Outsourcing IT – the Pros and Cons! Posted By: Helen Tuesday 2nd April 2019 Tags: Business Development, IT consultancy, IT services, it suppport, outsourcing
Today we are going to look at the benefits of outsourcing IT services. And in order to provide a balanced post we will investigate the cons (if any)!
So what do IT services cover exactly?
That’s a great place to start. IT Services cover a multitude of factors, all of which beneficial and many, necessary.
Cloud Services: This covers an assessment of existing infrastructure whilst delving into your methods of data storage, how this is accessed and by how many people. Cloud services include servers, networks, software, databases and more.
Security Services: Intrinsic to the successful running of any company. If your systems are not currently protected then it’s only a matter of time before you will run into trouble. A business needs to keep data secure whilst ensuring staff members are up-to-date with any of the latest hacking and phishing methods.
Data Recovery: Should the unfortunate situation arise whereby company data is lost, it is essential to have a data recovery solution in place. Without this, disruption is likely to be increased, potentially resulting in a loss of business.
Backups: How many times have you heard people say ‘you should always backup your work’? Without backups you could potentially be looking at huge losses of data. IT services ensure disaster recovery is in place whilst your data is safe and secure at all times. Phew!
Cyber Security:With new hacks coming to the surface every day, there is no need for fraudsters to hold up a bank anymore. It’s far easier to work on getting details from individuals and companies. IT services ensure you are fully secure and will carry out an internal security audit in the first instance. This will determine exactly where any weaknesses are located within your systems.
But that’s not all……
The beauty of IT services is the fact they actually cover IT support and consultancy.
Aren’t they the same thing?
No, they’re not actually. IT Support includes analysis of systems and then putting a plan in place. From here, support covers the management of the plan whilst ensuring a company’s systems are all running exactly how they should be. IT Consultancy is an advice based solution. Sometimes, a business owner will have an idea of the systems and level of cover required yet require the right advice from a professional. A consultant will offer guidance throughout the process without managing any systems. The route a company takes is based upon the level of knowledge.
Let’s delve into outsourcing IT!
As we continue moving into a technologically modern world each and every day, ot has become commonplace to outsource an entire range of business services. Why? Because it’s not only a cost effective way of running a business, it means specialists are handling certain company elements. According to certain online sources, in 2017, the United Kingdom alone spent £4.9 billion in outsourcing services. Out of this total cost, 73% of it was attributed to IT services. It is suggested that this number increases heavily each year.
So outsourcing IT services must be beneficial then?
According to the statistics, yes! But we want to dig through the stats and look at the actual benefits. We have already mentioned a couple of pro’s above so let’s begin with those.
Work with an Expert
When you choose to buy a house, do you build it yourself, brick by brick? When deciding to specialise as a nurse in your career, do you perform open heart surgery on a patient? When you go to the supermarket to purchase your food, do you then scan it all and use the till? Ok, so the latter may be true, but that’s just another insight into how technology is ever advancing. The point we are trying to make, is that if you’re not an expert at something, you hire one! Who else is best to execute IT services than a qualified professional? If you approach a company that ONLY carried out IT support, consultancy and the relative factors, the level of service received is likely to be way higher than that of a ‘jack of all trades’ or ‘a mate who knows a little’. Would you agree so far?
It can sometimes be scary when looking at costs and invoices, especially for smaller companies. That said, IT support is a necessary cost. If you don’t have any in place and something goes wrong, the likelihood is, you will spend more money in putting the problem right.
But I could hire someone!
Yes, that’s right, you could, And this may well be right for your company. What needs to be taken into consideration however is salary (£26K plus), holidays, sick pay, absence, HR, contracts, insurances and more. You are likely looking at at least £30k for a single person. Outsource the services and cost is potentially halved in the first instance. Because you are working with a specialist company, the chances are, support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. There will be more than one qualified technician able to help with IT related queries. Now that’s cost-effective!
Internal Resources can be used Wisely
Without the use of an external source, existing staff members with ‘some’ knowledge of IT may begin to dabble. Not only does this take them away from a dedicated job role, they could potentially do more harm than good. By outsourcing, team members remain focussed upon the jobs they were brought into do and where their strengths lay.
Equipment and Security
This is a HUGE benefit. Because IT support covers specific areas, the chances are, technicians have the very best in equipment that’s likely to be the most up-to-date. This means that your company has access to the latest software and hardware without it costing over the odds. Because specialist equipment is of a high calibre, the security attached to this is likely to be nothing but the best.
As a business owner, company director, manager, or all three, your main responsibilities are to maintain and grow the business. If you suddenly become responsible for the management of every team, IT support, accounts, marketing, cleaning and tea making, your primary role is going to suffer and fast. By outsourcing, efforts can remain on business development and ensuring company growth.
Ok, so we’ve spoken about the benefits (of which there are many). Let’s balance this up with a couple of the cons associated (please understand how difficult this is for us)!
Do you enjoy having full control of every aspect of your business? If this is something you need then outsourcing may not be for you. It pays to remember that IT services are often performed off-site. You will need to provide direction to a specialist team with regards to any issues and follow this up as you see fit. In terms of closely monitoring progress this is something you won’t be able to do.
Quality Exception Gap
This can be a tricky one in fairness. It’s important that as a company, you ensure to perform the relevant due diligence on your chosen contractor. Do they hold the high standards of work required to manage your IT related expectations? Does their contract reflect the price quoted and are you fully aware of how long you are tied in? It’s extremely important to ensure you are fully aware of reputation before going ahead. At LaneSystems, we have almost 25 years of experience in IT Support, services and consultancy. Our brand is strong, proven and reputable.
Whilst this shouldn’t be a difficult concept, sometimes, companies just don’t get this right. Again, be certain to perform the relevant due diligence to ensure the level of service you receive is good enough. You need to make sure that should an issue arise there is a technician at the end of the phone exactly when you need them, no matter the time of day.
Phew! That was a lot of information to digest! So we’ve included the cons but as you can see, the benefits of outsourcing IT support definitely outweigh any of the down sides. If you’ve never looked into this aspect before, give it a go. You will be surprised at the savings your business will make alongside the high level of expertise offered.