Your days are busy and they’re usually never the same. Whether it’s solving technical hardware challenges or mediating between departments about technology needs, you keep the IT infrastructure up and running – and it’s challenging.
The influx of projects on your plate makes it seem like there are never enough hours in the day to squeeze it all in (no matter how well you manage your time).
The challenge here is that many IT professionals like control. You’re drawn to the industry, in part, because through code you can make the software do what you want it to do (almost all of the time!). This gives you satisfaction.
So, giving up control to a third-party can be scary. It doesn’t need to be. Learning to let go will make your life easier and improve your business at the same time. Now, granted, you get blamed when things go wrong – even when it’s not your fault (why users keep clicking on dubious links in emails is a mystery to us to). That’s why it’s important to trust your IT partner. I stress the word “partner” and not the usual “provider.” Partners work together and care about each other’s success (that’s what we do).
A few days ago, our President Gary Harouff wrote a post about the value of outsourcing in general; Don’t DIY: Five Ways Outsourcing Helps Your Business. Today, I’m going to explain how managed IT services will help your business.
Why You Should Outsource IT
To use an extreme example, every company relies on electricity to operate, but we don’t build and maintain our own generators to power our offices. To use a less extreme example, if your paycheck has ADP on it somewhere, your HR department has outsourced your payroll (which shows that even confidential information can be outsourced securely and effectively).
Many of the basic functions of IT – backup and recovery, document storage, network and security management – are becoming utilities. Like phones, you need them to stay in business but they deliver no competitive advantage. They’re just the cost of doing business – like the lights you flick on when you walk into the office each morning.
There’s a better way: managed IT services. We’ve compiled the following list of seven reasons for why you should have a managed IT services provider in your life.
Information technology is a great blanket term, but it includes a huge range of knowledge and areas of expertise. No one knows everything about “IT.” IT professionals make careers in security, network management, help desk support, data analytics (and we’ll throw Internet of Things and big data in that), Web content management, storage, . . . hell, cabling is a full-time job. Then there are cloud angles for all of those areas of knowledge. Plus, someone has to pull all of these elements into a coherent strategy.
And, we’ve not even talking about hardware (office equipment like copiers) and your telephone systems.
It’s hard enough to develop and maintain the expertise you have in whatever business or industry you happen to operate in. Having to develop and manage the in-house IT talent you need to operate your business can quickly become a problem.
Plus, IT staffing is hard – especially when you get outside of larger cities.
Implement New Technology Quickly
A great IT services partner allows you to implement technology faster in two ways.
First, instead of having to find the right people, train them, and provide the necessary support, you will have support from the very beginning from professionals that bring years of experience – saving you time, money, and hassle.
Secondly, any existing IT staff can focus on turning your IT infrastructure into a competitive advantage.
There’s the cost of staffing of course – salary and the HR management that goes with it. Plus there’s the cost of buying your own equipment. And upgrades. And software. And replacing worn and/or out-of-date equipment.
Now, depending on what you outsource (if you outsource backup, for example, you won’t need to buy backup tape drives or servers – you’re paying for the storage and service expertise only) you might still need to purchase hardware and software, but you wont need to buy as much and you’ll have predictable budgeting for the remainder of your outsourced services.
And because you pay a fixed monthly rate, you don’t have to deal with variable costs – making budgeting more straightforward.
Don’t forget the need to invest in your IT staff’s knowledge with training, conferences, and allowing them time to stay current on the latest IT trends.
With someone else tending to your IT needs, you now have the time to focus on the things you should be focusing on, and so does the rest of the staff.
And since everyone’s time will be better spent, you’ll see an increase in productivity, which technically is a cost savings now that you don’t have to hire more people to handle your IT workload.
While we’re on the topic of time, IT folks are human (mostly) and need to take at least some time off. Plus, they do get sick. What happens to your network when a server goes down and your IT guy or gal is down with the flu? Unless you bring in a third party as an emergency, you’re basically out of business for the day.
A Virtual CIO (vCIO) is a component of many managed IT services plans. An experienced vCIO will ensure that a business’ IT infrastructure will support its current and future business goals.
24/7 Monitoring and Support
Again, internal IT staff need time off. In addition to the knowledge and time needed to continually upgrade and patch network security, the network also needs to be monitored. One huge benefit of managed IT services is the continuous monitoring of your network. Often, a service provider is able to fix an issue before a client even knows there is (was) one.
Allow yourself to experience the joy of outsourcing. You’ll be glad you did.
Ready to learn more about managed IT services? Get your edge, click on the image below for a free guide.