Feb 13, 2018
Your IT people don’t know everything. They can’t be everywhere, all the time. That means gaps in IT expertise and availability.
All it takes is one ransomware attack or an ill-timed system crash to make these gaps painfully apparent. Outsourcing your IT department can help plug your technology gaps while saving money and boosting efficiency.
But it can be hard to pull the trigger on outsourcing IT. You like the idea of your employees taking ownership of technology challenges, and you’re leery of outsiders having access to your systems.
Understanding the fundamentals of IT outsourcing can help you make up your mind.
Prime advantages of IT outsourcing
Outsourcing your IT operations helps you out in eight ways:
- Security. You may feel unsure about granting system access to outsiders. That’s only natural. The trouble is that new cyber threats crop up perpetually from all directions. It can feel overwhelming to keep your system patched, your IT people certified and your staff trained in proper cyber hygiene. Outsourcing to experts can strengthen your security posture.
- Cost management. IT outsourcing makes it much easier to create accurate budgets and spending forecasts. You get off the rollercoaster of a thousand bucks this week, nothing next week and three hundred bucks the week after that. It may cost more than a single IT pro, but you get the expertise of several people available 24/7/365 — which can save you a fortune in a crisis.
- Retention. Employees who waste a lot of time dealing with computing hassles are more likely to start looking for employers who do a better job with technology.
- Efficiency. Costs pile up quickly if you have 200 employees who lose 10 minutes a day fiddling with their computers or fighting with their printers. An expert outsourced team can make sure your IT system is subtracting costs instead of adding them.
- Comprehensive expertise. At ENT, our IT pros have a deep background in network engineering and IT management across the entire network environment: hardware, software and tech support. Most IT departments have gaps in one or more of these areas.
- Risk management. Handing your IT operations over to a team of always-on experts can prevent system downtime from putting you out of business.
- Latest tools. An IT outsourcing provider depends on the latest, most powerful technologies to stay efficient and keep a few steps ahead of the competition. That's a tough challenge for IT departments, especially in smaller companies.
- Simplicity. Your business is easier to lead and manage if you unload responsibilities for complex technologies.
What to look for in an IT outsourcer
You have to be picky about your IT outsourcer. The best providers offer:
- SLAs. Service-level agreements explicitly spell out your outsourced IT team’s role. This clarity is essential to your planning and your outsourcer’s ability to serve your needs.
- System assessments. Your provider should deliver a comprehensive assessment of your network and be able to assist with fixing problems that crop up. The SLA should define the scope of system assessments and provide an efficient onboarding process.
- Full network coverage. Your IT outsourcer should supervise your entire network, from the edge to the servers and everything in between.
- Advanced security skill. Your team should provide system monitoring and deploy the latest security tools to detect intruders, harden networks and improve security practices.
- System support. A helpdesk and training program should be available if you need it.
- Vendor management. You should expect your outsourcer to streamline processes with external vendors, including managing patches and updates.
- Layered approach. You’ll need full coverage with experienced engineers contributing from Tier 1 to Tier 3.
Outsourcing vs. offshoring
At ENT, we do IT outsourcing for companies across metro St. Louis and the Midwest. If our clients have a problem, we can put experienced technicians on-site. Our suite of outsourced Managed Services provides 24/7 system monitoring, management and maintenance.
You don’t have to worry about getting tech support from people half-way around the world. If your documents and data have to remain within U.S. borders, we make sure that happens.
IT outsourcing is not for everybody. Many larger organizations have all the time and talent they need in their current IT teams. Small to mid-sized organizations, by contrast, often navigate a minefield of IT risks without the resources they need to protect their systems and optimize their operations.
These are the kinds of companies ENT can help the most. Our network engineers, security experts and helpdesk pros bring a broad spectrum of IT skills that are hard to find in a single IT outsourcer.
Let us help you figure out if IT outsourcing is a good fit.