Do you feel like technology is growing beyond your team’s understanding? Are there too many challenges and opportunities for 1-2 people to handle? Does your team think it may be time to outsource your IT Department? There are many benefits of an outsourced IT department. Check out this guide to learn what they are.
The Big Benefits of an Outsourced IT Department
You aren’t the only one who thinks outsourcing is a great idea. According to Deloitte Consulting, over 72% of companies outsourced their IT department in 2016 alone. It’s time to play big with your IT Department.
The risks and opportunities of technology and IT are exceeding many businesses capabilities. In addition, keeping the IT department’s inhouse across many roles may cost more than outsourcing.
Out with the IT
We’re sharing the benefits of an outsourced IT Department because we feel that it is an opportunity to not only streamline your digital processes but also ensure that your company’s information stays secure.
You have heard the horror stories of data breaches within big companies and companies losing important information due to environmental and digital threats. This is something that is usually outside of the wheelhouse for your typical IT employee.
An outsourced IT department with a team of experts can help prevent issues by utilizing regular back-ups to protect your client data, firewalls, and disaster recovery plans.
Even if you have great resources, when is the last time you did a review or audit of your IT Department? This is a great place to start. It will show you how outsourcing IT may benefit you.
Complete an IT Review
Before you complete an IT review, consider the areas of cybersecurity, hosting, and business applications to outsource. This will help you focus on the areas that most affect your business.
What areas within your IT function are keeping you up at night? Is it your cybersecurity? Your web hosting? Your team’s capabilities? For example, do you have the skillset to hire, manage and maintain an entire IT Department?
If you feel that you may not have the knowledge to hire the right people for an in-house IT team, that’s a clear sign that it is time to outsource. You don’t know what you don’t know – and that’s okay. It’s better to have a talent pool of experts rather than one person you are betting on who may or may not know what they are doing.
In addition, by putting stake in one to two people, it’s likely an unfair workload. Consider doing a skillset inventory to see if you have everything covered. Even if you do, what is it costing you to keep the department internal?
Start by assessing what the risk is with a risk assessment. Think about the potential impact of risk exposure if a security breach were to happen.
Don’t neglect the time it is taking you to manage IT internally as a CEO or entrepreneur. Is managing your IT Department internally taking your attention away from your core business? Is it impacting your bottom line by not focusing on strategic projects? If it is, this is another indicator that you may want to outsource the department.
Finding the Right Outsourced IT Department
Once you complete your review, talk to your team. Get their input and insights on functions and ideas. It’s important to get internal buy-in to get people on board. You’ll want to outline the skill sets you want and support assistance.
Don’t go with the first provider automatically. Review several providers and ask for referrals. In addition, before you outsource, understand what the pros and cons of outsourcing are for any function. This will help you to talk to a managed services IT provider with your eyes wide open. This is an important step.
Your outsourced team is an extension of your company even though they aren’t on your payroll. With something as important as IT, it is key for you to pick the right team in every way. Take your time and don’t rush yourself through the process.
If you didn’t know, managed IT service agreements may be outlined for several months if not years. As a result, if you rush, it may be more painful to get out of an agreement than it was to get into it. Ask for referrals from every provider that you review to ensure that their other clients are happy with their services.
You will likely find the pros far outweigh the cons. We are almost positive that a lot of what we share here will surprise you. Finally, here are the benefits of an outsourced IT Department.
Benefit 1: Reduce Risk
If IT is not your business, your business is carrying a larger risk than necessary. Why would you want to focus on something that isn’t directly affecting your bottom line?
Yes, it’s important because it helps with the delivery of goods and services. However, if it’s not the service, it’s likely beneficial to outsource.
By outsourcing to a specialized provider, you will reduce the risk for your business and the provider can anticipate issues before they happen. The outsourced provider will bring industry knowledge, security, and compliance to the table, something one or two internal guys may or may not be able to do.
Keep in mind outsourced providers specialize in helping companies manage their IT Departments on a small to large volume basis. As a result, they have more experience with a lot of scenarios than you or your team do. Getting a chance to outsource and leverage that expertise is a huge benefit for any business.
