring an in-house IT staff is expensive. It means that you’re paying salary and benefits for a group of individuals — and the more experienced and skilled those individuals are, the more it will cost you. And the bigger your company is, the bigger your IT support staff will need to be. By outsourcing your IT support, you’ll significantly reduce both your short-term and long-term IT costs — and you’ll still have access to highly experienced and skilled IT professionals even if they aren’t working for you in-house.
Free Up Resources to Focus on Strategy
The money you save from outsourcing your IT support instead of hiring IT professionals in-house can be put towards other parts of your business, such as your marketing and sales departments, which, in turn, can help you boost sales and grow your company at a faster rate. Keeping your IT support in-house can be unpredictable since your IT costs will fluctuate depending on what your company’s IT needs and issues are.
When you outsource your IT support, you will be charged a fixed monthly fee that will only change if you add new users or need to increase your bandwidth. This makes it much easier to stick to your organization’s budget and prevents money from being siphoned away from other departments due to any unforeseen IT issues that may have crept up.
2. Experienced IT Personnel
Knowing what to look for when hiring an internal IT support team can be challenging. Even if you know exactly what to look for, it can be difficult to find and attract experienced IT personnel. When you partner with an IT company, you will have access to a dedicated team full of experienced IT professionals. IT companies not only hire highly experienced and skilled IT personnel, they train them as well.
Access to Industry Experts
IT companies only hire the most skilled IT professionals. They have to — IT is their only business. If they can’t provide a client with the expertise they need, they’ll lose that client’s business and their reputation will be damaged throughout the industry. As such, you can expect access to the very best of the best from your IT support if you decide to outsource.
Quick Implementation of New Projects
Trying to implement new projects can be a real challenge if you’re depending on an internal IT team. A new IT project means they won’t have the time to address any of your company’s other IT needs. Because you can’t just ignore your existing IT needs (as well as unforeseen issues that have to be addressed and troubleshooting that has to be performed), it will take longer to implement new projects than it would if you were to outsource your IT support. IT companies have the resources and staff available to handle all of your IT needs and can assign additional IT technicians to your new projects to ensure that they are implemented quickly.
IT companies provide support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This means that if you have a pressing IT matter, you can get it resolved no matter what time it is. This is not always possible if you hire an internal IT support team unless your team has enough members to provide 24/7 support across your entire organization, which — as you can imagine — could be quite expensive. On top of that, if any of your IT employees call in sick, you’d be left short-handed. IT companies will always have IT professionals on hand to address your needs, whether someone called in sick or not.
Increased Efficiency and Competitiveness
IT companies do not rely on one-size-fits-all solutions. Every client is different, which means that they will work closely with you to define what your IT support needs are and to meet those needs. You’ll notice that your organization will run much more efficiently. A strong IT support team will also help identify potential issues before they occur or before they cause major problems, which can go a long way towards preventing disruptions in your day-to-day business.
Additionally, technology tends to change at a rapid pace. Keeping up with the latest technologies and IT solutions can be a huge challenge for any business, despite what their budget might be. An IT service that’s purely dedicated to providing IT support will stay up to date on the latest IT innovations and solutions and will implement those technologies if they determine that they will benefit your unique business needs. As a direct result, this will help you stay competitive within your industry, especially since you may be competing against companies with larger budgets and large in-house IT departments.
Expand and Contract Your Bandwidth as Needed
If your company is growing fast, an internal IT department will have difficulty keeping up unless you continually hire new employees. Even then, it will be a challenge since new employees need to be found and onboarded. IT companies provide their clients with scalable services, meaning that as your company grows, you can request additional support that will meet your company’s growing needs.
3. Stay Focused On Your Core Business
Besides the financial resources that you can focus on your core business instead of on setting up and maintaining in-house IT support, you can also focus all of your time and energy on your core business as well. By outsourcing IT support, you won’t have to worry about keeping up with new IT technologies (which takes time to research), addressing your company’s IT needs and issues, or about making sure that your IT support will scale as your company grows. The less time and energy spent on these matters, the better because you can focus on actually growing your business.
Dispense With The Recruitment Process
Hiring new employees is incredibly time-consuming. Any business knows this — you’ll need to go through hundreds if not thousands of resumes to handpick candidates that are qualified. You then have to perform a large number of phone interviews to narrow your choices down and then you’ll have to interview the final few in person. If this process wasn’t long enough, you’ll then have to hope that the candidate actually accepts your job offer. All of this will be required if you want to hire an in-house IT support staff. When you outsource your IT support, you won’t have to worry about the hiring process at all, freeing up significant time and effort to focus on other matters.
Reduce Time Spent on HR
It’s not just the hiring process that takes up a huge amount of time if you hire an in-house IT support staff, it’s also the time spent on HR. When hiring IT staff, it will add to the paperwork that your HR department will have to do, which can include tax paperwork, benefits paperwork, and more. Not to mention dealing with things like requested time off. Additionally, when you hire any kind of staff, you will have to spend some time onboarding them. This is especially true for IT support staff. They will need to know what kind of IT systems and applications have been implemented, what their day-to-day tasks are, what your business processes are, and much more.
Partner With The Experts
It’s understandable why you might want to keep your IT support in-house if you have the resources available to do so. For many companies, outsourcing their IT support feels like giving up control to a facet of their business operations. However, there are simply too many benefits to outsourcing your IT support to ignore. While you give up some control over your IT support, doing so can significantly increase your organization’s efficiency, not to mention IT capabilities. Outsourcing your IT will help reduce in-house costs and allow you to reallocate the resources you would have had to invest in your IT department into other parts of your organization, allowing you to stay focused on your core business.
To take advantage of outsourcing your IT support, make sure that you find an IT partner that has the experience and expertise necessary to maintain and grow your company’s IT capabilities and who will help you to achieve your business goals.
Do you need help with outsourcing your IT support? Contact us for assistance.