If you own a small business, you may have thought about outsourcing some of your business. Is there, though, more to outsourcing your IT solutions than you might think? What are some reasons other companies choose to go this route? There’s a lot to consider when you are deciding if you want to outsource your IT needs, including:
- Choose the right person using references and research.
- Keep communication open among all affected groups.
- Clearly lay out the objectives and goals of your project.
- Ask for support and input from any decision makers/stakeholders.
No matter what your decision, you will still need to be able to effectively communicate with your IT service providers in order to have the best relationship.
Here are the reasons, risks, and rewards of outsourcing your IT service providers:
There are several rewards you will enjoy if you outsource your company’s IT functions.
1. Save money.
When you outsource your IT services, you will have the option for bulk purchasing, a leaner overhead, and more options for software and hardware. You’ll also have, potentially, better compliance with government regulations.
2. Job security and burnout reduction for your employees.
If you had a staff member or members who took on extra IT duties because someone needed to do it, using an outsourced IT company will remove that burden. You will allow your regular employee to do what he or she was hired to do, and will develop a better relationship for it, with less chance of burnout and even resentment.
3. Access to the latest in tech.
Hardware and software rapidly becomes obsolete, and it’s hard for one person to stay up-to-date on everything. When you outsource to an IT company, you will have the knowledge, experience, and networking of an entire team of IT professionals to keep you on top of the latest tech. They can also give you the best advice when it comes to getting your money’s worth of IT dollars.
4. High-quality staff.
Outsourced IT companies hire staff members with very specific qualifications and specialties so you will benefit from that expertise.
There’s some level of risk involved any time you give someone else responsibility. Will they do what they need to do or are supposed to do? Did you hire the right person or team? How will the outsourced person or people work with your existing employees? These are just a few questions you may ask yourself. Here are some of the risks of outsourcing your IT solutions.
1. Control might be lost.
Some might feel that an outsourced IT person will never be as effective as an employee who is under your control. There are also issues of confidentiality.
2. It’s not easy to outsource some IT functions.
Your IT affects your whole organization and you need to make sure any outside vendor(s) you hire are qualified to take over those responsibilities.
3. You might get locked in.
If the vendor doesn’t document what has been done on your system or network, or you have to buy the vendor’s proprietary software, you might not be able to easily go anywhere else, or take back your network. A large number of outsource IT companies make you sign a yearly contract, which will limit your flexibility.
4. Employee morale may be negatively affected.
This is particularly true if you lay off employees in order to replace them with an outsourced firm. Other employees might worry that their positions are at risk, too.