Small businesses, mid-size organizations, and larger companies constantly weigh the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing IT. Since everyone relies on technology 24/7 to operate, finding the best balance of people, performance, efficiency, and cost is critical when outsourcing IT services. SkyQuest reports that “more than 60% of organizations are expected to be dependent on [Managed IT Service Providers] by 2025.”
Should your business outsource some or all of its IT? This important decision depends on several factors. We should know. Integris helps business owners, CFOs, CIOs, and IT departments weigh the pros and cons of countless IT considerations and circumstances every day.The following high-level comparisons will add perspective to your due diligence exercises so you can make an informed choice before moving forward with any new IT services you’re considering.
Here’s to finding your company the best resources to keep all of your business-enabling IT systems in peak form.
IT Outsourcing Advantages
If you are considering IT outsourcing, congratulations on deciding to take the next step in growing your business, and finding the best mix of resources to streamline your operations.
You’re on the road to simplifying your digital transformation and virtually eliminating the day-to-day hassles of managing IT infrastructure, jokingly referred to as “plumbing.” By offloading routine, maintenance, and support activities to a third party, you will be:
- Saving Money: Managed IT services can help you keep your information technology within budget by helping you plan your hardware and software purchases for scalability and reduce operating expenditures with virtual infrastructure.
- Optimizing Business Processes: Small companies may establish business processes early on and lack the resources to improve them. An MSP can advise you on curated IT solutions and best practices to improve your workflow and reduce errors while providing a clear plan to scale with you as your company grows.
- Pivoting to Core Operations: Outsourcing lets your team focus on high-value projects. If your in-house IT team is bogged down with tactical, technical support issues all day, they’re always in catch-up mode. An MSP alleviates these headaches to deliver consistent and responsive IT service that helps everyone work smarter.
- Strengthening Security: An outsourced IT service provider can take the lead in implementing cybersecurity measures to protect your data, reduce the risk of a breach, or a ransomware attack, and make it easier to qualify for cyber liability insurance. This includes assisting you with security policies, plans, procedures, ethical phishing, continuous event log monitoring, backup and disaster recovery strategies, and more.
IT Outsourcing Disadvantages
Finding the best mix of IT outsourcing resources is a journey, and you may encounter a few disadvantages along the way. You may be:
- Losing Some Control Over Your IT: When you entrust your IT to a third-party service provider, you will lose some level of control. You knew this going in but once reality sets in, there’s an orientation period before you enjoy increased peace of mind. And some MSPs may be less organized or diligent about setting your expectations.
- Increasing Security Risks: Anytime a new IT company has access to your critical systems, your security risk increases. That’s why it’s crucial to find a SOC 2 Type 2 MSP to help you comply with industry regulations and protect your data across every access point. SOC 2 Type 2 MSPs will provide you with third-party evidence attesting they maintain rigorous security controls to safeguard sensitive client data.
- Sacrificing Remote Support Availability: If your MSP doesn’t respond quickly to your needs, you may experience extended downtime which impacts your bottom line. Remote support is a lot different than walking into a system engineer’s cubicle and submitting your ticket via dictation. We’ve encountered a lot of businesses that struggle when they shift away from “grab by the collar” tech support to an outsourced model.
- Jeopardizing Employee Loyalty: Your employees may worry about job security if you outsource internal IT processes they’ve grown accustomed to managing. The key is to emphasize how the service will allow them to focus on initiatives with greater strategic value to the business and their career trajectory. Include them in the evaluation process and be candid about the problems with co-managed IT partnerships along with the fixes.
Find the Right IT Partner to Leverage the Benefits of IT Outsourcing
When you Google the term “IT Outsourcing” the search results are overwhelming, and confusing, and include a mixture of line of business software, applications, MSP services, IT staffing, custom software development, and more. “IT outsourcing” and “MSP” also mean different things to small businesses, medium-sized companies, and enterprises.
Accenture and IBM are listed as MSPs but they don’t offer IT help desk and infrastructure support services to businesses with 30-100 employees. They target Fortune 500 companies and organizations with much larger IT budgets.
Are you clear on the IT services you want to outsource? A reputable and experienced MSP will take you through a thoughtful discovery exercise to strictly define what they will take off your plate and what you should keep in-house. And they’ll put all of those details in a Master Services Agreement that I hope you will read carefully. Please don’t skim this document.