The Small Business Guide to Outsourcing IT Services
To achieve long-term success as a business you must be proactive rather than reactive regarding your IT needs. For most business owners, the decision to outsource their IT needs is essential so they can be proactive, and, at the same time, focus on their business, rather than IT needs. However, some are hesitate to outsource, but as most are finding, the “pros” always outweigh the “cons” when it comes to outsourcing your IT services.
In the world of IT, a managed service provider (MSP) is a third-party contractor that delivers network-based services, equipment, and applications to enterprises. There are many reasons to consider using an MSP:
- Reduced IT Costs
Reducing IT costs is one of the most appealing reasons for outsourcing IT. Businesses that choose to outsource are able to convert variable, unplanned IT expenses to fixed, predictable ones. This frees up capital for other aspects of the business. Plus it saves on hiring (and firing) in-house staff, paying benefits such as sick leave, health insurance and Social Security. In addition, an MSP will be available 24/7, where in-house staff may take off due to personal issues or illness.
- Ensure Security
Security is one of the most important aspects of technology. While technology evolves and data expands, the number of ways your system can be compromised increases. For example, cloud services are widely used today. But to ensure the security of an offsite server, it must be continuously monitored and assessed. An MSP can advise you on the credentials of vendors, and conduct ongoing data-risk assessments to identify security gaps.
- Access State-of-the-Art Technologies
Many small business owners find it difficult to remain competitive with their technology and keep up with the latest advances. Outsourcing IT provides easy access to the state-of-the-art technology, so a small- to mid-sized business can be more competitive. In addition these technologies are less expensive than you purchasing them, as MSPs typically have partnerships with vendors and can provide technologies at a reduced cost.
- Regulatory Requirements
Many businesses require secure technology so they can meet compliance and regulatory standards. An MSP knows how to mitigate risks and breaches, secure customer and confidential data, and use cost-effective technologies to do this.
- Scalability and Adaptability
As your business grows, your IT needs grow as well. Keep in mind that new service offerings often come with significant upgrades or new software programs. MSPs provide the flexibility you need to change your products/services or add new ones when needed.
- Onsite Training
An MSP can train your employees on a new system, and provide assistance when they need to use new software or technologies. They can provide the one-on-one training onsite that you can’t get when implementing new software or technologies yourself.
Arguments and Answers
“My Business Doesn’t Have Many Computers.”
No matter how many computers you have, consider the potential impact of a system failure. How would inoperable systems affect your company’s productivity? Would your business be able to afford a data loss if your back-up systems fail? Regardless of the size, businesses require maximum uptime to be successful.
“It Will Cost Too Much.”
MSPs provide free advice on security and back-up storage systems anti-virus software, and 24 x 7 monitoring for critical systems. In addition, many offer flexible “on-demand” support. Essentially, you’re only paying for the equipment you need and the time it takes an IT technician to implement a solution or solve a problem. Or you can opt for a monthly service plan, customized to meet your needs. This way you won’t get caught with unexpected IT expenses, and you can include the monthly fee into your budget.
“My Business Already Has In-House IT Support.”
For businesses with complex computing environments, it’s common to have in-house IT support with one or two dedicated IT employees. MSPs offer a wide range of services, so your business can build onto what you already have in-house. In today’s business world, there’s a lot of pressure to stay productive wherever you are. Managed service providers can inform you about, as well as implement the latest data security solutions on mobile devices. In addition, many business owners find their in-house IT staff to be more effective when the routine IT services are outsourced to an MSP.
The Final Decision
Assess Your IT Requirements
There are five important questions every small business owner must consider to ensure IT needs are met:
- What systems do I currently have in place?
- What essential elements are missing?
- How will my business change in the future?
- Are my current systems able to support that change?
- Where can I find help?
If you can’t answer these questions, your Little Rock IT support company can. Start looking for a reputable outsourced IT company such as Procyon Solutions. We will consult with you, and provide an honest, no-obligation, no-cost assessment regarding products and services that will help your business stay productive, proactive and competitive today and tomorrow.
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“I like the one-stop for all my technology needs – you handle not only my software needs with regard to email and storage, but also the general maintenance of our computers and their software so I don’t have to think about it. You are proactive in your approach rather than reactive. When I need to add a person, I can say we are adding this person and they will be in this department and I need to get them set up and ready to go – I don’t have to go into detail as to what I want accomplished – you know all the steps that need to take place.”—Stacey Moore
Coldwell Banker Commercial Hathaway Group