Every modern business has IT needs, from storing information on central servers to ensuring that every member of your team has a functional device to perform their responsibilities. However, hiring a full team of IT professionals and buying and maintaining your own equipment can be expensive, time consuming, and most of all, stressful.
Outsourcing offers a reprieve from these burdens in multiple dimensions. Dedicated hosting service providers like CloudRecover can back up your data remotely, while consulting firms like Acroment specialize in providing technical assistance and virtualization.
Advantages of Outsourcing
So what are the advantages of outsourcing?
1. Lower costs.
Depending on who you’re hiring, for what purpose, and when, a single employee could cost your business between $50,000 and $70,000 a year; that’s a hefty investment for one professional, and if you need an entire team, those costs will multiply. That doesn’t even take into consideration the initial investment you’ll make in buying equipment, such as internal servers. Even if you end up paying a few hundred to a few thousand dollars a month for your outsourced partners, you’ll still end up saving money.
2. More dedicated internal focus.
If you’re reading this article, we can assume you’re not an IT consulting or management firm. If that’s the case, creating and managing an IT department could distract you from your business’s main focus. If you’re running an accounting firm, you should be focused on accounting. Outsourcing your IT needs gives your leadership and your employees more bandwidth to focus on what they do best.
Generalization is an attempt to perform a wide range of different functions to an acceptable degree, while specialization is an attempt to perform a narrow range of functions to an exceptional degree. In business, specialization is often better because it allows you to outcompete all generalizers immediately. Trying to internalize your IT needs is a way of generalizing your business, which can weaken it. Outsourcing, on the other hand, connects your business with IT specialists, who will have more experience and abilities in this department than your business likely ever will.
4. No need for troubleshooting.
When something goes wrong and your IT team can’t immediately fix it, your business could go into panic mode. Your servers could go down, your equipment could fail, or a mistake in your IT process could compromise your effectiveness. The troubleshooting and corrective process is an annoying and time consuming one, but you won’t have to worry about it if an external agency is the one in charge of figuring it out.
5. Less risk.
Outsourcing your IT needs holds someone else accountable for most of your IT-related decisions, which means you’ll bear substantially less risk in making an uninformed (and potentially costly) decision. You’ll also likely be backed with some kind of guarantee of services, making it even more likely that you’ll be protected in the event that something goes wrong.
However, outsourcing your IT needs isn’t a perfect option. There are a handful of other considerations you’ll need to bear in mind:
- Control. When you outsource your IT needs, you’ll sacrifice a bit of control. You won’t exert as much directive power over your outsourced partner as you’d be able to exert over your own staff, and you may have less say in important decision making processes.
- Communication. You’ll also need to consider how easy it is to communicate with this partner. If you have trouble getting in contact, or if it’s hard to mutually understand each other, you could run into problems during a time of crisis.
- Internal availability. For the most part, your employees should be able to handle basic troubleshooting steps for their own devices and technology. However, there will be cases where they need additional assistance. In those moments, it’s helpful to have an expert in house, without having to reach out to a consulting firm or external partner.
Still, even with these few downsides, IT outsourcing is the way to go for most businesses. If you’re operating with a limited budget, or just don’t want to bother with the hassle of hiring and managing dedicated staff members for IT, make your life easier and start researching IT consulting and service companies to fill the void.