You’re probably thinking that, as an owner of a successful IT support company, my mind must be firmly made up on this business-critical decision – outsourcing must be the way to go, right?
Actually, what I think is most important of all, is that individual business owners make the right decision for them, one that takes account of their unique needs and circumstances, their size and the market they’re in, and the expectations of their customers.
For some SMEs that I talk to, having an IT person in the building is very reassuring. They’re on tap, they know the business, its systems and users inside out, they know the pressure points and they’re often dedicated and knowledgeable all-rounders. Even after we’ve discussed all the pros and cons of both approaches, staying in-house can be the conclusion, a decision I always respect.
For other businesses though, the advantages of outsourcing are much more appealing. The benefits that I find carry most weight during these discussions are:
- Cost – a good IT Manager will cost between £28-40k a year plus all employment and training costs, while a comprehensive support package covering the needs of, say, 50 users, with back-up and security, will typically cost less than half of that. And the supplier will invest in the latest technology and expert, trained staff, meaning you don’t have to.
- Expertise – an IT Manager may be a good allrounder, but a specialist supplier is focussed exclusively on IT, recruiting the full range of skill sets required.
- Availability – an outsourced supplier can be on hand 24/7/365, while an employee may not be available outside core hours, may leave at short notice, will get sick occasionally and need cover during holidays.
- Consistency – through service level agreements, businesses can select the level of support that’s best for them, with defined standards and predictable costs.
- Simplicity – with a single contract and a single supplier taking overall responsibility for IT; people management requirements are reduced.
- Advice – receive independent, best-practice guidance on how to deliver IT that’s a tool not a burden.
- Continuity – a good supplier will quickly acquire a detailed understanding of your business requirements, demonstrate expertise and commitment, and become an integral part of the in-house team, albeit operating remotely, acquiring trusted partner status.
Even when I’m talking to an SME that’s convinced that outsourcing is the route for them, I always stress the need to find the right partner, one that’s the right fit for them. When recruiting it’s important to ask lots of questions and be clear about your expectations. Talk about your business requirements rather than your tech requirements – your tech is simply an enabler.
I’m so convinced of the importance of this that we devised a simple guide with 20 key questions to help you choose the right IT support provider for you. Please feel free to download this here.
If you’d like a chat with our sales team here at The PC Support Group about outsourcing your IT support, you can contact them on 03300 886116 or email them on firstname.lastname@example.org for an informal and confidential chat.
Managing Director, The PC Support Group