From server virtualisation, to networking, to data security, to round the clock IT support, today's businesses require expertise in a wide range of disciplines in order to stay competitive. Given these multiple challenges, many IT managers may find themselves asking, 'Is it time to outsource my IT support?'
The concept of outsourcing is not a new one. By letting someone else handle lower-value – or alternatively, higher-complexity – tasks for you, you can free time and energy for core activities that have greater value to the business. With that in mind, here's a look at some signs that it may be time to outsource your IT support.
IT issues are eclipsing the essence of what you do
IT managers are used to dealing with complex technical challenges on a daily basis. But what happens when ongoing issues – such as a growing need for hardware storage, software development slow-downs, and frequent user demands – are preventing your business from functioning at an optimal level? By outsourcing vital IT functions to the experts, your can free up time and energy for the non-technical aspects of your business and focus on what you do best.
Maintaining your in-house IT is becoming cost-prohibitive
While there are definite advantages to maintaining your own in-house IT support, it can also be costly. Between salaries, insurance, superannuation, sick leave, ongoing training, and recruitment – the cost of maintaining your own in-house IT staff can easily run into the six-figures and beyond. If your IT expenses are getting out of hand, it may be time to consider going with a contractual provider who can offer services in a more flexible, pay-as-you-go model. For smaller and medium-sized businesses that may not have large IT budgets at their disposal, outsourcing may prove to be the more economical solution.
Your servers are reaching the end of their useful life cycle
As every IT manager knows, upgrading servers for additional storage, memory, and CPU can be a massive undertaking requiring a high level of expertise and skill. Instead of doing it themselves, many Australian businesses are turning to cloud services to gain access to the latest equipment and technologies minus the hassles that come with expansion and upgrades. So, if your equipment is nearing the end of its useful life cycle, it may be a good time to reassess and consider the options – options which may be more cost-effective and efficient in the long-term.
In today's competitive business climate, SMEs of all stripes are reaping the benefits of outsourcing their different IT functions. However, as with all major business decisions, the cost and benefits need to be carefully balanced. As you look for a provider, keep in mind that cheaper does not necessarily mean better, even if it seems attractive on the surface. But if you're finding that more and more time is being spent on solving IT puzzles instead of your core business functions – it may well be time to outsource your IT support.