Companies spent a little less than ten percent of their IT budgets on outsourcing in 2018. Although this represented a decline, it’s still a significant amount. It also seems ready to grow, as many companies said they’d be looking to outsource tasks like security soon.
If you haven’t outsourced IT before, you might wonder if you need to. It’s a popular solution, with most companies spending at least a little on outsourced IT services.
In this guide, we’ll look at the reasons you should consider outsourcing, as well as some of the costs. We’ll also look at the best types of IT services to outsource.
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The Advantages of Outsourcing
When someone talks about outsourced IT support, your first question is about the pros. You might wonder if there are any.
There are actually quite a few different benefits of outsourcing. They include:
- Getting expertise and help
- Sharing risks
- Improving efficiency and time management
- Increasing security and compliance
- Getting access to the latest technologies
Another common reason businesses decide to outsource is for cost savings. The best reason to outsource your IT functions is actually to free up your time.
When you have outsourced IT services, you can get back to your core tasks. With renewed focus on your priorities, you and your business will be more productive.
The Costs of In-House IT
Now you know some of the advantages of outsourcing IT for your business. Your next question is about the costs of outsourcing.
Most businesses find in-house IT can actually end up costing them more in the long run. An in-house team, for example, may not have the expertise or the capacity to handle a new project. If you need to increase your security operations, you may need to hire.
That could mean bringing someone on full-time. This would mean paying them salary, plus benefits, vacation pay, and more.
An in-house team can also cost you in other, less visible ways. If your team isn’t getting all their work done, your company could suffer a security breach. If you’re dealing with payroll, you could be subject to penalties.
Finally, in-house IT might mean your team members aren’t as productive and efficient as they could be. If the head of IT is trying to fix bugs in the payroll system, they may not be attending to other, important tasks.
Does Outsourced IT Have Drawbacks?
As with any business decision, outsourcing isn’t all advantages. There are some potential drawbacks.
An example is costs. Some companies do find outsourced IT ends up costing them more at the end of the day. This is usually because they’ve selected the wrong service provider.
IT outsourcing companies come in all shapes and sizes. That means you have to be careful about picking the right provider.
Some providers will offer low prices, but their customer service is less than stellar. In these situations, you may find yourself spending time on the phone or fixing problems.
Another common problem is purchasing more services than you need. This can add up, with the result you’re paying for services you never use.
If you choose the right provider and the right package, you’ll get exactly what you need and outstanding customer service as well.
How to Know When to Outsource
Many business owners believe that they’re too small to outsource. After all, you need to have an expendable budget to buy outsourced IT services.
It is never too early to outsource, and a business is never too small. Many successful start-ups have outsourced aspects of their business from the very beginning.
How can you tell if it’s time to outsource? Ask yourself a few of these questions.
- Are there unfinished IT tasks that stay on your to-do list for weeks?
- Is your business struggling to manage growth?
- Do you need to hire to keep up with your IT responsibilities?
- Have you paid extra for non-compliance in the last year?
- Would outsourcing free up your time for core tasks?
If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, outsourcing might be the right answer for your business.
What IT Functions to Outsource
IT is a large field. You may not want to send all your IT work to an outside team, or you may not be able to afford it. Which functions does it make the most sense to outsource?
The answer depends a bit on your business. Popular tasks to outsource include:
- Security and compliance
- Data management services
- Network and infrastructure
- Software and support
Some people consider cloud computing services to be outsourced, while others don’t.
The general rule of thumb is that if the task isn’t part of your core competencies, it makes sense to outsource.
Outsourcing can also help you streamline your processes. The experts at iTech Data Services discuss how outsourcing accounts payable can streamline accounting.
Tasks like accounts payable and data management are all important for your business. They just may not be your area of expertise. Sending them to a team can help you manage them more effectively.
You can also use outsourcing to help manage special projects. If you take on a project but don’t have the specialized skills in-house, you can hire a team of experts to help you.
Outsourcing can also be a way to manage growth in the business. As you get busier, it makes sense to shift tasks to experts. Managed IT services are often the best choice in these cases.
Getting the Right Technology is Key
Deciding whether or not outsourced IT services are right for your business is a big choice. Before you decide, you should also be sure you’re using the right technology.
Not sure if you have the hardware you need to keep running at top speed in 2019? Check out some of our laptop reviews. You may be surprised by the difference the right tech can make.