It’s the same thing with IT. People come to work every day expecting their computers to work, to have access to their information and an easy means of communicating with clients and coworkers. But they never think about what goes into an IT platform, what makes up IT infrastructure or just how important it is to keep IT running smoothly. Imagine a car without an engine – that’s a business today without IT.
The rate of businesses outsourcing their IT to other firms has exploded over the last few years, both domestically and abroad. A recent Savvis report indicated that by 2018, IT leaders expect to outsource 70 percent of their IT infrastructure. So what about your business? Should it turn IT over to another mechanic? Here’s 7 reasons why now is the right time to embrace IT outsourcing.
1. The economy is stable
While growth is somewhat anemic, the horrors of several years ago are long in the rearview mirror. The economy appears to be stabilized, which lessens initial investment risk.
2. Outsourcing drives down costs
A recent survey found that cost is the number one reason for outsourcing IT platforms. By turning your infrastructure over to a third party, you can avoid many hard (servers, etc.) and soft (salaries) costs in favor an IT contract that’s simpler to invoice and is often less than the cost of maintaining the department yourself. But if you still want to hold on to certain segments of the department, outsourcing remains an option.
3. It scales to fit your needs
Forty-one percent of companies have outsourced part of their IT platforms, compared to just 12 percent that have completely outsourced their departments. Businesses by nature are risk-averse, and many have found an appropriate balance with outsourcing particular segments of their IT infrastructure. Many businesses struggle with the network management processes associated with the proliferation of tablets, mobile devices, cloud solutions, data security and other disparate parts of a full-scale IT infrastructure. Outsourcing lets specialized experts handle these back-end pieces of your business.
4. It makes things simple
Technology moves fast these days – too fast for many businesses whose focus is on other issues. It’s a struggle for in-house IT departments to keep up with new technologies, train staff to be comfortable with these new technologies and be able to effectively monitor the network 24/7 to drive an uptime of 99.99 percent. Benefits of outsourcing IT include firewall services, VPN networking and business continuity plans to keep your company chugging along. Outsourcing removes all of those headaches and allows you to rely on outside experts. This is especially important because of…
5. The need for data security
Those bad apples in the hacker community are always looking for new ways to penetrate networks and steal critical data. And those good apples in the hacker community are always at the ready to locate and defeat these new cracks, viruses and trojans. You want the good guys on your team. And providers of IT infrastructure solutions monitor the health of the network 24/7 as well as update anti-malware software as soon as updates are available. Furthermore, your data is backed up at multiple off-site locations through layers of digital and physical redundancies to ensure you never lose critical data.
6. Outsourcing isn’t such a dirty word
Campaign season may be over, but it’ll be here again before we know it. And chances are that we’ll be hearing a lot of talk about the horrors of outsourcing. But outsourcing doesn’t have to be a dirty word. Companies like GM have bucked offshoring their IT for onshoring, bringing their IT work back to the States after first sending that work overseas. The benefits – both in customer satisfaction and image – have been great. And having access to a helpdesk that’s available 24/7 to troubleshoot and fix any problems? That’s invaluable.
7. It makes your employees more productive
Think about your computer at home. Think about the last time it didn’t work correctly. Now, remember that feeling and increase it by a factor of how many employees your business has. That’s what IT downtime is like. When you mix in old equipment, outdated collaboration tools and gaping security holes, it’s not only an exercise in frustration – it’s a recipe for disaster.
Have you already turned to outsourcing? How well has it worked out for you? Share your story with us in the comments.