Is technology taking up too much of your work day? Has your business decided it is time to get help? Well, you have two choices. Either hire your own team to work in house or look to outsource to an IT support company.
Hiring your own IT staff will mean you’d have a face-to-face relationship with your IT support. That would give you immediate access to your support team. Hiring fully qualified and highly trained IT engineers is also very costly. the salary range of an in-house employee will often start at above $70,000 annually. The other downside to this approach is that your organization is dependent on ONE person that cant be expected to work 24/7/365!
The second option is outsourcing your IT support. Straight away the headache and hassle of hiring a highly skilled IT professional is taken away. By outsourcing IT, you are in effect hiring a team of certified IT experts. This may also surprise you but for most businesses it will also be cheaper to outsource IT rather than employ their own IT staff.
Here are 5 more points about business IT support you will want to know.
There are two types of relationships in our business
If you search for IT support companies, there are really two types of IT support you will find. The first is a simple break/fix approach, where if you have a problem they will come and fix it for you. Its based on an hourly rate plus parts, just like hiring a plumber. This approach may work for a few businesses, it can often be more costly in the long term.
The second approach is a managed services provider (MSP). Here you will get a proactive, drama free approach that support your business very much like having a full IT department in house. You get vCIO advise on projects and initiatives, a Network Admin for advanced support and account management and a Service Desk available to handle any questions or issues that can occur. With this approach, there is a plan that produces very predictable posotive results. This will come with an inclusive pricing model that has a fixed monthly cost which makes it much simpler to budget for.
Some have coined this different approach the aspirin versus vitamin approach. We have another blog post that gives more details on the differences between the two here.
Every business has different IT support requirements
For a business IT needs are rarely static. As a business evolves and grows so does their IT needs. A business owner should be clear on the what results they are looking to achieve when outsourcing IT but there will be areas they may not be aware can be problems.
You can outsource specific activities such as setting up computers and networks, or keeping IT up and running at all times. But also, be aware of larger consequences like addressing data backup or IT security. With viruses and ransomware effecting more and more businesses it’s smart to have someone you can call to fix those problems.
When selecting a level of support always consider how much money your business can lose for each hour of down time.
Don’t bargain shop for business IT support
IT industry trade association CompTIA’s Fifth Annual Trends in Managed Services study shows that businesses are continuing to turn to MSPs to handle elements of their IT needs. There is now more choice for a business looking for business IT support so lower price offerings can be found. The study’s author Carolyn April says businesses should resist the urge to bargain shop.
“Look for MSPs that understand your business and that speak less about the technology.” She says. “You want a partner that can talk about business outcomes and how their services are going to help further your goals from a business perspective.”
Look for a partner
If you already have internal IT, IT Support can work as a compliment to that existing resource. In the same report April says, “Very few of these companies get rid of their IT staffs just because they join up with an MSP.”
Bringing on a MSP can free up existing IT staff to focus on more strategic projects that can help a business grow or become more productive. On the flip side an MSP can help increase the expertise of an internal IT asset.
The CompTIA study also shows that whilst cost saving used to be a primary reason for outsourcing business IT Support, customers are now looking for extra benefits like generating revenue and helping the company become more efficient. By looking at an MSP as a partner a business can better work towards these goals.
Business IT support lets you focus on your business
Outsourcing IT to a Managed Service Provider will free up time within your teams, allowing them to focus on what they do best for your business. Because technology now plays such a large part of running a business, fixing IT problems can take up a serious amount of time. For a business, that time would be much better used for achieving business goals, not fixing a network error, for example.
Many of our customers find peace of mind as the biggest benefit of outsourcing IT support. The stress and time wasted on IT is instead put back into the business.
IT plays an important role for any business. Looking after that IT and making the most of it can help a business become more productive. There are many options a business can take but outsourcing business IT support to an MSP offers many benefits.