There's a simple reason to outsource anything (IT included) – because someone else can do it better and usually for less than you could do it yourself.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Top 5 Business Advantages of IT Outsourcing:
- Reduced personnel costs
- Reduced need for recruitment
- Enterprise tools
Those are five excellent reasons to outsource, but since then, I've thought of seven more reasons you should consider IT outsourcing.
Reliable Support Around the Clock
As good as your internal IT staff is, they can't be available all the time. There are 8,760 hours in a year. A managed IT provider staffs an IT help desk 8,760 hours per year. If your IT staff doesn't take a vacation and works an 80 hour work week (not likely), that's still only 4,160 hours per year. When you outsource your IT and you have a problem, someone is always going to answer your call.
Access to Deeper and a Wider Range of Expertise
While the typical in-house IT staff for a SMB is a jack-of-all trades, a managed IT partner will have a large staff of IT experts with specialized skills. Managing security, data backup/continuity, and network management are different skills. It's hard for one or two in-house staff to combine these functions while simultaneously trying to work on higher-level strategic IT projects for your business.
Who doesn't need less stress in their life?
Are you keeping up? Do you have everything you need? Technology anxiety can keep a business leader up at night, wondering if they've got everything they need for their business to function flawlessly. Relax and end fear of missing out on the latest technology.
Round the clock, proactive monitoring of your network keeps attempted hacks at bay. You don't have to worry about applying and testing security patches or installing and updating the latest virus and malware protection.
When you include data backup and recovery services from your managed IT partner, you can quickly become operational again after a business disruption. Plus, your managed IT partner has redundant systems to keep your network functioning 24x7x365.
I wrote about less cost for staffing in my last post on this topic, but I didn't mention the predictable budgeting advantage. With a managed IT partner, your costs are fixed.
The usual break/fix model of IT maintenance can eat into your budget. When your server breaks, you pay someone to come in and repair it. When you outsource your network management, repair and maintenance are all-in. Plus, your service partner has a built-in incentive to proactively maintain equipment to prevent breakage and downtime because when they need to repair something that eats into their bottom line.
Not only does the break/fix mentality cost you money, you also lose revenue and productive staff time while you're waiting for your IT guy to show up and repair whatever is wrong. Outsourcing is proactive. Break/fix is reactive.
When you grow, you can upgrade your IT infrastructure with a phone call. Need more storage, add some on. Change needed for your backup frequency? No need to involve your IT staff, someone else can take care of it for you.
Your underlying IT infrastructure is easily expandable. You don't need to add servers, worry about internal bandwidth, or manage the software installation and upgrades. It's at your service.
Two Quick IT Outsourcing Examples
Let’s take two time-consuming, but essential, IT services: managing your network and backup and recovery. Everyone has a network. Everyone backs up information (or should!). These are not competitive advantages. Regardless of your industry, the IT skills to accomplish either of these tasks are the same. They are becoming a commodity – you have a network and you have to back up your information, but the products and solutions to accomplish both are straightforward.
You’re better served outsourcing these tasks and focusing your internal IT resources on IT projects that can differentiate you from your competition – whether that’s a better website, improved customer service automation, or even faster invoicing and internal workflows.