5 Reasons for a Small Business to Outsource IT
There is a mentality in the business world that every company should be self-encapsulated, with a department and separate staff for every logistical need. A team of accountants to manage your books, a team of marketers to manage your campaigns, and of course a team of IT professionals to keep your company computers and network humming. But as a small business, you know better. Small business is all about remaining sleek and streamlined, investing only in what you need so that there is more revenue to dedicate to growth and improvement.
The key is knowing when it’s right to outsource IT and when it’s right to hire an in-house team member. And the determiner is always how much day-to-day and total monthly work there is to be done. Just as you know whether you can mostly handle your own bookkeeping or need an in-house CFO, deciding to outsource your business IT needs is a similar decision. Let’s look at five reasons why it might be right for your small business to outsource to a skilled IT services team.
1) You Don’t Need Full-Time IT Support
The biggest deciding factor will always be how much time your IT needs actually require in a given day, week, or month. If your small business develops software or provides complex networked services for your clients, you probably already have an in-house IT professional or your entire team is comprised of IT-capable employees. But companies like this probably aren’t reading this article.
However, many small businesses run a local venue and/or maintain a functional website that does not need constant IT support. You simply don’t generate enough technical work to keep a full-time or even part-time technician busy. Despite your need for occasional infrastructure set-up, upgrades, and problem solving, it would be irresponsible to hire an IT technician onto the staff because they will be bored and their paid hours would mostly be wasted.
2) But When You Do, You Want a Team of IT Experts
That said, when you do need IT support, you really do not want to rely on the dubious self-proclaimed skills of an employee’s tech-savvy teenage son. All too often, small businesses facing the occasional IT need try to make do with whoever is available that claims to have technical skills. While many people in today’s computer-driven world can do a little basic troubleshooting, you are aware of the follies of opening your secure business technical infrastructure to an amateur or un-insured freelancer. If you much prefer to work with real professionals who can offer a business-grade guarantee of their work and a track record of well-managed systems behind them.
Contracting with an outsource IT agency gives you the best of both worlds. When you need support, there is an entire enterprise-sized “department” of experts who are familiar with your business, tech infrastructure, and needs. You can rely on them because they have an excellent business reputation and the protection of business insurance behind their expert services. But at the same time, you don’t have to worry about keeping them occupied and salaried when everything is business-as-usual.
3) IT Employees Are Expensive to Hire and Keep
Many business owners like the idea of having an employee for every potential need. It’s nice to have a CFO on staff to keep a close eye on finances, a logistics manager to handle inventory and transport, and someone certified in first-aid in case of on-site injuries. Of course, some professionals are more costly and difficult to keep around than others. Similar to highly skilled financial professionals, IT experts tend to pull higher salaries and there is currently some serious competition among larger enterprises with IT departments to hire all of the available technicians and admins.
This means that actually keeping even one IT tech on staff is going to be more costly than almost all of your other employees. Not to mention the risk of getting ‘poached’ when a better offer of more interesting work and higher pay comes along. Until you’re ready to pay a competitive salary and have a lot of engaging IT work to do, it is far more practical to outsource.
When it comes to making streamlined business decisions, no one does it better than a well-managed small business. Hiring the right people at the right time is vital to the growth and success of your business and your IT needs are no exception. Join us next time for the second half of this two-part article where we’ll talk about how your team’s own capable use of business software and the simple dynamic of supply and demand make outsourcing IT the perfect small business solution.