There are a lot of advantages for small businesses who decide to outsource to IT companies, says Joshua Cadman, Managing Director at Techspire Solutions.
A small business, especially in a start-up situation, has to focus. Outsourcing your IT services allows you to bring all your attention on enhancing customer service, increasing sales, improving quality, or innovating. These are some of the greatest things that determine a small business’ survival, giving you the ability to focus on your growth.
Cybercrime and securing data is one of the most challenging aspects for businesses today – especially after businesses have had to adapt to remote working. Defending yourself against an attack needs expert skills.
With regular technological developments, training your staff regularly can become a timely resource in your business – again, taking time away from your core business. An outsourced business can keep your systems up to date, but also train your staff when needed, notes Cadman.
Handling rare IT problems can cause a lot of issues when you are not an expert in that area. An outsourced team has a diverse range of skills, experience, and knowledge. With many IT faults, an outsourced team has access to that experience.
IT might not be your core business in the digital age. Having IT faults can cause loss of service or sales, which is a common occurrence in small businesses. If you do not properly plan for an outage, you will not be able to put in proper arrangements to reduce the risk of failure either.
Maintaining an IT team in your small business, is a human resource challenge. Recruiting staff requires technical knowledge that you may not have. Outsourcing your IT management, overcomes the HR challenge.
Finally, with competitors being eager to get the latest technology and win at an advantage by doing so, an IT services business can give you access to these developments so you can keep up – which is vital for your small business to stay on top of your competitors.
Here’s how to effectively get this done:
Jenna Carson, Marketing Director at Music Grotto
A lot of small businesses don’t think about outsourcing their managed IT until something goes wrong – like a collapse of a server, or if the one person in your team who knows about IT leaves. Unfortunately, we were one of these small businesses. My tip to anyone is to outsource your IT management as early as possible in your business’ life.
Once you’re thinking about outsourcing, the next best thing you can do is to plan for every outcome and have a robust comms plan. After all – if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Once you have a plan, work with the management IT company and communicate everything that you need properly. If you’re both on the same page, the partnership should be great!
Determine and Stick to the Metrics
Mark Veldhoff, Owner/CEO of Envizion IT
If a small business had an internal team they would create an accountability structure with key metrics that the IT team was managing. The accountability structure should be no different if you outsource. The plan or scorecard should not only cover costs but the metrics that are important to your organization, which your IT partner should be improving.
Do Your Due Diligence
Stephen Bedosky CPCU RPLU, Vice President at York International Agency, LLC
One of the key problems we see is that clients abdicate technology instead of being collaborative with their IT teams. Executives only want to know enough to justify the cost, and don’t have a great handle on the structure of their program.
We recommend doing your due diligence by asking the following:
- What experience does this managed service provider (MSP) have with my industry?
- How are they staffed?
- Do they have the appropriate insurance?
- How do they vet the vendors that they recommend?
- Am I clear about services in the contract?
- Is this set up/implementation or is this company providing ongoing service?
- What is an acceptable response time to an issue?
- What does the MSP recommend and in what time frame would this be implemented?
- How does the company respond when something goes wrong?
- How many times have they dealt with a client who’s had ransomware?
- What can we expect if we run into an issue?
Think About Customer Support
Matt Satell, CEO of Prime Mailboxes
In our case, one very important criterion for us when selecting an IT Management company is its customer support. Having them assure us of 24/7 customer service was very critical when we made a decision to hire our partner because most of them (especially those outsourced abroad) tend to leave their clients once they deliver the final product, not considering that some bugs may come up along the way. It’s important that they consider customer satisfaction as a top priority.