More and more small and medium size businesses are either starting to use external, outsourcing companies for their IT support instead of retaining internal employees and are reaping the benefits. Outsourcing your IT needs means saving money, as you are not paying for a full-time employee unnecessarily and you can get support from experts who have knowledge of all the latest programmes and system updates without you having to spend extra money on training. However, as you will also be aware, IT plays such a major part in today’s digital age that it isn’t a choice to be made flippantly; there are several things to consider and you will need to do your research. Here are some things you may want to consider when making the decision to outsource your IT needs and when you are deciding on a provider.
Communication is one of the fundamental factors that keeps businesses ticking over, both between colleagues, external associates and customers and your IT provider is no different. Not only do you need to be able to easily contact somebody when you have an issue with your IT system, you need to know that you can understand each other. For example, it’s great to find somebody who can set up your new phone system in a flash, but they need to be able to explain the ins and outs in a way that you can understand. Language barriers can also arise if you outsource to an overseas provider.
How Often do You Need It?
A pay-as-you-go provider is perfect if you literally just need assistance when you get a new system in and every now and then for system blips. On the other hand, if you have a major project coming up, you may need somebody on hand constantly or even in the office with you.
How it Affects You.
Running your own business means that there are a hundred and one things to do on a daily basis and, especially at the start, you end up as chief cook and bottle washer! If you have the skill set and can spare an extra bit of time to sort out your IT issues yourself, then great, especially when your company is too green to afford another member of staff. If you outsource your IT requirements, it does allow you more time to focus on everything else as well as giving you the reassurance that you are in capable hands.
Available Talent and Skill Sets.
Is the external available talent better than the IT whizzes you already have in the office, if you have anybody at all. Also, will you need somebody who is constantly up-to-date with the latest system updates, or do you just use the same system that you can update yourself with minimal fuss. Also, bear in mind that not all IT support providers are created equal.
How much of your Budget is Ear-Marked for IT.
If you have a veritable part of your budget dedicated to IT support and maintenance, you may be able to afford one or several IT specialists to work for you full-time. Obviously, this will be dependent on the size of your company, how long you’ve been running for and how big a part your IT services affect the day-to-day running of your company. If you don’t have the need or budget, you could investigate a pay-as-you-go IT support provider to fit in with your budget and requirements more.
If taking this into consideration you do decide that an outsourcing your IT support needs is the way to go, make sure that you do your research and find a provider that can deliver the service you need at a price that fits your budget.