Outsourcing has become a popular way to fill skills gaps in businesses of all shapes and sizes. Instead of hiring in-house workers to fulfill specific tasks, you outsource to agencies instead. Typical services often outsourced by smaller businesses include accounting, IT support, and security, but there is really no limit to what you can outsource if you don’t feel like hiring in-house.
What are Managed IT Services?
Using managed IT services means you’re outsourcing to an external IT consultancy, often via cloud-based services. A managed IT support company can monitor your systems remotely, set up video conferencing for you when needed, update systems as and when required, and troubleshoot problems when they occur.
Most managed IT service providers offer a wide range of services, including routine maintenance of servers and other systems, network management, and cybersecurity protection.
The Advantages of Managed IT Services?
24/7 support – in-house IT people can’t always be available, and if something bad happens while your most experienced employee is sipping mojitos on a beach in Bali, it could be a disaster. When you outsource IT support, you have experts on-call 24/7, 365 days a year, which offers much greater peace of mind.
Cost-effective expertise – hiring in-house is expensive and you probably won’t be able to afford the best people. Using a managed IT support service gives you access to the very best experts at a much lower price overall. This is a far more cost-effective solution for smaller businesses.
Stay compliant – there is a lot of regulation and red tape in the IT sector, specifically related to the protection of client data. It’s hard for in-house IT people to stay up to date with the latest changes. Outsourcing means you don’t need to worry about remaining compliant.
Scale-up and down as needed – the beauty of outsourcing means your IT needs are scalable and you can scale up or down as demand changes. This is perfect for a growing business with limited cash flow, as you don’t need to invest in expensive systems you might not need immediately. It’s also useful for seasonal businesses, such as e-commerce stores with annual spikes in trade.
Manage your costs – hiring a managed IT consultancy helps you control your IT costs. You have the choice of using their experts on a PAYG basis or paying a monthly fee for continuous management. Either way, the lower start-up costs and minimal IT investment are much easier on cash flow.
Plug the skills gap – IT is a very broad area and chances are, you would have a problem hiring people to fulfill all of your IT needs. Any new software you install has a learning curve and systems change all the time, which makes it hard for in-house to stay ahead of the curve. Outsourcing lets you access highly trained experts with specialized skillsets whenever you need them.
Is Outsourcing IT Services Right For You?
Outsourcing IT services doesn’t work for all businesses, but it is certainly a cost-effective solution for the vast majority of SMEs.
Shop around for the right IT support consultancy and always ask for references before you sign a contract for managed IT services.