Written by Noel Thompson, Director of Global Support at Conosco
There are many benefits of outsourcing IT support and a variety of factors to consider, not least financial. IT is the glue that enables your people to work efficiently your processes to run smoothly, your systems to operate effectively and keeps your employees and customers connected. Without a robust IT infrastructure and the support to monitor, manage and maintain your systems your business could suffer.
In this blog we’ll dive into the top 6 benefits of outsourcing IT support:
- Cost efficiency
- Access to experts
- Improved security and compliance
- Develop your IT strategy
- 24/7 support
- Stay focused on your core business
But first, what do we mean by outsourced IT support?
Outsourced IT support is the provision of a variety of IT services by a third party. Usually, this includes the support and management of a business’s IT systems, hardware, and software. It is often provided by a Managed Service Provider (MSP) as a way of bringing in additional skills, supporting internal resources and driving cost-efficient innovation throughout a business. According to one study, $66.5 billion (£49.8 billion) was the global revenue of IT outsourcing in 2019 with many expecting this to have risen in 2020 due to the sudden shift to remote working.
Which businesses benefit from outsourced IT support?
Whilst larger companies are 66% more likely to outsource than smaller businesses, there are benefits for companies of all sizes.
Large enterprises: Many large enterprises with big budgets often choose to hire dedicated personnel and operate internal IT departments. However, with size comes more equipment, software, and systems that all need to be maintained. This along with a desire to innovate in line with the ever-changing technology landscape, often means large enterprises struggle to keep up with best practice and must be strategic when budgeting for future investments. With the support of an outsourced IT provider, to manage and maintain the IT environment, internal resources are freed to focus on more important strategic tasks. They also benefit from the advice and latest knowledge that outsourced IT personnel can provide.
Small/Medium businesses: For small and medium-sized business there may be a variety of IT infrastructure and systems in place but with a much tighter budget they are less likely to have dedicated in house IT staff. In some cases, there will be a small IT department whilst in other businesses there will be a few people who wear multiple hats. Therefore, the main advantages of outsourcing IT support include cost savings as businesses do not need to hire additional personnel, support for internal resource and the expertise to modernise and stay competitive.
So now that you understand what outsourced IT support is and who uses it let’s look at the top 6 benefits of outsourced IT support.
The benefits of outsourced IT support
Time is money! One of the key benefits of outsourcing your IT support is better cost-efficiency. In fact, 59% of businesses use outsourcing to reduce their expenses. The right IT Support provider will offer the resources and expertise you need at a fraction of the cost of employing full time IT specialists. What’s more, it reduces the amount of time internal IT gurus spend on basic tasks and IT support issues, meaning their time and focus can be better spent on more strategic projects. Any time and money saved can then be put back into your business helping you make operational improvements, discover new opportunities to innovate and drive revenue to your bottom line.
Access to experts
Within many internal IT departments, an employee’s time ends up being stretched across multiple disciplines often resulting in them becoming a Jack of all trades and master of none. They will be expected to be able to implement, maintain and support all elements of your IT infrastructure as well as keep up with ever-evolving technology changes.
By outsourcing IT support, businesses have access to a whole host of expertise across a variety of IT specialisms. For example, should you require additional support migrating to the cloud, a Managed Service Provider (MSP) should have the skills, accreditations and partnerships to transition your IT architecture smoothly and securely.
Improved security and compliance
Security and compliance is a huge part of the IT spectrum! From managing firewalls to updating your software and from vulnerability audits to SIEM monitoring, IT security requires a different way of thinking and a very specific skill set than that of your typical IT infrastructure and support engineers. With businesses producing more data than ever before and handling sensitive information such as bank details there is a greater need for due diligence.
By outsourcing your IT support to a qualified and accredited provider (such as Conosco) it guarantees the integrity of your data and systems. When choosing an IT support partner make sure you look for a company with ISO 27001 and Cyber Essentials certifications. Providers that also operate a Security Operations Centre (SOC) are more likely to give you the in-depth and holistic security support any modern business needs.
Develop your IT strategy
Without a robust IT strategy, your business will not have the direction and motivation to evolve and adapt to the ever-changing landscape. Just look at how rapidly things have changed in technology over the last five years alone. Getting left behind is the last thing any business needs, and any that are will be giving their competitors a huge advantage.
With 70% of digital transformation projects failing due to the lack of proper planning, it’s vital that you get your IT strategy right. By outsourcing your IT support you gain access to dedicated strategic consultants that will develop a solid road map that aligns with your business goals, objectives and vision for the future. Any strategy and new technology you invest in now should support your business for at least 5 years in advance, that way you can be sure that you are ahead of the pack and giving your business the best chance at success.
IT does not take a break! If your network goes down or your equipment stops working it can have a negative impact on business. Regardless of your location and time-zone, issues need to be resolved quickly and with minimal impact on users. One of the greatest benefits of outsourcing IT support is access to a 24×7 support team that will deal with your issues at any time, even on Christmas day. But beware not all Managed Service Providers offer this luxury. Finding a partner that has the internal resources and capacity (such as Conosco) to support your environment all year round, should be a careful consideration when choosing a provider.
Your outsourced IT support team should also offer onsite support as well as remote support. This might be on a reactive (ad-hoc) basis, for example, if an employee is off sick and unable to deal with an issue. It might be on a full-time basis where onsite support personnel work with your business over a number of days, weeks or months. Or it could be on a seasonal basis over busy periods such as Christmas, whereby staff are on annual leave.
Stay focused on your core business
You don’t have to outsource everything! Your internal team are likely great at what they do but just need a little extra help. Maybe they want to focus on a specific project such as the implementation of new technology and not get bogged down dealing with user support. They might enjoy sleeping and prefer to redirect support to a 24×7 operation when they leave at the end of the day. They might like to have access to a dedicated security and compliance team to help them ensure that all systems are secured and assist them with compliance certifications for the business.
The final benefit of outsourcing IT support is that it gives your business the option to mix and match services and gain support for specific needs. Thereby enabling your people to stay focused on your core business whilst your IT support provider takes care of the rest.
With an increasing number of organisations recognising the benefits of outsourcing IT support, finding the right partner that has your business’s best interests at heart is essential. When searching for someone to support your IT environment make sure that cost efficiency, access to experts, improved security and compliance, 24/7 support and the ability to transform your strategy is at the forefront of your decision.
Get in touch with Conosco about outsourcing your IT support and start delivering tangible value and expertise to your business today.