The dependence on technology to perform even the most basic business tasks has increased drastically in the last 7-10 years. Think about it, could your organization thrive without technology? For most, technology is a necessity in day-to-day operation and to facilitate growth.
Currently, most companies manage their IT infrastructure in one of two ways:
- Internal staff, typically 1-2 people
- Break-fix methodology with an on-call IT provider
Many of these organizations are asking themselves if there is a better or cheaper way to maintain and secure their networks.
This short guide will help you determine if there is a better option for you. Here are 4 questions to ask yourself when deciding if outsourcing your IT with a Managed IT Services provider is right for you:
1. Is your company dependent on technology systems to be up and running to meet your clients’ needs?
Imagine this, you walk in after lunch and find out the network is down. A server has gone down and your line of business software is unavailable.
Currently, you handle IT issues with an on-call IT person. You call your “IT person” for support but find out he is working on a project for a different client. He will have to try accessing the server remotely after he gets to a stopping point with his current client. This could take a few hours at best, or potentially up to a week at worst. Are you starting to sweat?
You’re probably looking around at all the people sitting at their desks unable to enter sales orders, order inventory or send invoices out. Do you have any idea how much this downtime is costing you?
If you have mentally checked any of these boxes, a more pro-active approach to managing your IT infrastructure through a Managed IT Services provider is probably a good idea. An experienced Managed IT Services provider has Service Level Agreements that outline the speed at which your issues will be addressed with multiple personnel capable of addressing your issue. Additionally, there would be Backup and Disaster Recovery plans in the case of a “down” situation.
2. Is your company big enough to afford an outsourced managed IT partnership?
The economies of scale are in your favor on this one. Most small, medium businesses (SMB’s) that have 25 or more employees with computer-intensive job functions and less than 200 users are typically good candidates for partnering with an outsourced IT Management Provider.
Most often, an SMB with 25-200 users can’t sustain the cost of having an in-house IT person or persons, with the necessary expertise to manage all IT functions:
- Business software
- Helpdesk support
Now, let’s consider what in-house IT staff can run.
- A senior-level IT professional can cost an average of $91K per year ($70K in annual salary and a 30% non-salary burden rate)
- A technician-level staffer averages $40K in salary and $12K in non-salary burden rate, that’s a total of $52K for one additional member of your staff
That puts you at over $140K per year just to have basic support for the network. This doesn’t include the software and tools they will need to effectively manage the network. Additionally, those two employees are shared by every network user for all issues. It would be easy for them to be overwhelmed or get tied up in projects.
Even larger companies (200-500 users) can get overloaded with IT staff trying to meet all the needs of their organization. In many cases, we see larger organizations that keep a few people on staff as strategic experts for their business software and leave the network management and helpdesk to an outsourced IT provider.
An outsourced IT provider is often a more dependable and affordable option for IT management.
3. Is network availability important to you because your users are highly compensated?
If you said no to #2 because you’re too small, but yes to this question, outsourcing your IT still may be a good fit.
Many professional service companies have users who are very highly compensated, for example:
In this case, their ‘product’ is their expertise. Even a half-day of downtime can be a huge loss of revenue.
If you lose 4 hours of billable productivity per user per month due to network issues, it has a large impact on the bottom line. When choosing to outsource your IT, you’re buying network uptime and fast issue resolution without the need for your company to be experts at IT.
4. Does your network data need to be secure?
All network data needs to be secure – from the smallest company to the largest – but some companies are required by law to maintain higher security protocols, for example:
- Healthcare: HIPAA
- Financial Institutions: Sarbanes-Oxley
The first step to meeting these regulations is having a well maintained, patched, and secure network. It’s difficult to be on the leading edge of technology and defeat all the threats that can befall your network.
58% of cyberattack victims in 2018 were small businesses (organizations with fewer than 250 employees). Without the proper tools and expertise, your data could be compromised and lost entirely in the event of a cyberattack.
If you said yes to any of these questions your company values technology. It would be in your best interest to explore your options for a more proactive, outsourced IT management partnership.
Contact us to learn more! Or read more on network security, here.