1) Expertise and Resources: Having a bank of knowledge at your disposal is imperative in today’s world, where new technologies are constantly emerging and new rules and regulations are implemented that affect how you utilize technology in the workplace. The fact is, most small businesses have one main IT professional. While this person likely serves a range of IT functions, it is improbable that he or she has deep expert knowledge on every aspect of IT. An IT consulting firm solves this challenge by offering a team of experts on security and compliance, networking, operating systems and numerous other subdivisions of information technology. Say, for instance, you are experiencing a problem with your Microsoft® Exchange Server. You (or your IT manager) can call your outsourced IT firm and either have a resident Exchange expert walk you through the appropriate steps to remedy the situation or dispatch a technician to your office—rather than spending hours on the phone with Microsoft trying to figure out the problem.
A major trend in the industry is Security Audits, as some of the most important IT issues involve personal information and data security. By using an outside IT firm, you have at your disposal a certified security expert who can perform an audit of your entire IT infrastructure to ensure your business is taking all the step.
2) Business Continuity: An outsourced managed IT service can also help ensure a streamlined business continuity process by automating data backups, either onsite or to the cloud, and monitoring your system remotely. This frees up your internal resources to focus on other mission-critical aspects of the business. What’s more, should a server fail, your IT firm can dispatch a technician, either onsite or remotely, to resolve the issue quickly and smoothly—usually before you are even aware an issue has occurred. Technicians can move your server to a virtual environment in a matter of minutes while working on the system issue, drastically reducing your downtime and maintaining a stable level of productivity.
Outsourcing your IT provides a support group tailored to fit your needs and schedule. A technician can be scheduled onsite as frequently or infrequently as your budget and IT infrastructure require—from once a week to daily. You can also opt for remote support by way of a dedicated Help Desk technician via phone or online, which extends your access to support beyond the traditional nine-to-five workday.
You can add additional staff as needed (e.g. if you were to move offices or completely upgrade your entire network). An IT consulting firm will arm you with a project manager and additional technicians as needed to help complete the project in a timely manner. With an established relationship with your outsourcing firm, you’re, in essence, eliminating the need for a temp agency or freelancer.
4) Cost: Between spending countless hours trying to fix technology problems on your own and spending money on equipment that becomes outdated within a year or two, outsourcing your IT needs can help you save in the long run. These days, you can’t have a conversation about IT without hearing the term “cloud computing.” When it comes to cloud computing, particularly the public cloud, servers and applications are hosted off-site and are accessed over the internet. With this, you don’t have to monitor or maintain the system, which is ideal for backup disaster recovery, and you pay a monthly fee based on usage. No initial investment for equipment. What’s more, because clouds use web-based administration portals, you can scale and modify your infrastructure at a moment’s notice.
5) Peace of Mind: When you seek outside help for your IT needs, you can focus on other aspects of your business. With outsourced services, such as maintenance and monitoring, your IT firm consistently checks your system for optimal functionality, giving you one less thing to worry about. Outsourcing your IT needs gives you the expertise and resources you need to operate your entire IT infrastructure—saving you time, money, and, perhaps most importantly, the aggravation of having to deal with technology problems yourself.