IT outsourcing for small and medium size business (SMB) can save money and improve service—should you consider it?
Outsourcing is one of the business and entrepreneurial trends that is not going away. Even large companies can save money by using contract help when specialized skills are hard to hire. But what about outsourced IT for smaller businesses?
Advantages and disadvantages of IT outsourcing companies
Unless your business is IT-based, outsourcing is worth considering. Even then, there are situations, such as security monitoring, when outsourcing makes good budget and compliance sense.
There are some compelling reasons to consider outsourcing IT services:
- Workforce needs: When your workforce is smaller or specialized, taking care of your business is your top priority. Outsourced IT means you have access to the IT skills and service you need without the fixed cost. When you use managed cloud or secure remote access services, it makes sense to outsource IT to gain the economies and access to cutting edge, secure, options.
- Budget: Outsourcing IT makes budget sense—but IT remains an important line item for any size business. With IT-outsourcing, the old adage holds true, “you get what you pay for.” Do not choose your IT vendor with only money in mind.
- Competitive advantage: Using an outside vendor for IT helps you level the playing field with competitors who have bigger budgets, better secured networks, and can hire dedicated IT personnel.
Despite these advantages, there are circumstances when you want to keep your IT in-house. Some of those scenarios include:
- It is your business: If IT development, monitoring or other IT services are part of your business bundle, consider boosting your marketing, instead of your outsourcing budget.
- Novelty: If your use of IT is highly novel, constant, or requires high flexibility, be cautious in your choice of IT outsourcing companies. While many IT support firms can readily deliver for specialized clients, the wrong vendor could cost you time, money, and possibly downtime.
- Bad choices: As with any outsourcing partnership, if the fit is no good, the relationship is not likely to last. When you choose outsourced IT, you are extending your service staff with a vendor. Take the time needed to locate the vendor who can best serve your needs.
While outsourcing IT is not for all companies, it could be the right option for your small or medium sized business.
Tips for outsourcing IT
When you are ready to explore options for outsourced IT services, consider these tips:
- Know your needs: Take stock of company needs, workforce, predicted growth plans and budget. Discuss the advantages or concerns you have about outsourcing IT. Develop a list of the type of IT services you feel you need.
- Check around: Use your professional network, the internet, and other resources to develop a potential list of outsourcing partners. Consider local, regional, and international service providers depending on the relationship and services you desire.
- Make the call: Reach out to your list of providers to start the conversation about outsourcing. Ask for references and check them. Inquire about staff—if the provider has high turnover, there is something amiss. Follow up until you find the right fit for your SMB.
When your computer is down—business grinds to a halt. Using a skilled vendor can keep your IT running smoothly while you develop and grow your business.
Whether you need HIPAA compliant network security, or managed cloud services, we can help your company save money, protect data, and remain competitive. When you have questions about outsourced IT services, we have answers.