If you own a small business, you might think your operations aren’t large or complex enough to merit extra IT help (which inevitably eats into your precious budget). Surely, your small-but-competent team can figure it out for themselves or just Google it, right? Wrong! Outsourcing allows your company to have access to the higher-level expertise and “economy of scale” big businesses enjoy. In turn, this allows your staff to build more momentum in the activities they’re already carrying out and remain focused on their tasks at hand. For example, a company like Mustard IT provides ongoing support to its clients, including on-call remote support, cloud service advice and set-up, and consultancy about your network infrastructure and security.
Save time and money
If you don’t choose to outsource your company’s IT services, you must ask your existing staff to manage them. If a big project requires IT knowledge, you may ask your employee Joe to research for your team. However, Joe is no IT expert, and it may take him a week to understand the best way forward – even then, Joe may make some mistakes. However, Joe is an excellent communications manager, and he already has thorough knowledge and experience of the skills required to carry out his regular duties. It’s easy to see that you’re wasting Joe’s time, energy and the skills which you hired him for, to become an expert at something which you did not hire him for. It would be best for Joe to focus on his normal tasks and operate at optimal efficiency.
To take the analogy further, that big project is relying on Joe to implement a new IT service. Now the project is backed up for an entire week. This back-up has a snowball effect on your productivity; for the team, and for your clients who expect results. The bottom line is hiring an IT service provider significantly cuts costs, up to 40% for small businesses.
Access to expert knowledge
IT service providers build their businesses upon expert knowledge and experience which give them immense value. With IT expertise as the sole focus of their businesses, you can be assured the best of the best are handling your IT needs. While our friend Joe would be solving many IT issues for the first time, your IT expert will have years of experience under his belt. As established, this saves time and ensures the problem is handled in the best way possible.
Additionally, IT staff must keep up-to-date on latest IT trends and knowledge. Providers should send employees to seminars and workshops to ensure they’re always refining their craft and learning more about the industry. They stay on top of IT news and are the first to know when new upgrades or technological tools are available. Most importantly, they know how these tools can be of use to your small business and in which cases they fit best. Technology is changing and improving at such a rapid rate, sometimes faster than the industries in which they serve. It would be nearly impossible for your small team to maintain this level of updated knowledge strictly on IT services. By hiring an IT support company, you have access to their expert and updated knowledge.
One of the most important reasons you should employ an IT service provider is security. To begin, you need security within your own company to preserve your data from corruption, whether from server or technological malfunction, natural disaster, or employee error. Your IT service provider pros will help you construct a disaster recovery plan. This is essential because losing client information may have critical consequences to your business and its integrity, not to mention potentially breaching privacy regulations. There are several ways in which your IT team can back up your data, such as routinely doing so every night to servers located on remote sites. This means that if your office suddenly blew up tomorrow, you’d still be able to retrieve your software, your working infrastructure, and all other information recorded. You can avoid catastrophe. Should disaster strike, you can quickly get on your feet again without losing valuable customer trust.
Additionally, you must protect your company and its information from hackers and external vicious malware. In this digital age, cybercrime is rampant. Without implementing proper preventative measures, you’re asking for trouble and significant profit loss. While big news about cybercrime often highlights hacking of big companies, small companies are just as much at risk – if not more so – considering that they often don’t take as many precautions.
Your IT service provider will make sure that only those who are supposed to have access to your business’ digital system (and the trove of information within) can do so. For example, they’ll manage your firewall and install virus detection software and malware detection. They’ll stay on top of safety with daily checks and monthly reports which assess how guarded your data is. Hackers are constantly evolving and developing new ways of infiltration. Your IT team will be aware of these and how to protect you against them.
Even though you’re a small company now, you always want to think bigger: plan for the future, and plan for upscaling! Your IT service provider will consult with your team to help you strategize properly. For instance, if you’re setting up a network or want to change an already-existing set-up, your provider will help you develop an infrastructure that can grow as your business does. If you’re not sure about what kinds of software to invest in, or what size or quality servers you need, they’ll be able to advise you. Their advice will consider the ways your business may change in the near future. This type of planning and strategizing will further add to the other benefits, like saving time and money, and protecting your data.
Time to outsource?
According to a June 2019 survey conducted by Clutch which assessed the use of outsourcing services by small businesses, companies most commonly outsource IT services. In fact, 37% of small businesses outsourced IT services and found that the highly technical skills and knowledge provided to them by an external company were well worth it. It’s incredibly important for small businesses to use the help of true IT professionals.