The BizFilings blog covering business tips and trends.
To Outsource or Not Outsource IT Maintenance
Published on Feb 5, 2013
Read 'To Outsource or Not Outsource IT Maintenance' at 'Time to Start Up,' the small business blog by BizFilings.
Many a small business owner has had the scare of his or her life when a computer virus brings their business to a halt. Those who have been inconsistent, or sporadic, about backing up their computers are left to ponder “If only I had … ”
Such a scenario is only one example of how it may make sense to outsource the maintenance of your IT system.
While it may be a no-brainer for global corporations, it has also become a cost-effective option for small to medium-sized businesses.
First off, what is IT outsourcing?
IT outsourcing is generally defined as contracting with outside vendors to do various IT functions such as data entry, data center operations, application maintenance and development, disaster recovery and network management and operations. Vendors may be individual IT professionals, consulting firms, employee leasing companies, or full-service providers to name a few.
Among the many benefits to outsourcing IT are:
Access to an Expert - Typically, professionals in the IT outsourcing space live and breathe technology. They stay on top of the latest IT trends, something you probably don’t have time to do.
Save Time - Learning how to back up your computer, remove a virus takes time or identify the latest and greatest technology takes time. A technology professional or outsourcing company can save you time by executing on these capabilities and many others.
Like anything, there are potential problems that should be considered as well, such as:
Surrendering of Control - Whether it is the entrepreneur, or someone else with your business who oversees IT, opting to hire an outside professional or firm means surrendering control. For example, you may not have immediate access to parts of your business at a moment’s notice.
Another Cost Center - Outsourcing your IT maintenance means adding another recurring expense. Your business could become less profitable.
What factors should you consider?
Reputation - How long has the IT company been in business? Will it provide referencible clients?
Capabilities - Would your company by a typical client for the IT maintenance company? In other words, the company’s offerings are fully compatible with your business’ needs.
In summary, your company may have reached the tipping point, where it is time to shed your own responsibility or that of an employee for overseeing IT. If so, there is a partner out there that can meet your needs.