Outsourcing IT tasks has gained a lot of popularity for small-to-medium sized businesses in recent years. But how safe is it?
We are going to dedicate this Tech Alert piece to myth busting all the “unsafe” rumors you’ve heard and really give IT to you straight.
Are There Risks?
Life is a gamble; there is risk involved in everything that you do. Choosing to outsource some or all of your IT to a third party comes with risks and rewards, as does having an on-staff IT department. Which is right for you depends on your specific budget, risk tolerance, operations, and the managed IT services provider that you choose to partner with.
The number of risks with internal IT departments outweigh those of outsourced vendors. Assuming you’re working with a good one.
Risks Mitigated by Outsourcing Your IT Department:
- Not reliant on just one or two people – IT firms have experts in a variety of industries and technologies. They can solve anything that comes their way.
- You won’t be held hostage – We’ve seen situations like this happen too many times. One person holds the figurative “keys to the kingdom.” An outsourced team relies on having thorough documentation. And they will provide it to you any time you ask.
- Ability to plan technology on a strategic level – Many times, the technical folks aren’t the business people. Sometimes their minds are limited by what they can do versus what the business needs. The right IT partner brings in external experts when necessary so the business can accomplish its goals.
- No sick or vacation time – You and your team can get support any time, without the risk of burning out your IT guy. With a team behind you, there is always someone available.
- Risk of turnover without replacement – If you’re internal IT person leaves, it can be a major disruption. If one person leaves your external IT provider, they have many more people on staff who are familiar with your network.
- More easily in compliance – There are many industries with strict guidelines about data security and handling. For smaller internal IT departments, it’s difficult to stay compliant while dealing with the issues of the day. Outsourced providers have teams of people who can maintain things and support users simultaneously.
This is not to say that internal IT departments aren’t right for some companies. Many companies choose to have a hybrid situation, where some tasks are outsourced and some are done in-house. This helps to mitigate the risk on both sides. On one hand, your IT department has a team of experts to back them up if they are stuck. On the other, business owners can also sleep comfortably knowing they have internal control and multiple people who know their system.
What Makes It More Efficient?
Moving past the risk, let’s dig into the fun part. To quote Aladdin, “It’s a whole new world for you and me your company.” -- Things, like upgrading your infrastructure and protecting your data, are now done with a team of experts.
The worst thing that can happen to a small business is a data breach or loss. According to Axial Forum, cyber-attacks put 60% of small companies out of business. That sounds way scarier than a team of experts having your back! Your outsourced IT team will manage and maintain your network’s security, significantly reducing threats to your company.
Your outsourced IT provider can also help you align your future technology purchases with the direction your business and industry are going. Small businesses need to stay ahead of the curve to compete with larger companies. Consider this your “inside information” to hitting the mega millions. Your IT team will help you pick modern tools and programs to keep your business running smoothly.
There is so much more that an outsourced IT team can do for you. Are there risks? Sure. But there are also many ways to avoid those risks, and the benefits outweigh the fear. Keep in mind: you don’t have to worry about language, time zone or cultural barriers. There are some great IT companies owned and operated right here in the Greater Los Angeles area.
Related: Tech Alert: Data Migration Avoid These Problems
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