Benefit 2: Faster Implementation
Have you ever had an IT project take longer than expected to implement? This is often the biggest and most costly headache in regards to IT Departments for business owners and managers.
With an outsourced partner, it will be easier and more cost-effective to start and implement new projects. In comparison, the same IT project may take weeks or months to complete when managed internally. This is usually due to conflicting priorities and goals.
However, the outsourced partner will be able to hire, train and support the project efficiently and effectively because of their experience. You are also their client, not their employer so they want to ensure that you are satisfied.
The better your relationship with one another, the smoother the process will be each time. Make sure you work with a team who can complement your company and its goals.
Benefit 3: Free Up Time
Wouldn’t you love to free up your time to work on more strategic projects? Don’t you want your team to have more time to collaborate and grow your business? Think about how much time you may currently spend on IT issues. What would you do with that time if those issues were being handled by a third party?
Try tracking how much time you spend on IT issues in a week and the time it takes every person on your team to help resolve the issue. Now, multiply that figure by a month and a year. You may be surprised at how much time you are devoting to these problems instead of coming up with ways to increase revenue.
Compare the time you spent on IT projects vs. the delayed profits from the projects you and your team want to work on. This gives you insight as to what the current reality is. if you are not the decision-maker, this time tracking exercise will help convince your boss to at least look into more benefits of an outsourced IT Department. Your boss will be surprised at exactly how dealing with IT is costing the company money.
Benefit 4: Better Talent Pool
How is your existing talent pool when it comes to the IT department? Are you IT certified? Do you have what it takes to assess skill sets for IT?
When it comes to having a mix of education and experience, a managed services IT provider will likely exceed you every time unless you are in the industry.
To get an idea of the expertise of a potential provider, ask them for referrals, reviews, and case studies. Likely, you will be surprised at the education, experience, and knowledge you can have access to with an outsourced IT Department.
Benefit 5: Reduce Internal Costs
Taking the time to hire, train, and manage an IT staff can be very expensive. There is a good chance temps or freelancers won’t meet expectations, might not be available when you need them most and will overcharge.
Outsourcing your IT department lets you focus on your core business areas. When you look at an outsourced provider, compare your direct internal costs as well as hidden costs.
For example, let’s say you don’t have someone on your team who is a security expert – you will need to find one. Another example is an implementation guide certified in project management – if you don’t have one, you will need to find one. You will need to either pay a lot of money for someone who can do it all, which is highly unlikely, or you will need to put multiple people on your payroll – which can also be costly. Look for an outsourced IT team that is well-rounded so you can save on costs and get the high-quality you the service you need.
Benefit 6: Compliance Enhancements
Is your firewall up to date? Do you audit workstations? Who on your team knows what PCI standards are? Does the department regularly conduct IT trainings to stay up to date on compliance and security?
An outsourced IT managed services provider will take care of issues like this and more. In addition, many of them organize client training and updates.
Don’t take a shortcut solely for costs. Likely, your company will pay for it later at some point.
Benefit 7: Smaller Businesses can Have Big IT
Most small businesses can’t afford the IT Departments that big businesses have internally. By outsourcing your IT Department, this lets a smaller company get the same IT benefits as a larger one. You get the expertise without the bill.
An outsourced partner will give you access to similar technology, security, and knowledge that larger companies have for a fraction of the cost. This helps you and your team have a competitive advantage compared to companies your size, and it can even be used as a selling point.
Start Enjoying the Benefits of an Outsourced IT Department
You can now clearly see the benefits of an outsourced IT Department. It functions 24/7, saves you time, enhances credibility, and protects your business.
Imagine the education and expertise you and your team can benefit from with a team of experts on your side. Imagine the projects you would now have time for.
After looking at the benefits of an outsourced IT Department, you likely agree now that this is something that can help your company thrive. However, what action will you take next?
Contact us if you want to learn more about how NetStandard can help your business benefit from outsourced IT.