Every business faces the question of what to outsource and what to keep in-house. In general, the answer involves several key components like cost, reliability, and efficiency. Here at Stanfield IT, we strongly believe that certain IT services should go into the outsourcing column.
1. Hosting for cloud services. Setting your system up so that you and your staff can access it at anytime, from anywhere, can seem like a great idea. Unfortunately, it’s not nearly as simple as it seems. Security, the need for 99.999 percent uptime, and general maintenance adds up to a complex and expensive set of requirements. Use an outside hosting provider to leave all of the work to them while paying only a fraction of the costs.
2. IT security. Many vendors will claim that their products are secure, but in reality, security concerns play second fiddle to the vendors’ need to produce a product that has the desired main functionality and the reliability that customers demand. Outsourcing security to a company that does nothing else is a good way to ensure that it gets the attention it truly deserves.
3. Web design/development. While there are many tools that allow untrained people to make sites, it takes someone with experience and a designer’s eye to do it well. Your website puts your brand forward to the online world, so it makes sense to hire the designer instead of drafting an unrelated employee to do the work.
4. Social media operations. The concept of posting on Facebook, Twitter, and other sites is easy enough to understand, but implementing it is often tedious and time-consuming. Give this job to another company to free up your time.
5. Business applications. While the thought of having internal business apps made just for you can be appealing, it’s also very expensive. Even worse, a new app always has a beta phase to be dealt with. Spare yourself the expense and frustration by buying business apps off the shelf. Microsoft Office 365, Google Apps, and other suites work great right out of the box and have enough of a userbase to keep costs down.
6. Projects outside of Your IT department’s expertise. Even if you have an internal IT department, you’ll find that there are some things that fall outside of its usual areas of expertise. It’s usually more cost-effective to outsource those things to an expert in the required technology than it is to train your existing personnel to handle it. Outsourcing these projects will also be faster thanks to the lack of a training phase.
7. E-commerce technology. Setting up an e-commerce site requires getting several factors to work together. You need a shopping cart, online gateway to a credit card processor, a card processing account, a secure server certificate, and perhaps more. All of this can be done by one person, but it’ll take days if that person has never done it before. It’s far less frustrating to just sign up for an all-inclusive service.
8. Strategic planning and management. Small companies often don’t yet have the experience to know exactly which direction to take when it comes to IT. Managing all of their existing services can also be onerous. Hiring a firm to handle IT planning and management allows these companies to gain the benefit of years of expertise right away.
Outsourcing IT services doesn’t just make things go faster and eliminate frustration. According to Information Week, cost savings attained by outsourcing reach as high as between 25 and 40 percent. In fact, a study says that small businesses – those with fewer than 300 employees – can realize significant savings just by outsourcing email handling alone!
To get specifics about how IT outsourcing can help your company, just contact us. We’ll be glad to go over your situation with you and identify the areas in which outsourcing will help you the most.