There has been a lot of coverage lately on Information Technology (IT) topics when it comes to productivity, shutdowns, security, cost, and more. Given the fast-paced world we live in, it is becoming more and more difficult for businesses to avoid costly service interruptions that often wreak havoc with their business operations.
If you are business owner that is concerned that you have outgrown your current IT solution, you may be considering handing the keys for your managed IT support services to an outside firm. On the surface, it sounds like a good idea, but you have concerns about how such a change might impact your business.
Well, it may be time to eliminate the concerns that come from outsourcing your IT support services and look at how that change can benefit your company.
Our new in-depth article, "The Real Costs Of IT," takes a look at a cost comparison of hiring different services and the cost of downtime has on your bottom line.
Let's look at some common fears and what to look for in a qualified service provider.
Outsourcing Is Too Expensive
You’re the captain of the ship, and increasing your expenses does not sound appealing. By outsourcing the service, you fear that there will be additional costs and you are worried about being nickeled and dimed to death.
But have you really considered the alternative – hiring internal staff?
There can be MANY hidden costs from having an on-site IT person or department. There are the upfront costs such as salary, benefits, payroll taxes, vacations and sick days.
While these are obvious expenses, there are costs you may not aware of. What does your IT staff do when there are no tasks for them to handle? Is there enough work to keep them busy? Downtime can be costing you money.
Is their knowledge up-to-date and relevant? Technology changes in the blink of an eye. Do you have a budget to keep up with training? How much will it cost to keep them current?
When comparing the cost of outside IT support services with in-house staff, these additional expenses MUST be considered to get an apple to apple comparison.
A reputable IT Managed Services firm will package their services on a per user model so that you have a consistent and predictable monthly expenditure. This allows you to eliminate the payroll headaches and put the burden on your service provider for training and staying current with technology changes.
This leaves you with more funds to focus on your core business processes.
Hiring an Outside Vendor Is Too Risky
There are some significant security risks with information technology, and you may worry that bringing in a new company to handle your sensitive information could open the door to unscrupulous data thieves. It's commonplace to believe that there is less risk with hiring employees.
What you may not realize is that the risk of theft by your employees may be higher. In fact, your trusted employees could pose a greater risk to your important data!
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce found that 75 percent of workers have admitted to stealing from their employer at least one time, while 38 percent raise that number to at least twice.
You may think that's all about property or money, but it can also involve data and intellectual property. Research by Biscom found that 85 percent of employees admitted to taking documents and information they created and 30 percent admitted that they took documents and information that they didn’t create.
IT support companies LIVE and DIE off their reputations, so compromising your data isn’t an option.
DOWNLOAD A COPY OF “THE TOP 10 CHALLENGES OF HIRING AN INTERNAL IT STAFF”
IT Support Services Will Lead to More Downtime
There are few things worse than your employees being unable to work while on the clock. Whether it’s a faulty printer or a network connection issue, nothing eats away at employee productivity like IT issues.
A common fear is that the transition to a new vendor will cause a disruption to your current operations.
Changing over to a new IT support service company doesn’t have to mean that your employees’ productivity will go down or that there will be more downtime when employees are unable to access the system.
A good IT company will have a specific plan to minimize the effect of the transition on your staff and will be proactive in ensuring that your downtime is minimized by being ready for any issues that could happen down the road.
A New Vendor Will Lead to An Increase in IT Investment
This one is true, a change of vendors will MOST LIKELY lead to the need to invest in new hardware, software and security.
If you are currently having issues with your current system, there is a good chance that change is in order.
Your new vendor should offer a high-level evaluation of your internal systems. They should be able to assess what is working, what is disrupting, and prioritize what needs to be changed to keep your business running efficiently.
Most often this requires a mind shift from looking at IT as an expense, to viewing IT as a long-term investment providing an ROI to the bottom line.
The need to upgrade and invest in new technology is something that will happen to your company whether you hire internal staff or outsource with an IT managed services company.
Finding a vendor that operates like a business partner, rather than simply a service provider is the key to ensure that you are managing these investments effectively over time.
Top Qualities to Look for In Eliminating These Fears
To overcome these fears, we must look at the benefits of hiring a qualified IT Managed Services company. There are a few qualities you should look for in evaluating the IT support services team you hire.
A reputable firm should provide:
- Documented transition processes
- Flat-rate pricing
- Help Desk
- 24/7 support
- Monthly visits from engineers
- Proactive IT managed services
By having a well-documented transition process, expectations will be communicated and systems work can be scheduled when employees are not present, reducing employee downtime.
Flat-rate pricing takes the guesswork out of projecting your monthly IT spend, and helps with cash flow management.
Monthly visits from engineers, 24/7 support, and a help desk will contribute to eliminating your fears of a nameless, faceless entity that you’re entrusting with your most sensitive data, by letting you meet the people that will work with your company.
Proactive IT managed services means that rather than simply being a break/fix service provider, you will eliminate the cycle by making strategic IT investments rather than shooting from the hip.
This may save significant money in the long run when investment and employee productivity costs are considered.
If you are in the investigation process, we suggest that you download a copy of “How To Transition To A New IT Company Effectively,” to see if it might be the right time to hand over the keys to your kingdom!!