To outsource IT support or not to outsource IT support – that is the question.
Perhaps you’ve read about the risks including:
- uneven performance
- high rates of employee turnover
- hidden costs (international travel expenses, monitoring, and investigation, infrastructure for supporting off-site operations costs)
- intellectual property theft
- data security breach
Now you’re having second thoughts about the whole thing. That is totally understandable.
But in our experience, the benefits far outweigh the risks. The key is to find a partner who doesn’t just provide solutions but also have your best interests at heart.
Of course, that’s easier said than done. But if you do find the one, we assure you the ROI will be worth it.
Let’s take a look at the top 10 ways outsourcing IT support services bring in ROI.
1. Efficient cost management
There’s no shame in admitting you want to lower costs. Everybody wants to save money, even giant corporations. For small or medium-sized businesses, as cliché as it may sound, money saved is money earned.
Consider the average annual salary of an in-house IT Manager. This doesn’t include recruitment costs, company benefits, and training costs to keep skills up to date.
And it’s highly unlikely you’ll need just one person doing all IT-related tasks. Even if you’re tempted to make do with one, what’s going to happen if he or she has an emergency and cannot go to work? What are you going to do if there’s an IT issue and your IT guy or gal is holidaying somewhere?
You can’t just ask your other employees to solve problems they have no expertise in. Or worse, take care of the problem yourself when you have a business to run.
An outsourced IT support team can take care of problems right away. That’s what you pay them for, after all. As ruthless as it may seem, you don’t pay for their leaves, health insurance, retirement plans, and so on.
And that leaves you with more control over your expenses.
2. Improved company focus
Even if your background is in IT, it’s impossible for you to do everything. By outsourcing your IT support, you’re left with more time to focus on your business. This is naturally more preferable to spending all of your time and energy on troubleshooting software, hardware, and user issues, and not getting enough sleep and rest.
It’s like a huge chunk is taken off your plate so you can concentrate on what matters – growing your business.
For startups, this is very important, where establishing a competitive edge means the difference between succeeding and failing. Getting bogged down by the minutiae of IT support is sure to draw focus away from developing the company’s unique selling proposition (USP) and finding ways to innovate.
3. Access to the latest technology
Ask yourself this. Which is better: the knowledge of one IT specialist or the collective expertise of a team of IT support pros?
IT as a field is not static. It’s constantly changing and at a very rapid pace. When you offload your IT needs to a company that specializes in not just one but multiple areas of IT support, you don’t need to worry that your company is being left behind in terms of software upgrades, new products or new applications.
Providers of IT support usually require industry training and certifications for their staff. You can expect them to have experience in dealing with a wide range of IT-related problems. Best of all, they help you stay competitive in your area without draining your resources.
4. Better relationship with your employees
How does having a good relationship with your employees help your ROI?
Well, say there’s an IT problem that needs to be resolved quickly. You’re not an IT expert but you know John, your accountant has some IT experience. No one’s going to stop you if you ask John to help.
In fact, John may be your only hope. But should you do it?
It’s probably not a good idea. Remember, you hired John to be an accountant not to put out IT-related fires. If John is taking care of the IT stuff, who’s going to take care of accounting? And how sure are you that John isn’t resenting you for asking him to take on more tasks on top of what he’s already doing?
Outsourcing allows you to keep employees for their best use. Don’t waste their time on things when you can hire a group of people who will do their best in their field of expertise.
5. Disaster recovery
Whether it’s an earthquake, a flood, a fire, or a cyber-attack, a disaster can strike anytime.
This is why it’s important for all businesses to have a disaster recovery (DR) plan. One component of this DR plan could be a third-party IT support provider who can help with regards to data recovery. Because data is your company’s most precious resource.
If your company doesn’t have a DR plan and your in-house IT doesn’t specialize in disaster recovery and backup technologies, can your company get back on its feet after a disaster? What if you’re forced to close forever?
That’s something you have to think about when you’re still hesitating to outsource.
6. 24/7 operations
Instead of the usual 9 to 5, Monday to Friday schedule, an outsourced managed IT service company can provide assistance round the clock. If something breaks during the weekend or the holiday season, you don’t have to worry that no one’s working on the problem.
Meeting your business needs 24/7 is possible because most IT services providers have more resources available to them. If you have satellite offices abroad, this level of support would be especially helpful for your offshore employees. They know that they can get the help they need regardless of time zone differences.
7. System stability
How do you know you’ve hired a good third-party IT company?
When they can take care of problems before these could arise.
It may sound unbelievable but any reputable IT services company should take care to actively monitor all of its clients’ IT systems to address any vulnerabilities that can impact business productivity and revenue.
8. Customer retention
No matter how good your product or service is, if it’s got crappy tech support, customers will be flocking to your competitors.
One good thing about outsourcing IT support is that vendors have access to multiple resources. Your IT staff, however passionate they are in doing their work, cannot do much if they’re limited by resources and lack of experience.
Going with an IT provider that offers a full stack of services translates to one less thing you have to worry about so you can focus on the people who deserves your attention the most – your customers.
9. Risk reduction
Risk is unavoidable. Every action your company takes, there’s a risk involved. When you outsource IT services to a vendor, they will manage some of the risks for you.
Sharing the risk burden will then free up your company resources-wise, so you can devote more time and energy for the other aspects of your business.
10. Peace of mind
You can’t put a price on your peace of mind. You may value having control over all aspects of your business but if it doesn’t allow you a moment of peace, it’s just not worth it.
Of course, choosing the right IT support provider isn’t exactly the most stress-free process. But having an iron-clad contract that includes all expectations from both sides can take care of that.
Once the benefits of outsourcing come trickling in, you’ll be able to breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that you’ve made the best decision for your company.
To outsource IT support or not to outsource IT support?
There are risks that come with outsourcing IT services to another company. But if you weigh the risks against the benefits, you’ll see that the latter wins out.
From better cost management to disaster recovery to risk reduction, and more, a third-party IT services provider can take a huge load off your shoulders so you can focus on what’s important – growing your business.
If you’re still on the lookout for an IT vendor, make sure you choose one who understands your goals, knows how you run your business, and works hard to deliver on their promises.
Some companies overpromise and underdeliver so it’s up to you to choose an upfront and honest IT vendor. Ultimately, it’s better to go with a provider who is truthful about the capabilities and shortcomings of their IT staff than one that seems too good to be true.
You, on the other hand, should also be upfront about your budget to avoid misunderstandings.
And lastly, research, research, research. If you have an outsourced managed IT service company in mind, find out what their other clients are saying. Try to see if they are satisfied with the level of support provided or if you’re better off looking for another partner.
Outsourcing IT support is a big decision. It’s not one that should be made on a whim so think carefully before you choose an IT services partner.