It was reported that 52% of SMBs planned to outsource some portion of IT in 2019. This makes many businesses strongly consider shifting to an outsourced IT infrastructure to remain competitively viable. Still, it’s wise to seek consultation first to be sure this is the right move for your business.
The truth is, for most businesses outsourcing IT services can be done in an effective and balanced way which ultimately conserves resources and expands productivity. This is one reason why more than 50% of SMBs are currently pursuing some form of outsourced IT: it works.
While outsourced tech solutions may not be best for all businesses, the majority will have some operation benefiting from this sort of operational infrastructure. If nothing else, outsourcing IT services allows internal tech people to focus on core operational prerogatives over playing catch-up managing hardware or software.
Outsourcing IT Services Unshackles Management Personnel
There are quite a few different areas of technology that can be outsourced. Consider this: cloud computing makes it possible for you to essentially “float” your network over the cloud. You can use public, private, or hybrid cloud infrastructure; whichever best fits your operation. In a nutshell, you just digitally “outsourced” the network of your business. Many MSPs provide cloud options like this, and can manage them for you to expedite the process.
Whether your business is large or small, using the cloud is likely going to save you money. But you don’t necessarily have to use it. It’s still necessary for many businesses to retain on-site hardware, such as a server array. However, hiring an internal tech team to manage that on-site hardware will be much more costly than working with an MSP. It’s going to be hard for you to find an effective technology professional who will work for you full-time under $90k. Meanwhile, the average annual cost of SMB outsourced tech is usually going to be less. Let’s run a brief analysis to give you an idea.
Some MSPs will charge $52 per desktop for monthly management. Say you’ve got 100. That’s $5,200 a month. Say you’ve got ten servers, and your MSP charges around $220 a month. That’s $2,200. Now you’re at $7,400 a month, or $88,800 a year. For a hundred employees, a hundred desktops, and ten servers, you’re paying less than one dedicated on-site IT employee. But for an SMB with that much infrastructure, you would probably need three or four IT people, minimum–which is three to four times that $88k+ estimate. Additionally, they probably won’t provide service quite as effectively as a business whose core prerogative is to provide clients reliable tech services.
Internal employees play catch-up so much, they’ll have difficulty keeping their skill-sets on the cutting edge. MSPs must do this to retain competitive viability. So for most large and small businesses, MSPs provide more value at less overall cost. Also, you need not liquidate on-site tech people if you switch to outsourced IT. When you reach a certain scale, you can expand outsourced IT services instead of hiring new personnel. This helps you maximize existing personnel assets while continuing cost-effective expansion. Leaving the majority of tech management to outsourced options frees up leadership and tech personnel to focus on key core-betterment strategies, such as:
- More Efficiently Developing Employees
- Taking Care Of Core Tools Or Equipment
- Innovating Core Products Or Services
- Refining Leadership Practices
More Efficiently Developing Employees
Outsourcing IT services keeps internal managers from playing catch-up all the time fighting tech issues. Even if you’ve got an internal tech team, they’re going to be better used focusing on enhancing operations over keeping the tech “engine” running.
Think of it as the difference between racing in the Indy 500 with a pit crew, or without a pit crew. Sure, you could hop out of the car and fix a flat yourself, but you’ll fall behind in the race. That pit crew helps you win.
With outsourced IT, you can focus on giving employees the tools they need to succeed. They’re your pit crew. Without them, you’re just doing it yourself; and no matter how skilled you are, you won’t be able to do the job justice. You’re better suited in the driver’s seat. In this analogy, the “driver” is the total business, the “car” is the IT that transports it, and the pit crew is outsourced tech management. As was alluded to earlier, employees can be costly. Personnel may be your largest and most important investment–that’s the driver in this analogy. If the personnel “driver” or your business “race car” is trying to fix the tires, how will they win the race? You need an outsourced pit crew.
Taking Care Of Core Tools Or Equipment
Not all operational tools are strictly of the information technology variety. While an IT team may apply Internet of Things (IoT) tech to a factory production floor, taking care of that particular equipment beyond IT areas isn’t their “wheelhouse”. On-site personnel will have to do that.
An SMB that prints novelty clothes will need to manage that equipment properly. A fleet of trucks will have their own mechanical issues; you don’t need one stopped by the side of the road because some digital dispatch software crashed and your internal team can’t get to it. Many examples like this exist, depending on the industry.
MSPs bridge the gap, often serving you more completely than an on-site team can. You use the on-site guys to better core operational strategies, and the outsourced team to manage your technology so it works properly, remains updated, and stays secure. The on-site guys don’t have to keep putting out fires, the outsourced guys do that for them.
Innovating Core Products Or Services
Many businesses don’t last longer than five years. Even more don’t make it past the decade mark. Innovation and expansion must continue for competitive effectiveness, shifting social trends, and expanded profit.
Incrementally, ineffective IT impedes your ability to innovate, and that’s going to work against you. Outsourcing IT services helps your business focus on what works and doesn’t with products and services you provide, rather than simply retaining the ability to provide them. Innovation can be fundamental to sustainable profitability over the long-run. Your on-site team can’t innovate if they’re fighting software and hardware issues all day.
Refining Leadership Practices
When you’ve got technology managed through an MSP, you can focus on honing operational leadership. Instead of developing a baseline procedure and treading water to keep that running, you can step back and look at the production “machine” you’ve built, find where it needs a little managerial “oil”, and where you can “upgrade” it. To abbreviate, you’ve expanded your margin for error, giving you the opportunity to pursue more different approaches with greater flexibility than you could before.
Many businesses go on to increase productivity and profit as a result of this flexibility. When management can be honed directly, instead of juggling internal tech issues, it becomes more effective. You should be focusing your management on refining products, services, and operational effectiveness; not playing catchup with IT teams because everything crashes on a monthly basis.
Optimal Tech Infrastructure
Outsourcing IT services can do a lot to help refine your business both directly in terms of tech refinement, and indirectly in terms of management enhancement. Leaders can focus on key areas of operations, rather than collateral issues. Consider outsourced IT as a means of refining management and optimizing operations at the same time.