Nick Richards and his team at Geeks.co.uk have spent the last 10 years developing a formula that provides unique IT solutions to SMEs. In this article for Small Business Advice Week, they discuss the pros and cons of using an outsourced managed IT services company.
IT has certainly brought about many benefits in the business world. However, IT systems are not infallible and it can be a challenge to keep them working effectively and efficiently.
This challenge is often even harder for SMEs. This is because many of these businesses do not have an in-house IT specialist and have to call someone in to help if they experience any problems. This is not ideal as expertise can take time to find and to bring in.
One of the best solutions to this problem is the use of Managed IT Support which is also often referred to as managed services. This enables business to have 24/7 IT support on hand should they need it.
All of this means that small businesses can focus on their product or service without having to worry about IT issues. If you're not sure your small business could benefit from using IT Managed Services, read on to find out how it can.
1. Keep IT costs under control
Outsourcing your IT services means that you only have to pay for what you use and you do not have to invest in ongoing purchase and maintenance of hardware and software.
2. Reduction in staffing costs
It's often expensive to find and hire the right IT staff for your business. Outsourcing means that you do not need to worry about this and that your HR team can concentrate their efforts elsewhere.
3. Use of experienced and qualified people
Outsourcing means that you have access to a group of experienced and certified IT professionals whenever you need them.
4. Experience you can trust
IT professionals who work for an outsourced provider tend to have a wider breadth of knowledge and experience. This is because they get to deal with a wide range of situations involving a diverse selection of businesses.
5. Improved efficiency in a competitive environment
If you want your business to be competitive and remain efficient, you need to keep up to date with the latest developments in IT. This can be expensive to do in-house but if you outsource you know that you will benefit from all the latest IT enhancements.
6. Use of technology for new projects
You do not want to have to delay new projects because you do not have the right IT expertise in place. This can happen if you deal with everything in-house, whereas outsourcing means you have a team of experts on hand right away.
7. Stay focused on your core business
IT issues can be a distraction. If your business has limited resources, it makes more sense to outsource your IT and leave you free to concentrate on other issues related to the running of the business. According to Geeks.co.uk, outsourcing IT partnership allows your business to drive this strategic IT investment without losing focus or control on core business plans.
8. Reduce risk
Risk is something that every business faces; the environment changes so quickly. Outsourcing IT companies put their vast industry experience to use monitoring the latest developments in areas such as security, enabling them to effectively manage risks for you.
9. Level the playing field
If you own a small business, you are unlikely to be able to match big companies in the IT stakes if you keep everything in-house. However, if you outsource, you get access to all the same hardware and software that the big companies use without having to make a huge upfront investment.
10. Compliance and Security
It can be difficult to keep on top of compliance regulations when it comes to the handling of sensitive client information such as card details. You need to make sure that regular data audits are carried out and that your firewall is kept up to date.
You also need to think about the software that you use and ensure that it complies with all guidelines. Outsourcing companies can do all of this for you, including the monitoring of software licenses. They know what is required to comply with guidelines and can keep track of when licenses are due to expire.
It's vital that you keep security protocols up to date, in order to keep data safe from cyber attacks and other threats. Outsourcing providers know which is the best form of security to use for your business, they also monitor your systems so that any threats can be detected and dealt with quickly and effectively, making sure your business stays running smoothly.