Do you build it or buy it? Should you hire your own IT professional or staff, or outsource your IT support?
When you’re a small business or startup, running lean is everything. You want to keep all costs down. But you don’t want to skimp out in the wrong places.
IT support and cyber security seem like places that you don’t want to cheap out. You should really just bite the bullet and hire someone, right? Not necessarily.
What if I told you that small businesses can actually get far more value by spending less and outsourcing your IT support? You can. And the market is definitely shifting in that direction.
In fact, the managed services market is poised to grow from $152.45 billion in 2017 to $257.84 billion by 2022.
Here are 10 reasons why small businesses are choosing to outsource their IT support.
- Reduced Labor Costs
This is a big one.
Here’s the thing about hiring a full time IT support employee: Very little of your money goes to actual IT. So it’s harder to grow your business.
A lot of your money goes to the various costs of keeping a full-time employee. That means, you’re paying for their:
- Computer/ software and other equipment
- Sick days
- Possible Mat leave
In fact, the average employee will actually cost 25- 40% above their wages/salary amount. And the more attractive you want to be to new hires (Great benefits, perks, gym membership, snacks) the more it will cost you.
Now factor in the fact that the average IT worker makes $80,000 per year, so they’re actually costing you anywhere from $100,000 – $112,000 per year.
But if you outsource your IT support to a third party, all of your money goes directly to actually protecting and managing your digital assets.
- Controlled IT Costs
Besides keeping your labor costs down, you can also keep your actual IT costs lower with an outsourced solution.
Once you staff an IT worker, you need to make sure they have all the latest tools to do their job effectively. Otherwise, what’s the point?
These tools are not cheap. These costs can easily reach the same level of their salary when you factor in the hardware, software, and subscriptions required to run a reliable and secure network.
But an outsourced solution brings their own tools to the table. You don’t have to pay to upgrade their laptops or renew their software subscriptions.
Those costs are factored into a fixed rate that you can predict and control.
- Eliminate Training and Up Training
You also need to make sure your employee is as smart and trained as humanly possible. And again, you need to pay to do that.
You’re on the hook for their re-certifications, online courses, trade magazine subscriptions, etc. Or you may have to find yourself having to foot the bill for them to attend an out of town trade conference or seminar.
And you need to trust that your employee isn’t complacent and ensure they are keeping up with all of today’s tools, tips, and trends.
But again, if you outsource your IT services, your provider will make sure all of their employees are properly trained and at their own expense.
Think of them as a software that just updates itself in the background, without you knowing it.
- Expand Your Company’s Knowledgebase
Think of it this way. If you have an IT employee, you have access to their brain and their entire work experience. You have their mind to control things and fix problems.
But, if you outsource your IT support, you can gain access to an entire team of brains. And you have multiple minds, with more years of collective experience working to fix problems.
All for a lower price than keeping one full-time employee.
- Increased Data Security
The need for data security has never been more important, especially to a small business. Did you know that 60% of businesses will go out of business within 6 months of getting hacked?
And those numbers aren’t getting any less scary. It’s estimated that by the year 2020 we will need to defend 50 times more data than we are today.
If you hire an IT support company you have more protection. You have more tools, more minds, and 24/7 monitoring.
And this extends to beyond just in-office attacks. Your staff is just as vulnerable every time they work from home, on-site somewhere, or on a Starbucks’ Wi-Fi.
Their mobile devices can also bring your network down. For example, in 2015 alone, 3.3 million mobile apps that were downloaded under the guise of being a tool were classified as malware.
An IT support company can help you safeguard employees in the office and when they’re out and about.
- Reduced Downtime
Your business cannot afford to be offline, no matter what type of business you’re in. It can cost you money, and also kill your search engine rankings.
Not only does downtime cost you money to fix and cuts you off from your customers, it also absolutely destroys your productivity. In fact, 44% of businesses surveyed said they could lose $10,000 in only an hour of downtime.
Or, let’s say it’s more than a simple outage. Maybe you have somehow lost data or a hard drive has been compromised. It happens a lot. At least 140,000 hard drives crash in the U.S., every single week. Often with zero warning.
And this is more costly than you think. and you’re not even guaranteed to recover all or some of your files.
But if you hired an IT support agency, you’re in a far better position to protect yourself from downtime, crashes, or lost data.
- Allow for Advance IT Planning
Again, having an entire team working for you is better than one mind. This team can better forecast what you may need in the future.
They’re more up-to-date on any new technologies or best practices that are currently on the horizon, so they can anticipate how to best leverage them to help your business.
A single diligent employee can keep up on today’s IT trends. But an entire team has the resources to take that info and formulate a proposed plan for your company.
- Outsourced IT Support Means No Employee Turnover
We’ve already covered the fact that full-time employees are expensive. Here’s the other thing about them: someday they will leave you.
Once they leave, you have to replace them as an employee. You also have to replace all of the proprietary knowledge about your company that they have acquired over their time with you.
This can be “passed on,” with a knowledge transfer. But that’s only if you know in advance the employee is leaving. In the case of a sudden termination or quitting, you’re in a lot of trouble.
The employee was probably the sole gatekeeper to all of your company’s most sensitive information.
They’re taking a lot more than just knowing all of the passwords with them. Although vindictive firing/quitting could mean you’re locked out.
They are taking the standard operations and day-to-day knowledge of how your network survives. And if there’s no knowledge transfer, it can take the new hire months to sort the mess out and get up to speed to where you were before.
- Gain a Technology Edge Over Competitors
When you’re a startup, you’ll take any leg-up you can get over the competition. Now just imagine you have access to all of the things we’ve mentioned above, but your competition is still paying for a full-time employee.
You’re paying less. But you have access to more tools, brains, and services than they do.
You’re more nimble and adaptive. You have an entire team looking out for your company and your future. They will determine how to best use the tools of tomorrow.
This gives you a massive competitive advantage over “The Other Guys,” as you have access to more technology, without paying the costs associated with carrying a full-time staffer.
- Put Your Money Into What Makes You Money
This is the best part. You can take all of the money you save by outsourcing your IT support and put it back into the business, so you can focus on the things that actually move the needle forward for your business.
You can take that money and hire a new sales staff, or offer bonuses to your existing staff.
Or, you can put the money towards hiring a specialist that can help your company do what you specialize in. If you’re a marketing agency, you can hire a new designer to ease everyone’s workload.
These are the things that make you money, instead of just costing you money.
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