If you are pondering whether building your IT operations in-house or employing an outsourced alternative is more effective, you should know that many like you share the same conundrum. Ultimately, the answer depends on how much organizational resources you are willing to spend on your IT operations.
An in-house IT solution can be as productive and effective as you want, provided you dedicate considerable funding to its staffing and infrastructure. Even after the initial setup, additional funds will be required for frequent maintenance and updation to protect you from emerging threats and vulnerabilities. In other words, it requires constant attention, funding, and training to remain effective, a commitment few SMEs can afford.
On the other hand, an outsourced IT operation is a much cheaper alternative to an in-house IT department. We found that most companies that make the transition immediately discover that they dramatically cut costs and improve their operational efficiency immediately.
Without further ado, let’s dive right in and explore the benefits of outsourcing IT operations and when you should consider getting started.
What is IT Outsourcing?
Setting up your own IT infrastructure can be an expensive and complex task that may take time to put together, test, and implement. What’s worse is that even if you secure the proper infrastructure and components, you still need to staff and train an in-house IT department, to maintain the infrastructure on the company’s behalf.
These tasks involve considerable time, money, and expertise to do right, which are resources that most businesses do not have in abundance. There lies the main challenge of setting up an in-house IT infrastructure.
Luckily, it is an easily solvable challenge for businesses as every aspect of IT can now be outsourced to an external service provider. They take on the grunt of your business’s IT functions, dramatically lessening any dependency the previously implemented IT function had on your organization’s resources.
The primary function of an outsourced IT solution is to leverage modern innovation to ensure your network always runs optimally. When a need to scale arises, the outsourced IT department will increase its operational capacity to match your increasing requirements.
Through outsourcing, you are immediately provided with an easily deployable and experienced outsourced IT department. With minimal effort or expenditure, a world-class outsourced IT department, its resources, expertise, cutting-edge IT service innovations, and IT infrastructure will be at your business’s disposal.
Outsourcing your IT operations may be the right solution as an IT leader if your network and data security are becoming pressing concerns. We observed that most companies that undergo severe breaches on one or more of their services often remain unaware of an attack before lasting damage is done.
By outsourcing your IT operations, you externalize the duty of proactively uncovering and remediating your network vulnerabilities to an external expert team that will dedicate its resources to keep you optimally protected. Even when a breach does occur, an expert outsourced IT department will be able to instantly react and take countermeasures to minimize your potential risk.
Most businesses that plan their IT infrastructure to meet their current or immediate requirements fail to plan for future growth. In such cases, the IT system may be able to manage until a certain point, after which their network infrastructure may start facing trouble matching the sudden surge in operational demand.
Unless such businesses can dedicate a large amount of their capital to upgrading their existing infrastructure, this problem will continue to cause scalability issues.
If you face similar problems, it may be the right time to transition to outsourced IT operations. Find an external service that will dedicate its resources to facilitate, manage, and boost your scalability.
When you foresee a sudden increase in your business requirements, your service provider will increase their ability to meet your rising needs at a reasonable price. As your demands increase, they will grow as you grow.
Unfortunately, suffering from operational downtimes, exposures, and attacks is part and parcel of an underfunded and mismanaged in-house IT department. Unless you have the substantial funding to equip a highly experienced in-house IT department and state-of-the-art IT infrastructure, it may be a challenge for you to combat the increasingly sophisticated modern-day cyber-criminal.
For a business to proactively combat the IT threats such criminals pose, it needs an outsourced team with the same cybersecurity expertise, experience, and capabilities as a cyber-criminal. An outsourced team can provide you with a readily deployable round-the-clock IT department. Moreover, your new outsourced IT department will maintain uptime and efficiently satisfy your business requirements irrespective of the time of day.
An easy way to optimize your business’s productivity is to eliminate duties that can be better fulfilled externally by an outsourced IT solution. This outsourcing helps you free up the time of your most valuable resource, your employees.
It allows you to reassess how to use your IT staff better by channeling their time and efforts toward bettering other core competencies and business objectives, as they no longer need to perform the mundane tasks of network management.
Instead, they can focus on introducing innovation, improving other critical competencies, and maximizing your ROI.
When Should You Consider Outsourcing IT?
Now that we covered why you should consider outsourcing your IT operations, let us explore what would be the right time to explore your options for a capable outsourced IT service provider.
1. IT Operations are Becoming an Expensive Cost Center
The primary benefit of engaging an outsourced IT service is dramatically saving time and money. The setup and maintenance costs alone can significantly affect a business’s bottom line to an extent where your business’s operational efficiency may begin to falter.
Suppose your company is spending much of your capital on frequent upgrades, maintenance, training programs, IT staff wages, hardware, and software to little to no avail. In that case, consider what an outsourced alternative may have in store for you. You will find that you can save the resources you would have exhausted on staffing, training, and expensive equipment and software.
Instead, you will focus on what matters, driving your operational productivity and accomplishing your mission-critical objectives.
2. Training IT Staff Becomes Difficult
Setting up a stellar IT infrastructure does not automatically mean your business’s IT will be able to effectively meet rising demand or combat emerging threats. To successfully achieve that, you need a well-trained IT department behind the wheel that can mitigate the rising number of cyber threats constantly impacting modern organizations.
