Outsourcing IT isn’t just a cost cutting tool. In a remote world external IT services can be a lifesaver.
If It is something you need rather than something you do, then outsourced IT support is generally the way to go. The most obvious reason for this is that it saves you the hassle of having to recruit and retain in-demand, skilled IT staff. To explain further, Luke Watts, Managing Director at RoundWorks IT explains why external IT services are still valuable in a remote world.
Breadth and depth of knowledge
The average SME is not going to have the budget (or the justification) for hiring a wide range of experts from different areas of IT. Working with a reputable outsourced IT service, however, gets you exactly that.
What’s more, if you sign a long-term service contract with a high-quality outsourced IT vendor, then you will generally be assigned your own dedicated support staff. This gives you the best of both worlds. You get the cost-effectiveness and convenience of outsourced services plus the business knowledge of internal staff.
Access to top-of-the-range tools
On a similar note, the average SME may struggle to swallow the cost of top-of-the-range tools. Even if they could, their staff would require training and they would need to be given the opportunity to develop expertise in their use. None of this is a problem for outsourced IT companies.
Outsourced service providers can scale their support up and down according to your business needs. Most of them can also offer a variety of pricing models. These are generally variations on per-user pricing, per-device pricing, subscription pricing and ad hoc pricing.
The first two options are generally best suited to freelancers and/or very small businesses. Most larger SMEs will probably benefit most from using subscriptions for their core needs and then topping this up with ad hoc services as, when and if required.
What’s more, outsourced IT services can potentially offer 24/7 care. This is particularly common for managed IT security. Sadly, cybercrime is a round-the-clock activity. This means that you need round-the-clock security to combat it.
Improved business continuity
The best way to keep a business running is to stop problems from happening in the first place. In-house IT teams can struggle to make sure that even basic care and maintenance is covered. Budget limitations often mean that there is little to no in-house cover. Agency staff can vary in quality. Even when they are competent, they don’t know the business.
When basic IT hygiene is ignored and monitoring isn’t done effectively, the best-case outcome is business disruption and loss of productivity. The worst-case outcome is cybercrime. As a reminder, the WannaCry attack of 2017 took advantage of a known vulnerability which Microsoft had fixed. That’s why updates matter.
On a slightly different note, outsourced IT services vendors can often provide help and guidance on improving your IT systems to make them more flexible, robust and/or secure. All of these points are likely to play a huge role going forward as businesses assess the post-COVID19 landscape.
Keeping informed of the future
An outsourced IT vendor is likely to be a handy source of information on IT news. This could be new best-practice guidelines, new technologies or new threats.