There's a simple reason to outsource anything (IT included) – because experts can do it better and in less time. Originally, 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 nine more reasons you should consider IT outsourcing:
1. 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 and a managed
IT provider had the bandwidth to staff an IT help desk that’s available all year round- that’s 24/7/365. 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. That’s less than half the hours in a year. When you outsource your IT and you have a problem, someone is always going to answer your call. This takes the pressure off all the members on your team that constantly rely on your IT network as waiting for offline support to answer will become a thing of the past.
2. Access to a Deeper and 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. Your in-house team doesn’t have to be stretched so thin when they partner with an IT service that increases their bandwidth and has the ability to scale with your company.
3. Improved Security
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. In the past years, 41% of businesses were hit with phishing attacks targeting employee tax records just in Q1. In this day and age, network security is no longer a fictional horror story, it’s happening in your backyard. Taking all necessary precautions to improve your IT security is crucial to the long-term success of your employees, customers, and overall business.
4. Maximum Uptime
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 around the clock every day of the year.
5. Predictable Budgeting
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.
6. Be Proactive, Not Reactive
Experts will know how to combat technological issues with the latest updates before anything goes awry. Most IT managed services also come with the most innovative solutions that remotely manage and monitor your network anywhere from network patches to printer meter readings. Your company will no longer have to rally and waste precious resources when there are complications with the system. Instead, enjoy a completely proactive system that will combat breaches and prevent downtime before you even know about it.
When you grow, you can upgrade your IT infrastructure with a single phone call. Need more storage? Add some quickly. 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 all at your service with a simple call or email.
8. Access to Latest Technology
Do you keep hearing about the Cloud and how it’s good for business? Are you not really sure what the Cloud is all about? Your company can keep up-to-date on technology even if you aren’t. There’s no need to have your team worrying about technology when they have their own specialties to focus on. You can ask the IT managed service experts about their recommendations, or they’ll come to you with suggestions on the best ways to innovate and automate your office. It’s as easy as that!
9. Reduce Legal Risks
This is the number one reason that will give you peace of mind. When hiring an outsourced IT, you have the opportunity to set up an agreement that legally holds them responsible for any risks involved with their job.
Two Main Takeaways
Let’s take two time-consuming, but essential, IT services: managing your network and backup & 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.