Reasons to Outsource Your IT Services Support Requirements
In a period which has seen businesses across the UK tightening their belts, it’s not surprising that many of them are choosing to outsource various business functions, IT Services often being one of them. Computer Weekly magazine recently reported that the take up of IT outsourcing is increasing by 5.9% a year.
The potential reasons to outsource your IT are wide-ranging. Here are 10 of the top ones.
The average annual salary of an in-house IT Manager is currently in the region of £50,000. Add to that the cost of recruitment, additional company benefits and training to keep their skills up to date and it’s a substantial overhead. If this is a price you cannot afford, you are still left with a large potential cost: IT downtime frustrating the operation of your business and your staff spending their valuable hours trying to solve problems they do not completely understand.
2) Lack of in-house expertise
If your business does not currently have an IT department, perhaps you don’t have space for an extra staff member. Or your company’s IT requirements peak and trough, so there isn’t enough work to keep someone fully occupied. Although you depend on your IT systems, you simply can’t justify a full-time, in-house employee. Some companies offer unlimited IT support contracts, which would enable you to call them whenever you need help, as if they were a dedicated member of your staff.
3) Extend your in-house expertise
Maybe you have a designated IT contact or a dedicated IT person in-house. You rely heavily on them for the continuity of your IT and therefore your business. But what happens if they are already dealing with a crisis when another one comes along? Or if they are on holiday or off sick when disaster strikes? What if there is a serious issue and they try everything they can think of, but nothing seems to be helping? Outsourcing to a dedicated IT firm will give you access to a full team of experts.
4) The skills crisis
Recruitment is a tough, time-consuming and expensive process at the best of times. No surprise that according to the Confederation of British Industry 2008 Skills Survey, 53% of employers lack confidence in their ability to find people with the right skills for their business. If you are not from a technical background, how do you ensure you recruit the right people, especially when IT skills are in such high demand? With outsourcing, once you’ve selected the right IT partner, you don’t have to worry. You’ll have a highly-trained team on hand at all times.
5) Productivity IT Services
If you don’t have an IT department, you might be thinking that it saves money keeping responsibility for technology in-house and distributing it amongst your staff. The likelihood is that it is dramatically reducing their productivity. The Confederation of British Industry 2008 Skills Survey revealed that 56% of employers are concerned about the ability of their employees to use computers. Scary stuff, particularly if it’s those employees who are left to solve their own IT problems.
6) Find out about the latest technology
Technology is transforming at a rapid rate. If there’s a new product, upgrade or tool available that might be useful to your business, how will you find out about it before your competitors do? Building a relationship with a supplier will mean that you have access to advice from people whose job it is to monitor the market, assess innovations and work out whether they can benefit their customers. They will also gain advanced intelligence and training via any industry partnerships they may have.
7) Value added services
Are you worried about your network’s security? Need a disaster recovery plan? Want to support an increasingly mobile workforce? Do you require bespoke software? Your IT support provider may be able to offer you a full range of additional consultancy services as a one-stop shop. They will be able to make recommendations that could improve your systems and save you money.
8) Constant care
Chances are that your current IT strategy relies on a ‘break/fix’ set-up. This means that by the time you know there is a problem, your business and staff’s productivity has already been affected. Some IT support suppliers can proactively monitor your systems 24/7, identify any issues and fix them before you even notice, virtually eliminating downtime. They can also carry out diagnostics on your system, servers and network to prevent any problems arising in the first place.
9) Risk management and legal redress
Partnering with experts should not only mean that you experience fewer IT problems, but also that someone outside your business is responsible in the event of a crisis. If you have the right agreement or contract in place, this may extend to legal responsibility, which would enable you to seek damages if something goes wrong.
10) Focus on your business
Your time is more precious than ever. You need to focus on your staff, your costs and most importantly, your clients and forget about your IT