Why outsource your IT? Are you driven by Frustration, Failure or Foresight?
While companies of the past usually relied on in-house IT personnel, today’s UK small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) see the value in outsourcing information technology. But the factors that prompt an SMB to look at IT outsourcing can be very different. Here at Techsolve, of the London-based businesses we have spoken to, the three main triggers have been frustration, failure, or the foresight to see the opportunity of expanded resources.
We often find companies who have been dealing far too long with frustrating IT issues that are easily solvable or didn’t even know they had an IT problem until it was too late. This is human nature. Employees usually live with a problem for a while before they decide to do something about it. They think (and hope) that things will just get better.
Worse, something else happens when IT problems don’t get solved. People stop reporting their issues. They’ll start to find their own workarounds, and their productivity, as well as their attitude, starts to suffer. What’s more, the solutions they come up with themselves can potentially pose a threat to the company’s security, making them vulnerable to data breaches or cyberattacks.
If your IT is giving you and your staff no end of frustration, now is the time to consider outsourcing your IT to keep your sanity!
When your go-to IT person or internal IT department can’t deal with the volume of technical issues they’re being presented with, the common default approach is to either prioritise the things that are on fire or within their comfort zone. When you discover that this is what is happening, you quickly come to the realisation that your existing IT resources are stretched too thin.
Trends in digital transformation are drastically changing the operations of small and midsize businesses. There are many roles that an IT department needs to cover and if they don’t have the time or the expertise, business operations will eventually notice the balls that keep getting dropped! If you keep experiencing the same IT problem over and over, then you’re only looking at the symptoms and not treating the cause. You might not even know how to solve the problem.
As technology solutions grow increasingly complex it’s now more challenging than ever to ensure all systems work well and securely with one another. An outsourced IT provider will likely have several other clients and will have worked with a wide range of technologies. They bring a wider pool of skilled and qualified expertise to better help your existing IT team.
IT outages and cyberattacks are (unfortunately) inevitable. But the extent of the damage they will cause depends on how well you prepare now. What happens when a critical server fails or a ransomware attack occurs? What expertise can you rely on to get the business back online in minutes with minimal disruption to operations?
Outsourced IT services bring you cybersecurity experts that provide an extra layer of protection to prevent disasters and quickly resolve security issues.
Large businesses have the resources necessary to maintain cutting edge technologies and services themselves, but smaller businesses generally do not. This advantage plays out in numerous ways, such as in the level of productivity a company enjoys, its efficiency, and its ability to reach out to new customers.
SMBs that try to implement and maintain all the IT work themselves often must dedicate substantially more of their time and resource to researching, developing, and implementing what they hope is the right solution. This results in two problems for the company: higher costs and longer innovation lead times. The costs are likely passed on to the customers, which means that the business becomes less competitive regarding product/service prices. By taking longer to bring new products and services to the market, significant revenue opportunities are lost to competitors who can move faster.
Forward-thinking small business owners understand that valuable time and resources are freed up to focus on business growth when their IT is managed by an appropriately skilled, highly capable, and highly scalable team. Outsourcing a small business’ IT helps place it on more of a level playing field with its larger competitors.
Who is Outsourcing IT?
Small Business Outsourcing statistics in 2019 for UK show more than one-third of small businesses currently outsource a business process. IT services are the most commonly outsourced processes (37%), equal in number with accounting services.
Interestingly businesses with 50 or fewer employees are less likely to outsource (29%) compared to a business with more than 50 employees (66%). We have come across some modern, entrepreneurial companies who were able to manage IT for up to 50 staff using the skills of their own tech-minded employees and just “figuring it out as they went”.
Without expertise though, SMBs tend to then struggle – especially with their technology investments – through poor acquisition, poor implementation, and lack of a clear strategy.
Three tips on how to outsource correctly
Although outsourcing can provide small businesses with much-needed, cost-effective support, businesses should choose IT outsourced services carefully.
Our advice is to:
1. Choose Personalised Advice
An outsourced partner should care about their customer’s business success. You should expect a personalised service that recognises your own company’s particular needs and get a sense that a partner can anticipate problems before they occur. Avoid anyone who tries to drown you in IT jargon and is unable to demonstrate how IT can be clearly aligned to business outcomes.
2. Plan for the future
Set clear goals and expectations for contractors to maximise the success of an outsourcing relationship. Spend some time thinking about what technology results you’re expecting, what areas you’d like to improve in, and any concerns you may have about your current arrangement. Talk to your employees about whether they’re currently getting what they need from their IT.
3. Focus on delivering a competitive edge to the business
A tour of any small business highlights how IT solutions are critical to business success. Great IT support helps businesses improve productivity and employee collaboration by removing any IT issues that affect the stability of systems and applications that are relied upon to communicate, collaborate, organise, process, report on, and more.
By improving the security of a business, great IT support minimises the risk, stress, and cost of a potential data breach or non-compliance. Strong security also helps SMBs build trust with their business partners and end customers, which in turn helps close more deals.
And for any business that wants to quickly and seamlessly adopt new technology, a great Outsourced IT provider should minimise the problems typically associated with deploying and integrating with existing technologies, so new capabilities, improved efficiency or reduced costs are achieved – thus gaining a competitive edge for its customer.
IT expertise can make a real difference in your business when you focus technology on fulfilling business needs.
Techsolve is a Managed IT Service Provider (MSP) in London. With a passion for technology and creative solutions, we deliver IT Services, High-Speed Internet Connectivity, and IT consulting mostly for small to medium-sized businesses with between 10 and 200 employees.