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Benefits Of Outsourced IT for Small, Medium and Large Businesses

Articles Benefits Of Outsourced IT for Small, Medium and Large Businesses
By James Hart | Posted in Articles

Not every business can justify an in-house IT department, but every organisation needs reliable IT. So what happens in reality?

In this article we explore how different sizes of business handle their IT requirements. We look into the different options available, and the benefits of outsourcing.

 

The 3 Main Types Of Business And Their IT Requirements

When we meet new clients, we see three common scenarios depending on size of business and their existing IT service:

1 – Startup

  • Budget:
    • Too small to warrant dedicated in-house IT staff
  • Requirements:
    • New IT systems needed so business can begin operations
  • Common Outcomes:
    • The most IT-savvy individual will set systems up to the best of their ability, or
    • Basic advice will be offered by web designer or a trusted advisor

2 –¬†Small / Medium Business (usually up to 50 staff)

  • Budget:
    • Systems in place but too small to warrant dedicated in-house IT staff
  • Requirements:
    • Maintenance of existing systems, keeping up with latest best-practices and strategic planning / budgeting for the future
  • Common Outcomes:
    • An IT-savvy individual does their best, but finds systems become unmanageable as they grow, or
    • IT services are outsourced to a service provider

3 – Large Business (50+ staff)

  • Budget:
    • Can often justify a dedicated in-house IT person or department
  • Requirements:
    • Ensure systems can be maintained at scale
    • Keep up with latest best-practices
    • Strategic planning / budgeting for the future
  • Common Outcomes:
    • In-house IT department is available, or
    • IT services are outsourced to a service provider

 

Clearly, all sizes of business have their own unique challenges and outcomes with regard to IT.

Naturally, as an IT service company we will promote the benefits of outsourcing your business IT support. But allow us to list the key benefits for businesses of all sizes which are often overlooked:

Benefits Of IT Outsourcing

Service Benefits of IT Outsourcing

  • Technical support cover even when your main contact is ill or on holiday
  • Access to a diverse team of IT engineers and expertise, without having to recruit multiple staff
  • Provider experiences a range of different issues across the client base, so your tech support issues are likely to be familiar
  • Provider has experience across range of industries and software tools, resulting in better-informed recommendations and consultancy

Cost Benefits of IT Outsourcing

  • No holidays, employment costs such as National Insurance or associated obligations
  • Lower resolution times, owing to wider range of expertise and familiarity with common technical issues at the time
  • Ongoing training costs are shouldered by the IT service provider

 

Outsourced IT For Startups

Startups have a unique opportunity to set up a scalable, modern IT system if they budget for this as part of their startup costs. Failure to take advice early in the startup process invariably results in stored-up costs in future, when existing systems are unable to cope with growth and increased scale. These existing inadequate IT systems often to be replaced entirely with a better solution, resulting not only in tangible costs but also retraining and unfamiliarity with new systems across existing staff.

Quite rightly, many startups will question the need for complex IT systems in the early days. But this is not a question of complexity. Even the most basic IT functions such as your startup email and telephone system, when chosen correctly and set up in accordance with best practices, will scale beautifully for the future of your new business. This allows the startup owner to focus on what they do best and avoids substantial cost and upheaval when growing to 2, 3, 5, 10 staff and so forth.

 

Outsourced IT For Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs)

Many SMBs will be either:

  • Using an IT provider already
  • Managing their own IT in-house, using one or more IT-savvy individuals who may not have formal IT training

SMBs who are not yet budgeting for specialist IT support often find their systems are highly organic and prone to time-consuming issues of management or troubleshooting. Often, a high percentage of one worker’s time is taken up managing the IT totally independently of their primary role in the business. When this individual is unavailable and a problem occurs, downtime can be hours or days.

In other cases, the SMB is using an existing IT provider who is only a very small single-person company or has limited human resources. Whilst these organisations can often undercut larger businesses on price, invariably the time comes when their attention becomes divided between two critical issues at the same time, and your business does not get the urgent support it needs. Furthermore, you lose out on many of the advantages of outsourcing when using single-person or much smaller IT service providers, such as diversity of experience and high availability.

In either case, switching to a more robust and reliable IT service provider can deliver a much greater return on investment from your current arrangements. Don’t forget the hidden cost of downtime – whether that’s your “go-to” IT person in-house who should be doing something else, or the downtime cost of all your staff if your current provider cannot attend to your issues quickly and effectively.

Outsourced IT For Large Businesses

Many large businesses understandably maintain an in-house IT support department. For the equivalent cost of outsourcing, larger businesses can often employ one,  two or more dedicated IT staff in-house. This is a balancing act however. We often find that the key benefits of outsourcing still apply to larger businesses.

There is a trade-off between having a larger amount of staff time available to the business (by employing your own IT department) versus having a larger team of engineers via your IT service provider, at the expense of having less engineer-time for the same money. It is up to the individual business to work out the balance. Invariably companies of 200+ staff are very likely to be able to justify an IT department of 3+ staff to deliver that range of expertise, holiday and sickness cover that outsourcing can only deliver for relatively smaller companies.

We direct you again to the service- and cost-benefits of outsourcing and invite larger companies to consider whether, in fact, outsourcing could deliver a better return-on-investment compared with maintaining a small in-house team.

 

Summary

We have looked at the different stages of growing businesses and how their IT service needs develop over time. Feel free to contact us to discuss your requirements if any of the challenges and scenarios above sound familiar to your business.

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