3 Things to Consider Before Outsourcing IT

Outsourcing isn’t for everyone or every business. Some businesses choose to outsource their HR department while others choose to outsource specific responsibilities, such as data backup. As your business, website and data needs expand, you might be considering outsourcing your IT department as a whole, or delegating specific tasks of that would be the responsibility of an IT team. Some businesses have found that outsourcing IT has led to improvements in overall operational efficiency and allowed them to gain knowledge about IT security that will help them run their businesses better. There are three things you’ll want to consider before you make the decision of whether or not to outsource your IT.

Response Time

Having an in-house IT team often means your employees will get an answer faster than if you chose to outsource. This isn’t always the case. Sometimes an on-site employee won’t have the answer while your outsourced IT employees may not be available on a 24/7 basis. Look at the pace and demands of your business when determining whether an in-house or outsourced IT team will be better suited. If your current IT needs are met in a timely fashion, outsourcing may not be for you.

  • Fast stat: When one company chose to outsource their IT, the backlog for requests was reduced from multi-year to less than one month (Lab Answer).
  • Quick tip: If you’re considering outsourcing IT, make sure you take in to consideration the response time. If your business is fast-paced and you need quick responses on a regular basis, make sure your IT team or outsourced company can provide that. If one can’t, consider the other options.

Expertise

If you’re a small business owner, you may be considering outsourcing to save money and gain expertise in a field you’re not well-versed in. Or, maybe your business is looking for the latest in tech and someone who can help you implement the newest addition to your company. An in-house IT team may be able to provide your employees with a quicker response time, but outsourcing can provide you with experts in various tech fields that you might otherwise not have access to.

  • Fast stat: 67 percent of IT leaders say they rely on outsourced hires to turn ideas into new and improved processes, but just a third actually measure the impact of innovation delivered by their service providers (Warwick Business School).
  • Quick tip: Look for a company that not only solves whatever problems you’re company has or might come across, but also one that will provide insight and advice to help your company grow and more forward.

Cost

If the economic downturn is causing your company to cut costs, or if you’re a small business looking to expand without spending too much money, IT outsourcing can be a cost-effective solution. However, outsourcing could cost your business more than you anticipated. If you’re outsourcing a specific task, you can get quotes on IT consulting services from various vendors and ensure your needs are met within budget. From overpriced quotes to time thieves, pay close attention to your IT budgets. Before you sign any contracts, read over when you’ll be charged and under what circumstances to make sure you understand exactly what you’re paying for.

  • Fast stat: 77 percent of IT professionals who work in organizations that outsource say those they’ve hired have made up work to get extra money (Lieberman Software Corporation).
  • Quick tip: If you’re looking to outsource a majority of what would be an IT team’s responsibilities, make sure the IT services provider you go with is trustworthy, can provide references, and can grow with your company. Otherwise, you may end up paying more than expected.

If your company decides to keep IT in-house, make sure your IT employees are qualified to meet both your current needs and future needs. Hiring an employee is an expensive process and each employee should be worth the investment you make in them. Likewise, if you choose to outsource, make sure your business is only being billed for work actually done and that the work is up to your standards. Outsourcing IT can save small businesses time and money as the time-consuming responsibilities are delegated elsewhere.

 

About the Author: Erica Bell is a small business writer who focuses on topics such as IT services firms and internet services. She is a web content writer for Business.com. 

2 thoughts on “3 Things to Consider Before Outsourcing IT

  1. Daniel-Mihai

    In the same way, I think it’s also important to consider the nature of your IT requirements and the frequency with which you need IT tasks performed for your business. If your IT business needs are just a great eCommerce website and perhaps a mobile application to support this website, I’d say that you go for outsourcing. On the other hand, if you have complex software that needs to be managed and maintained on a regular basis, getting some qualified in-house guys will have to be the option.

  2. Erica

    Hi Daniel,

    Thanks for your comment. You make a great point when it comes to frequency. A business that needs regular IT maintenance will prefer in-house, qualified staff.

    - Erica

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