Training your IT department is not a one-time task but an ongoing commitment to uncover and mitigate the long list of emerging threats that arise daily. It may be challenging for SMEs to reserve the substantial resources needed for such a level of commitment.
In such instances, failing to educate your IT department on combating the newest attack vectors can render the entire department obsolete and unable to safeguard your business networks.
If you face similar issues, it is the right time to transition. Outsourcing can be an excellent solution to this problem as it eliminates the strenuous task of IT training. Training and enhancing the IT department’s capabilities becomes less of a concern to you and more of the service provider’s duty.
The only task left for you to avail of world-class IT services is to take your time and choose the right service provider dedicated to keeping its staff well-trained to combat the latest vulnerabilities.
3. Your Business is Vulnerable to Security Threats
An increasing number of businesses are targeted daily due to vulnerabilities and exposures, making them a prime target for malware and zero-day attacks. When such exploits are successful, the attackers can access, steal, or outrightly delete your confidential business data.
Such vicious attacks are a justified concern amongst numerous businesses today. Remember, while your business’s sensitive data is your most valuable asset, it may be of more value to your competitors and cybercriminals. This is why enhancing your IT security posture must be your utmost priority.
If you have doubts regarding the strength of your IT and data security, it may be the right time to shift to an outsourced IT solution. Your outsourced IT department will ensure your systems run the latest software, proactively fix vulnerabilities, and safeguard your IT infrastructure against threats. They will also give you access to the latest technologies that quash emerging threats.
4. You are Looking to Scale your Business
Businesses face many complexities and challenges when they scale and face increasing demand, operational changes, and other complexities that arise. To counteract these challenges, you may need to enhance your IT operations to match your rising demand, distracting your focus from improving your scalability.
When such instances arise, do not hesitate and outsource your IT department. Doing so eliminates the complexities and challenges of upscaling your IT infrastructure and team. Instead, an outsourced IT service provider will do it for you.
All you need to do is meet business objectives and steadily enhance your business’s growth.
5. Need to Refocus on Core Processes
Your IT operations may not constitute a vital function for your business, with little to no impact on the productivity of your business or its products. If you are in such a situation, an outsourced IT solution can help you choose what essential IT services you require and avail them at a reasonable price.
Additional capacity requirements will arise as a byproduct of your business and product’s evolution. You need not invest in infrastructure or workforce when this happens. Instead, it is a great time to engage in an outsourced IT department that will fulfill your requirements.
6. IT Expertise is Sorely Required
Most businesses find that as they grow and handle new projects, the requirements from their IT department change. In that case, engaging in an expert outsourced IT service is much more effective than wasting time and money on staff training programs.
A huge downside to spending company funds to upskill and train your staff is that you never know when they will leave your organization for other opportunities. When this happens, the expensive and extensive training you provide walks out the door with your employee.
An adept IT service provider will be able to bring a team whose members specialize in handling any manner of projects and expertise requirements you may have as your business continues to operate and grow.
An excellent service provider will provide you with the right team with unique expertise and experience to handle all project requirements.
6. Your IT Department is Lagging Behind the Competition
The functional capability of your IT department can be a defining factor that can either propel you above or drop below your competitors. It is because newer threats, attack vectors, and strategies continuously shake down numerous businesses worldwide.
An inexperienced IT team can make things worse by their inability to meet rising demand with a corresponding increase in IT capacity.
If you are facing constant problems with your IT department and feel like it’s pulling you down, do not hesitate to consult an outsourced IT service provider to find out how they can help you reestablish your competitive advantage.
7. Compliance Requirements
Assume your business website collects and processes sensitive data of residents from the European Union. In that case, you must comply with the regulations set forth by the GDPR. Depending on the nature of your products and services, you may need to achieve compliance with one or more of the standards, like the GDPR.
The most notable global standards are PCI-DSS, HIPPA, and NIST. It is daunting for numerous businesses to accomplish and maintain such compliance, as they often lack the experience, expertise, and infrastructure to maintain the best practices in IT security to maintain continual compliance.
On the other hand, an outsourced IT department can perform frequent IT audits to guarantee that you always meet the necessary compliance requirements. When you achieve this, you get the bonus of showing your employees, customers, clients, and vendors that you, as a business, are entirely dedicated to safeguarding the sensitive information of all your stakeholders and maintaining a secure IT network.
Maintaining compliance also makes you a less likely target for a data breach. Most hackers will not waste time targeting a system with solid compliance certifications. Usually, those businesses that neglect the latest IT security practices face the brunt of a publicized attack. So if your business needs to maintain one or more compliance standards, engaging in an outsourced IT solution is best.
In conclusion, we hope this helped clarify how you could immediately benefit from engaging an outsourced IT service provider for your organizational IT operations. Not only does an outsourced IT department clear up valuable resources, but provides you with the ideal infrastructure to match your rising growth.
After reading this piece, if you feel you could be doing much more with your IT staff, make the transition now, as there is no time like the present.