IT outsourcing isn’t the unknown quantity it’s been in the past, but there remains the question, how or why would it fit into my organisation? Last year the global business process outsourcing market size was valued at AU $338.2 billion, with an expected annual growth of 8%. As you’d expect, the services, options, combinations and configurations of what IT outsourcing could look like can be daunting, however, it doesn’t have to be.
In house or outsource?
Depending on the size of and complexity of your organization, you might ask, do I need to outsource something like IT? For the SMB sector, many operators would consider their IT needs to be elementary which they can handle themselves or by employing a dedicated IT manager. You may also think your operational needs don’t stack up with the additional cost of outsourcing or the level of support required wouldn’t be on offer.
The truth is IT outsourcing can look however you like. Whatever your needs are, they can be met. With the growth of the outsourcing trend, there’s a lot of choice, driving providers to be competitive. So, the cost may also be surprising. With the median salary of an in house IT manager over $100,000 per year, this could be out of reach of most small operations, outsourced IT solutions could be the in between you didn’t know you needed.
Why do I need IT Support?
You might ask, why is it necessary when I can handle my current IT requirements? For a small operation, is it just another cost? There are considerations you may not have made:
Focus on what you do best – Your resources are limited. Can your time be better spent? Outsourced IT in any capacity will give you more opportunity to grow what’s at the core of your business.
Do you (really) know what you’re doing? – Initial set up of your IT process and systems could be as simple as registering a Gmail account and utilizing G Suite. But how does that scale up with growth of your business? Do you have the time and capacity to train and support your employees in the IT space? Do you understand IT security and what it means to be vulnerable? In truth, IT is complex, even at the entry level. Your business can really benefit from any level of support.
If it's broken, how do you fix it? – Being reactive to an IT issue or crisis can be costly in both downtime to your business in addition to the cost of having external technicians or experts to help. IT support can enable your systems and processes to be monitored and kept up to date. IT specialists be it in house or outsourced can anticipate and mitigate problems as well as being nimble and dynamic in a crisis.
What’s on offer? - Moore’s Law which was outlined in the early 70s is essentially an observation on the growth of computing power. Simply put, the law suggests that the doubling of the capacity of processors will occur in frequent increments. As you could expect, with this rate of growth, the opportunities IT and its underpinned technology can offer business grows at a staggering rate. Keeping track of both the openings and pitfalls can be challenging for small business owners. Most would be aware of general IT functions such as IT help desk and IT infrastructure, however, in 2020 there’s so much more to this picture.
With outsourced IT support, your business can unlock a wealth of services and processes that may have either been out of scope or totally off your radar. Whilst cost savings may be the first thing you think of, it’s certainly not the only or even the best reason to consider outsourcing.
Using what you have – It’s possible you’re not using your current systems to their full potential. Proprietary software can have many options that may not be apparent with your specific daily tasks. Additional training offered by developers can also be expensive. An expert can either work as a consultant to help identify inefficiency in your current practices or apply a new process ongoing.
Migrations – Why did you start using a specific system or platform? The reasons can be as numerous as what’s available. There’s always a different way to do things, working out if you’re using the best approach is part of the challenge, deciding to change is another. Without an expert understanding of one system to the next, a migration could seem impossible and not even worth your time. However, defining the need, writing a plan and putting into action can offer many possibilities and as well as new scope for your business.
What’s a firewall? – You might not think your business is a worthwhile target for cyber attackers, however studies have shown more than a third of cybercrime is aimed at small business. Whilst security in your IT systems should be paramount, many SMBs are either not equipped or lack the understanding to be secure.
Keep your head in the Cloud - Cloud computing and data centers keep your data in a central location which offers ease of access regardless of your or your client’s location. This can also enable an additional layer of encryption which may not be possible with your current systems.
Automation and AI – Not as complicated as you might expect! Chat bots are the norm for larger service providers through their social and customer touch points, recent improvements in conversational AI makes this technology accessible in many different forms and price points. Automation could also help with simple high volume tasks freeing up more time to focus back to your core.
If you build it, they will come – An app for a customer touch point can add value to your business in ways you hadn’t considered. It can simplify transactional interactions with clients as well as value add in lots of ways. This could be as simple as notifications about special offers to your captive audience, or as involved as entirely changing the way you do business. Apps also offer the opportunity for valuable customer data insights and metrics to help grow your business in a meaningful way.
Speak with a knowledgeable IT professional to understand how outsourcing can work for you
If you’re ready to start focusing on your core business, talk to us at SBA to help you make the space to concentrate on the strategic goals of your organization.