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Why Outsource IT Support? A Guide to Making the Right Decision

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Jun 02, 2024
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Outsource IT support services

As high as 93% of businesses today have some form of digital initiative in place to help run their day to day affairs. From sales and marketing to customer service, tech keeps things running smoothly. But what happens when it goes rogue? 

An in-house IT team can be great at handling these moments, but for many businesses, it’s simply not an option. This is where outsourcing IT support comes in. It’s a massive market (valued at USD$500 billion) for a reason: it offers powerful solutions that can benefit your company. 

But how exactly, you may wonder?

Benefits of Outsourced IT Support

Benefits of outsourced IT support

Here are a few advantages:

Cost Savings

Building and maintaining an in-house IT team can demand a pound of flesh. You’ll need to pay salaries, benefits, and keep your staff up-to-date with the latest tech (training can be expensive!). For perspective, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated the median IT worker salary at around USD$104,420 a year in May 2023. 

When you outsource, you tap into a team of IT professionals for a predictable monthly fee that you’ve agreed upon. This eliminates the burden of managing payroll, benefits, and unexpected expenses like equipment upgrades.

Access to Specialized Skills

Think about this: you’re about to venture in a new business direction. For the stars to align, you need experts well-versed in cybersecurity, network management, cloud computing, or specialized software. 

Building an in-house team with such a diverse skill set can be expensive and impractical. However, outsourcing to partners like timewade.com or others you’re comfortable working with gives you access to a wider range of IT specialists. 

This ensures you have the exact expertise you need, whenever you need it.

Scalability and Flexibility

Outsourcing allows you to easily scale your IT support up or down based on current business demands. This eliminates the challenge of hiring and managing additional IT staff during periods of growth or potentially having to lay off staff during slower times.

Increased Focus on Core Business

Managing IT infrastructure can be a significant time commitment for you and your team. Outsourcing IT support frees up your internal team to focus on core business activities that drive revenue and growth

Disadvantages of Outsourcing IT Support

While outsourcing IT support offers numerous advantages, it also comes with potential drawbacks. Here’s a breakdown of some key considerations:

Security Concerns

Sharing your company’s data with a third-party vendor can be a concern. Here’s how to handle potential security risks:

Choose a Reputable Provider

Thoroughly research potential vendors to ensure they have a proven track record in data security. Look for certifications like SOC 2, which demonstrates their commitment to secure data handling practices.

Clearly Define Data Access

Establish a clear Service Level Agreement (SLA) outlining the specific data your provider needs to access and the security protocols they must follow.

Maintain Internal Controls

Don’t outsource all your IT security needs. Maintain internal controls such as user access management and data encryption to add an extra layer of protection.

Loss of Control

By outsourcing IT support, you relinquish some control over your IT infrastructure. Here’s how to manage this effectively:

Clearly Defined Roles and Responsibilities

Develop a detailed SLA that outlines the specific services your provider will deliver and your responsibilities as a client.

Regular Communication and Reporting

Schedule regular meetings with your provider to discuss performance, identify potential issues, and ensure they understand your business needs.

Maintain Internal IT Oversight

Have a designated point person within your company to manage the relationship and monitor the provider’s performance.

Vendor Dependence

Over-reliance on a single vendor can create challenges if the partnership dissolves. Here’s how to manage this risk:

Vet Multiple Outsourced IT Solution Providers

Don’t settle for the first option. Get quotes and compare services from several qualified vendors before making a decision.

Consider Contract Terms

Negotiate an SLA with a clear termination clause outlining the process for switching service providers, if necessary.

Maintain Internal IT Knowledge

While outsourcing routine tasks, it’s wise for your internal team to maintain a basic understanding of your IT systems to ensure a smooth transition if needed.

Making the Right Decision

Now that you understand the advantages and disadvantages of outsourced IT services, it’s time to decide if it’s the right move for your business. Here’s a roadmap to guide you:

Assess Your Needs

The first step is to gain a clear picture of your current IT landscape and future requirements. Consider the following:

  • Current IT infrastructure: What hardware and software do you use? Do you have an in-house IT person or team? What are their skillsets?
  • IT challenges: What are your ongoing IT pain points? Are you struggling with security, network performance, or software updates?
  • Future IT needs: Do you anticipate any significant changes in your IT needs as your business grows? 
  • Budget: How much can you realistically afford to allocate towards IT support?

Taking inventory of your current state and future goals will leave you better equipped to determine if outsourcing aligns with your business needs and budget.

Research Potential Providers

Look for providers with the following qualities:

  • Experience: Choose a provider with a proven track record in supporting businesses similar to yours in size and industry.
  • Certifications: Look for certifications that demonstrate their expertise and commitment to best practices, such as CompTIA Managed Service Provider (MSP) or industry-specific certifications.
  • Service Offerings: Verify they offer the specific services you require, such as network management, cybersecurity solutions, or helpdesk support.

Taking the time to research and compare providers will ensure you find a partner that can effectively meet your specific needs and offer the best value for your investment.

Develop a Service Level Agreement (SLA)

Your SLA outlines the expectations for both you and your IT outsourcing provider. It should clearly define the following:

  • Services provided: A detailed list of the specific IT support services the provider will deliver.
  • Service levels: Define performance metrics and response times for each service. For example, how quickly will they respond to critical IT issues?
  • Security protocols: Reiterate the security measures the provider will take to protect your data.
  • Reporting and escalation procedures: Outline how the provider will report on service performance and how issues will be escalated if necessary.
  • Termination clause: Define the process for terminating the agreement should you decide to switch providers.

A well-defined SLA ensures clear expectations and accountability, fostering a successful and long-term partnership with your IT outsourcing provider.

In Closing

Outsourcing IT support can bring massive benefits to your business. But to make it work, you’ve got to know what exactly you want for your business and go for a support team that can deliver just that. Getting this right might help you reap the business benefits of IT systems that are always running at their best.

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I am the admin of BR Softech PVT LTD - an Award-winning Mobile game development company. My thesis is to work with hard-bit and get the best Exposure. I have driven by the spirit of entrepreneurship and dream to build a billion-dollar-company.

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