You’d probably think that an owner of a successful IT support company would be firmly made up on this business-critical decision – outsourcing must be the way to go, right?
Actually, what is most important of all, is that individual business owners make the right decision for them, one that takes account of their unique needs and circumstances, their size and the market they’re in, and the expectations of their customers.
For some SMEs, having an IT person in the building is very reassuring. They’re on tap, they know the business, its systems and users inside out, they know the pressure points and they’re often dedicated and knowledgeable all-rounders.
For other businesses though, the advantages of outsourcing are much more appealing. The benefits that carry most weight during these discussions are:
Cost – a good IT engineer will cost at least £28k a year plus all the usual additional employee-related costs, while a comprehensive outsourced support package covering the needs of, say, 50 users, with back-up and security, will typically cost less than half of that. And the supplier will invest in the latest technology and expert, trained staff, meaning you don’t have to.
Expertise – a good IT engineer may be an allrounder, but a single person can’t be an expert at everything whereas a specialist IT service provider will employ a number of staff with the full range of skill sets required.
Availability – an outsourced supplier will always have staff on hand during the contracted hours, while an employee may not be available outside core hours, may leave at short notice and will get sick occasionally. And what happens when your system goes down while they are on holiday?
Consistency – through service level agreements, businesses can select the level of support that’s best for them, with defined standards and predictable costs.
Simplicity – with a single contract and a single supplier taking overall responsibility for IT; people management requirements are reduced.
Advice – An outsourced supplier will have experienced senior management that can provide independent, best practice guidance on how IT can make a positive contribution to a business. In-house engineers rarely possess the necessary business acumen along with technical knowledge to be able to do this effectively.
Continuity – a good supplier will quickly acquire a detailed understanding of your business requirements, demonstrate expertise and commitment, and become an integral part of the in-house team, albeit operating remotely, acquiring trusted partner status.
And let’s not forget that for some larger businesses, a combination of an in-house IT manager and an outsourced IT company can be a real benefit. In this instance, an IT company would ensure the smooth running of the day-to-day IT management and the IT manager would dedicate their time to getting maximum benefit from enterprise systems.
Even when an SME is convinced that outsourcing is the route for them, it is important to stress the need to find the right partner, one that’s the right fit for them. When recruiting it’s important to ask lots of questions and be clear about your expectations. Talk about your business requirements rather than your tech requirements – your tech is simply an enabler.
At The PC Support Group, we are so convinced of the importance of this that we devised a simple guide with 20 key questions to help you choose the right IT support provider for you. Please download your FREE copy here.
If you’d like to outsource your IT support just speak to our sales team at The PC Support Group on 03300 886 116 or leave us a message here or email us on [email protected] for an informal and confidential chat.