Wouldn’t it just be better and more cost-effective to simply hire a full-time in-house team of IT programmers? Unlike what most Small and Medium Enterprise owners believe, this is false. For these companies, finding the right in-house team and retaining them long-term is very difficult. On top of this, running an entire IT department can get expensive. You need to hire the right talent and ensure they are adequately compensated and continuously trained on the latest technologies. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible in a small organization but it’s important not to disregard IT altogether in that case (which is what many SMEs do – we continuously catch growing companies use Word and Excel to gather and manage their sensitive data).
For many of today’s successful businesses, IT is the backbone of their organization (and I don’t say this lightly). These companies rely on the speed, accessibility and flexibility of their systems to provide complete, accurate information to their employees and customers. Therefore, in order for owners and managers to focus completely on their business as well as ensure that their IT environment is running properly and as efficient as possible, it’s critical to outsource their IT needs. This will give them the peace of mind that:
- their systems are being monitored at all times
- their IT infrastructure is constantly being evaluated for future growth
- their support team is continuously being trained on the latest technologies
- their IT costs are controlled and much more affordable on a long-term basis (monthly or yearly service fees rather than full salaries for each team member)
Here are more advantages of outsourcing your IT services and support:
- Accessible and consistent strategic IT consulting, whenever required
- Minimized risk; your IT environment will constantly be monitored and the IT support team is there to prevent and respond quickly to disasters (downtimes)
- Increased productivity; the more you allow your managers and team to focus on their business tasks, you’ll start seeing an increase in productivity
- Outsourced IT team are given the right tools to grow as experts in their field
I do want to stress the fact that not every IT Vendor will provide all of the benefits listed above. This is where many business owners differ on their attitude and experience with outsourced IT Vendors. It’s critical to ask the right questions when you are looking to hire a new Provider for your business. It can be difficult to find the right one, which is why many companies get stuck with an expensive, unavailable IT support team. This terrible experience then puts a bad taste in their mouth for future IT projects and outsourcing needs.
Do not simply go blindly with the big-name IT companies like SAP, Microsoft, Oracle, etc., as those may not be a good fit for your small business. Unfortunately, because not many business managers know what to look for in an IT vendor, they simply go with well-known providers. These big-names may be great for large organizations, but for the smaller guys, they will be way too expensive and provide a lower quality of service and support than what small owners expect. What I always recommend is to go ahead and ask other small and medium enterprise owners in your community who they would recommend and why they would recommend them. Remember, some owners may have a higher preference for low costs while others may have a preference for available and accessible support. It’s important to understand what you and your team are looking for in an IT vendor. Write down exactly what you are trying to solve by hiring this outsourced IT support and how you want to solve it together.
Here are some questions to ask yourself before looking for your outsourced IT support;
- What problem(s) are you trying to solve?
- What system(s) do you believe will improve your business processes? (of course, this can always be determined upon speaking with an IT consultant)
- What type of IT services are you looking for?
- What do you value most; costs, support, services and solutions offered?
- What is your IT budget?
- What do you value and expect out of an IT Provider?
These questions can always be discussed upon meeting with IT providers to get a good sense of what they will offer you and how best they will fit with your business. Remember, this provider will become your Partner. Our Namtek team works together with our customers to ensure the growth and success of their business – a real partnership. We do it by helping them leverage technology to be as efficient as possible in todays ever-changing business world and by ensuring their IT infrastructure and systems are running properly.