How Much Does Outsourced IT Support Cost For Small Business?
Many small and medium sized businesses can benefit from outsourcing tasks, which can help to increase efficiency and economies-of-scale, while keeping an entrepreneur’s energy focused on activities that are a profitable use of their time. After all, in business, time is money, and outsourcing can have a powerful impact on potential growth, productivity and the bottom line of your venture. One of the main tasks that small and medium sized businesses often decide to outsource is the management of their IT infrastructure. The cost of IT support for a small business can be drastically reduced through outsourcing these operations to a company that specializes in handling information technology. These cost savings come primarily from the freedom of not having to operate, employ and manage an IT department.
In today’s current working environment, there is a matrix of cables, computers, phones, printers, networks, security protocols, and other IT processes that are critical to the success of a business. Small and medium sized enterprises can have networks ranging from 10–500 users. For most companies, managing this delicate network is not one of their core activities. For these businesses, outsourcing IT operations is a viable solution that can help provide access to the latest industry processes and techniques. Outsourcing is often less costly and time consuming than hosting these processes in-house, and employing the technical staff to manage them. When handled properly, this seamless flow of information can bring about a number of operational efficiencies, and also improve a company’s speed to market for new products and services. Additionally, outsourcing can help take some of the hassle out of running an office, allowing entrepreneurs to remain focused on their relative strengths and the competitive advantage of their business venture.
Outsourcing Offshore vs. Locally
In today’s global marketplace, once a business owner decides to outsource some – or all – of their IT processes, they are faced with a few options. Some companies decide to use offshore service providers, while others prefer to go with a local IT firm. While offshore providers can often provide competitive rates, they also come with their fair share of drawbacks. Outsourcing offshore can generate all types of concerns regarding data protection, auditing and customer service. Often times, outsourcing offshore can create a communication gap for consumers, which can severely hinder customer relations and end-user support. If the company chosen turns out to be a poor service provider, regaining custody of the data to switch providers is not always a guarantee. Any issues will have to be fought in their local court system, which often will not hold the same business protections enjoyed in North America.
Locally, there are IT Firms that help to eliminate these deficiencies, giving companies a reliable, locally-sourced IT department, that can provide support and become trusted advisors for all types of IT solutions. Outsourcing locally can actually help customer care and billing, as companies can rest assured that their data will remain protected, and that the firms involved will be able to communicate effectively with your consumers. Furthermore, it is important to maintain a strong relationship with your IT service provider. Outsourcing locally makes it is much easier to schedule regular meetings with a local firm to set, measure and evaluate the performance of the IT systems.
The cost of IT support for a small business often leads entrepreneurs to seek full-service third-party solutions from a reputable provider. IT outsourcing can help small businesses reduce costs as well as improve operational efficiency and economies of scale, while providing unlimited support and on-staff technicians to help troubleshoot or fix any issues that may arise, making it a viable solution for nearly any small or medium sized enterprise.