Four Benefits of Outsourcing Your IT Function
Businesses are no strangers to outsourcing. They have successfully used third parties for payroll, marketing, human resources and sales. Another area businesses are increasingly outsourcing is information technology.
One type of IT outsourcing is using a third party to remotely host your network in a secure location, typically the cloud. The other is outsourcing IT functions to a third party such as technical support, network monitoring, messaging and others.
It may be difficult to imagine outsourcing such a vital function, but there are several benefits:
- Cost Savings – Save on the salary, benefits and training costs of a full-time tech support employee. (Hiring a capable IT staff person will cost at least $60,000 annually in salary.) You can pay a third-party vendor a flat rate per month or an hourly rate per incidence. By using a third-party cloud hosting site, you can save on expensive hardware and software costs.
- Expertise – Because they work with a variety of clients, third-party vendors are familiar with the latest products, software and compliance issues. They can also proactively monitor your systems, rather than waiting for issues to appear. Also, when employees leave, they take the knowledge of your IT systems with them. However, with outsourcing, the knowledge is institutionalized with the vendor.
- Risk – Third-party IT vendors typically have access to the most advanced security and anti-virus products. Also, if there is a fire, flood or some other disaster at your facility, data will be safe in the cloud or at the outsourced vendor’s location. Most third-party IT support vendors offer 24/7 services, whereas an in-house person will have days off due to holidays, vacation and sick time.
- Focus – By outsourcing IT, you and your staff can focus on their areas of expertise in order to help the business grow and prosper.
Perform due diligence when selecting an IT vendor. Ask family, friends and business associates for recommendations. Outline in writing exactly what the vendor’s role will be, and carefully review an itemized price quote to see which services are included. Look for a vendor that has some experience in your particular industry. Finally, because so much hinges on your IT systems, make sure you have a good rapport with your IT vendor.