Having a robust IT plan isn’t optional; it’s a necessity The problem is that most business owners don’t realize this until they’ve had their first major problem. Here are 7 reasons your small business needs professional IT services.
Companies in the US spent $58.72 billion on consultants last year. Professional IT services are part of that spend. There are good reasons why companies are doing this.
Having a robust IT operation isn’t optional; it’s a necessity. The problem is that most business owners don’t realize this until they’ve had their first major problem. Here are 7 reasons your small business needs professional IT services.
What Are Professional IT Services?
Professional IT services go under many names. Managed IT service, IT support, and many other terms. The description applies to a pick and mix of different IT services including managed services, cybersecurity, IT risk management and much more.
The outsourcing of IT support means a that a third-party IT company provides your business with a range of services to support your IT systems. The actual services are chosen by you to meet your business needs.
There are reasons for outsourcing these services that are especially beneficial for a small business.
1. Keep Down Your Costs
The recruitment and training of computer staff are costly. Even a small business can be sophisticated in its use of technology. The wide range of IT skills that you need to maintain to deliver an in-house IT service can be prohibitive for a small business.
Keeping people up to speed with developments in the IT world is expensive. If you do manage to maintain the knowledge and skills of your IT people, they are extremely attractive in the jobs market. Keeping good IT people is tough.
The costs of recruitment, training, and retention of good people can be avoided by outsourcing IT services. All the labor costs are then the problem of the IT services provider. They are better able to meet these costs and retain the best people.
Using a professional IT service with outsourced hardware means you can convert fixed costs such as computers into variable costs such as a service contract. The benefits to your budgets can be huge. As a small business, you want to use technology to cut costs not increase them.
2. Raise Efficiency
IT projects often involve a learning curve for the team working on them. This learning curve takes time and therefore money. As your people learn and perhaps make errors your project can be delayed and even fail.
By using a professional IT service, you are paying for people who have already traveled along their learning curve. You get people who can hit the ground running. Projects can be delivered quicker and right first time.
3. Managing Risks
Managing a business is to some extent about managing risks. For many managers, the IT risks are among the most worrying. IT is at the center of many operations and a failure can be catastrophic.
Business continuity is dependent on having effective risk management for things like payment systems, communications, and mission-critical applications. Having a managed IT service means they handle the risk management on your behalf.
4. Data Security
Breaches of data security are potentially very damaging to a business. It can mean regulatory problems, loss of customer confidence, and leave you and your stakeholders open to cybercrime. The costs are potentially very high.
You must take all reasonable steps to maintain the safe handling of this data. The hackers and cybercriminals are very sophisticated and keeping up is difficult. This is an area where buying in expertise is sensible.
Managed services can use the latest techniques and software. They are in an arms race with the criminals that as a small business you cannot hope to win alone.
5. Stay up to Date
Developments in the IT field are rapid. From 2013 until 2020 worldwide data will grow by 10 times. The systems we use to manage this data and to run our businesses is getting more sophisticated. How will you keep up?
Small businesses can keep up with this growing sophistication by using professional IT services. It is their business to keep up with IT developments. They are equipped to do this.
The in-house alternative would be expensive. Recruiting new skills or re-training existing people all costs money. There is no guarantee that the knowledge you buy in will last very long.
6. Get Competitive
When you are a small business taking on the large business can seem impossible. Small businesses can have the advantage of flexibility, fast decision making, and personal service. When it comes to IT, large scale has advantages.
Using an outsourced IT support can make the battle more even. The scale advantages of the IT support company to access the best technology, lower unit costs and get quality people can be used to your competitive advantage. Large business advantages combined with small business flexibility is a useful combination.
7. Stay Focused
Dealing with IT issues can be a distraction from your core business. A small business needs to stay focused on what they do best. Whatever that core strength is, IT support should simply be an enabler.
If a small business finds itself distracted from core activity because of a need to resolve IT problems or manage day-to-day IT infrastructure they leave themselves open to risks. These are lost momentum, a division of effort and confusion about what is important.
IT services are the core business of the outsourced IT support company. They can take this distraction away from the small business to allow them to focus and deliver performance in their core business.
Choosing an IT Managed Services Provider
IT management services are not always right for every business. If the advantages to small business seem to apply to your business perhaps it’s time to explore them more.
If Professional IT Services are for you, then talk to Paranet Solutions about what service are available.
For more advice for small businesses, click here.