In today’s increasingly digital world, a lack of tech skills can hold back a company’s digital transformation — the integration of digital technology into any area of business, changing how a core service is delivered to customers.
For example, the Microsoft Cloud Skills Report found that a lack of cloud computing skills stands to jeopardise the digital transformation of at least 3,500 mid-large UK organisations.
The common workaround to this skills shortage is outsourcing.
A YouGov study shows that 70% of B2B decision-makers have already outsourced their key services. And among British businesses that do outsource, 34% have handed off their IT support to third parties.
These findings are hardly surprising. Many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) may need IT support, but not to the extent that they require an in-house technician or computer engineer at all times.
In other words, paying a managed IT services provider or consultant is the more cost-effective choice. But apart from cost savings and convenience, outsourcing your IT services offers several key benefits.
4 Benefits to Consider Outsourcing IT Practical for SMEs
1. Audits of Your IT Challenges
As your business grows and expands its catalogue of products and services, you may find an increasing need to optimise processes through new technologies such as AI, automation and machine learning.
Outsourcing your IT services enables you to get audits of your IT infrastructure and identify your needs, such as:
- Gaps in your cybersecurity network
- Inefficient IT processes and systems
- Recommendations for new software to use for project management, collaboration and supply chain management
- Storage and computing power requirements that need to be updated
A third-party IT consultancy firm can offer a bird’s eye view of your biggest IT challenges and provide recommendations that match your objectives and IT budget.
2. Enhanced Data Security
As more businesses bring access to their products and services online, the risk of their customers’ data ending up in the hands of cyber attackers also rises. In fact, the average cost of a cybersecurity incident is $200,000; for many small businesses, that’s an amount that could sink their operations for good.
For many SMEs, having expertise in every area of cybersecurity is next to impossible. Outsourcing your cybersecurity services allows you to tap the expertise of security experts, promising both stability and continuous monitoring of your cybersecurity infrastructure.
3. Better Employee Productivity
Outsourcing your IT services to a third-party provider or consultant enables your business to focus on core service delivery and customer engagement. It frees up your people from having to think about IT concerns and devote their attention to what they’re good at.
Outsourcing also lets you access a wealth of insights on how to streamline processes in your business using cloud-based technologies. These processes include:
- Human resources, including recruitment, onboarding and employee support
- Accounting, including payroll and compliance
- Supply chain management and procurement
- Project management
- Communication and collaboration
- Sales and marketing
Getting an objective opinion from someone outside your organization can help you get honest feedback on what you’re doing well and what solutions could unlock opportunities to be more productive.
4. Scale Your Business With Ease
A robust IT infrastructure is critical to scaling your business with ease. Unfortunately, this level of IT maturity is often reserved for large corporations.
But with the help of a managed IT services provider, you can have the necessary software and support to scale your operations during opportune moments. For instance, if you’re a retail company, a provider will help you scale your cloud computing power and data storage during peak periods. During lean months, you can scale down and reduce costs.
By outsourcing or even co-sourcing your IT department, you can get specialist support for growing your business. You no longer have to think about costly upgrades to your hardware or software every year or upskilling your team to keep up with the latest IT trends.
Your third-party IT provider will take care of everything for you, giving you the agility and flexibility to scale alongside your growth.
Over to You
Successful IT outsourcing requires doing your due diligence and working with the right managed IT services provider. Think of a third-party IT provider as a major acquisition or purchase. Shop around and talk to trusted IT firms whose expertise matches your organisation’s industry and needs.