Your business cannot run if your technology which powers it isn’t working and when that happens you will look to tech support. However, tech support is often an afterthought and companies only think about it when problems arise. Tech support can be expensive to most companies and because of this outsourcing is naturally the way to go as it cuts down on expenses and still gives the business support when it needs it. So, outsourcing IT Services and support is a vital issue for a successful business.
All businesses that rely on tech to power their business should have some sort of tech support and whether it’s creating an in-house team or outsourcing like many businesses choose to do.
In this article, we will discuss exactly what you should look out for and some of the benefits and disadvantages of using an outsourced managed service provider.
Considerations of outsourcing IT services and support
If a small business where to hire the staff needed to look after all of the technical issues a company could come up against in house you could have 10+ staff needed to be hired which could cost upwards of $500k a year in salary alone which isn’t feasible to most.
A managed service provider on the other hand provides services based on the number of devices that you need protecting. Now I’m not saying managed service providers are cheap but they are cheaper than hiring an internal tech support team.
Tyler from Firewall Technical an IT Support company in Ottawa that provides managed IT services said: “Companies who build internal support teams often regret their choice when they see how much money was spent in the process and how much money is needed to upkeep the operation compared to hiring an MSP in the first place.”
Managed service providers often monitor a network to look out for problems before they arrive, this could be to save them from having to visit your location when things break but either way that’s good news for your business because this limits the companies downtime.
Hiring an internal tech support team that leaves the office the same time as other staff members means that if a problem arises when they are home it could put your entire system down overnight.
Ricky from Weeare an internet marketing company said that “Not having a team monitor your network and fix them as they arise could lead to huge problems, we have experienced this in the past and we now highly recommend using an external IT support company to keep your tech stack running as it should so you can get on with running your business.”
Easy to budget for
Using an external IT service company will mean that you will know your budget every month and know what is covered within that budget. If you don’t have an agreement in place you are open to being charged an unlimited amount next time you have a problem with your business if you were to call in help.
Having a service level agreement and knowing what’s covered can allow your business to budget for it as well as everything else your business needs every month. This way you won’t be shocked with any fees when problems do arise.
One thing to take into account, however, is what your service level agreement covers and you won’t always be covered for every problem that can arise. Problems from third-party providers, for example, are often not covered in basic agreements so it’s worth checking what you are signing up for and what is covered when hiring an IT support company.
Keeping the focus on your business
Nearly all businesses I talk to will have someone at the company that wears various hats and is responsible for different parts of the business. Usually, it’s the owner that’s responsible for business development, business strategy, client meetings and so on. If this person then has to deal with technical problems it can disrupt their entire operation and stop the business from growing.
Most businesses have no interest in how their software and hardware works just that it does and they can get on with their work. If this is the case with you and your business a managed IT service could be an option for you.
Compliance with various laws is a huge pain to most businesses and not every business owner is going to have the time or patience to make sure that they are compliant with the latest laws which seem to change regularly.
Hiring a managed service provider with expertise in compliance can take the burden off the business owner and can help them become compliant with no effort on the business owners part leaving them once again to concentrate on growing the business.
For example, a company that sells clothing in the UK may not be aware of compliance laws they need to abide by in Canada and hiring an expert in this area can help with any issues that may pop up. In this example, the business owner can then concentrate on improving online sales to their store rather than having to update different privacy policies on their website to adhere to compliance laws in Canada.
No physical presence
One of the main disadvantages of hiring an IT company that’s not on site is that it might be a national company that isn’t located locally. This then can be a problem because it could take days to get an engineer out to you which could be disastrous for your business.
You may think about outsourcing your companies IT to a national company as it’s often cheaper but, you should check out companies local to your area as they can get to you quickly and fix the faults even if they are more expensive.
When signing up to a national IT service it is worth checking out the service level agreement to see their guarantees on how long it will take them to get out to you if you ever need your software or hardware fixed.
Hiring a managed IT service can help your business to grow as it allows you to concentrate on the vital business tasks at hand, it’s also good to know that there’s always someone in the background that can support your business if anything is to go wrong.
If you think an outsourced managed service provider could be an option for you be sure to check what services are covered before signing up to anything, this way you will know what you need to budget for outside of the agreement if anything were to go wrong. Whatever it is, you have to be careful and your business goal focused when outsourcing IT Services and support for your company.