Is IT outsourcing the right option for my business?
Asking a provider like ourselves to oversee your IT systems may be the ideal solution for your business, then again it might not. There are some companies who will say yes confidently, others that say maybe – let’s discuss and the rest saying no – it’s not for us.
The individual business owner or representative needs to make the right decision for them, taking into account their unique needs and circumstances, their company size and the industry they’re in – that’s what is most important.
For some businesses, having an IT role within the company is a preferred choice. This of course deeply depends on several key factors and is only ever likely if the company is a certain size. The benefit of having an in-house IT role is that the person is easily accessible, has in-depth knowledge of the business, the staff and the systems themselves. However, this also costs money as do the tools needed to ensure the systems run seamlessly.
For other businesses, the advantages of outsourcing are much more appealing, including the cost. Therefore, we’ve pulled together several key considerations that you might want to review if you’re contemplating taking the next step to outsourcing.
Every business’s first question. An experienced IT engineer can cost around £30K per year, this is before you’ve considered the tools and equipment required so they can do their job correctly. In some instances, you may need more than one IT expert depending on the level of skills you require.
However, with an outsourced IT provider, they can supply a wide range of support that best fits your business’s level of needs. These services range from; networks and infrastructure, back up services, VOIP, CCTV, web hosting and WIFI, to name a few. You will have peace of mind knowing that they will provide you with the latest IT software and are on-hand to give training to your staff, so you don’t have to.
Another factor to consider is availability. If you are a 9-5 business then finding cover may be easy, but don’t forget holiday or unplanned sick leave. An outsourced supplier will always have staff on hand during contracted business hours who are available by phone or email should you need any assistance.
If you’re going down the hiring route, it can be challenging to find the right balance in an employee. Sure, a good IT engineer may have skills in all areas, but you can’t expect a single person to be experienced at everything and to a high standard. A specialist IT provider has a range of experts on hand that provide different skill sets so that whatever the issue, there will always be an IT support specialist readily available to oversee your specific problem.
Service level agreements allow businesses to select the level of support they require along with defined standards and costs. However, an in-house employee can also be accountable, so this one is even across the board.
Let’s keep it simple. In some instances, your IT provider can manage all of your IT systems as part of a single agreement whilst also liaising with your other suppliers. Simply log your issues or request with them and they’ll facilitate the rest.
Your IT provider is someone you can talk to; a mentor or trusted advisor. They offer advice, strategic thinking, balanced pragmatism and honesty regarding the challenges you might come across and what are the right options for you. In-house experts are able to discuss your issues and provide a solution.
IT providers are not only here to support your IT systems, but there to support you too. Use their expertise to seek information and understanding. The last thing they want you to do is make a bad decision. Don’t face a challenge or objective alone, let them help you achieve it.
By working together, you can forge strong relationships. Over time your IT provider will have absorbed your business’s ethos – understanding its common issues, it’s peaks and weaknesses. They will then be able to make recommendations and be proactive at tackling these issues for you. By using the information provided to you, you will be able to plan for the future ahead, after all, no one like surprises.
- Getting Time Back
A very common trap door.
This is a big one for many businesses and is often a very false economy. Many companies will try and self-manage with a part time person, or a willing body in between their day job. Translating the returned productivity into a £ value will often influence the decision process greatly and re-shape your mind set.
It may be possible to outsource to multiple third-party providers for specific areas of your business. This option tends to work and be viable for larger businesses, however, all of the same considerations apply.
If you’re considering outsourcing your IT support services in or around Chester speak to us today – at Think Cirrus we are a highly experienced managed service provider supplying outsourced IT business solutions. Get in touch today to arrange a meeting.