Most of ANP’s new clients are “doing IT themselves,” before we meet them. Once we complete an assessment of their IT environment they are surprised to find out how many serious things are not configured correctly or not configured at all. We have been providing IT outsourced services since 1998, and we have learned a few things along the way. Let me share with you what I believe are the top 10 reasons why a small business owner or a non-profit Executive Director should be considering IT outsourcing.
Given below, as reflected by ANP’s clients, are the top 10 reasons to outsource your IT:
- Lower operational and capital costs are among the primary reasons why companies choose to outsource their IT. When properly executed, IT outsourcing has a defining impact and can deliver significant savings to a company. In addition, rather than get Time & Materials IT invoices on an unplanned basis, you now get a fixed-fee invoice every month; it is so much easier to plan your IT cash flow.
- Perhaps most important, you can gain some peace-of-mind that your IT is being run by using industry best practices. I opened the blog sharing with you that most owners are really surprised how bad their IT situation is. By outsourcing your IT you can become confident in knowing that all of the data security, patching, antivirus updating, disk defragging and daily backups will be monitored, proactively managed and completed.
- Many times our new clients recognize the existing IT foundation is in big trouble, and in order to build an organization that can scale and grow, a strong IT foundation must be in place. Once you outsource your IT you will have access to the advice of professional IT experts. They will analyze your basic IT foundation and make recommendations. For example, during a new engagement ANP often finds a Local Area Network (LAN) in which LAN switches are daisy-chained throughout the company. Over time, this common practice will cripple the LAN’s ability to work correctly and everyone will slow down to a crawl. Placing a couple of new LAN switches in a few closets can completely turn that condition around.
- If you were to consider how much time you and your staff are spending on IT today, what would you estimate the value of that lost payroll to be? If you outsource your IT to a third party, you immediately re-gain time which you and your staff can use to focus on growing your business.
- IT outsourcing can also help a small business build a 3-year and 5-year IT budget. You can actually plan to replace old PCs and laptops in a scheduled and controlled fashion, rather than wait until a salesperson’s PC blows up and you find them screaming in your office to spend an unplanned $1500.
- Outsourcing your IT will also free up internal IT resources that were doing mundane support desk and patching tasks, allowing them to be put to more effective use for other strategic IT purposes.
- IT Outsourcing can also be used as a strategic planning tool before a business sale. If you are planning to sell your business as a strategic platform, your IT must be performing at a high level. Once an offer for sale has been made, an IT professional will be sent in during a diligence period to evaluate your IT processes and they will assess the overall condition of your IT department. Outsourcing a year before the business sale will insure you get a great bill of health!
- Outsourcing also enables companies to realize the benefits of re-engineering their whole IT server farm. My experience has been that many companies have deferred their IT spending so long that the servers running the business are too old and way overtaxed, impeding the ability of each PC on the network to do the simplest of tasks.
- By delegating responsibilities to an external IT service provider companies can wash their hands of IT functions that are difficult to manage and control while still realizing their benefits.
- Some companies also outsource IT to help them expand and gain access to new market areas, by taking the point of production or service delivery closer to their end users. For instance, do you want to move into South America or the Mid-East? ANP has deployed WAN and LAN networks throughout the world.
To summarize: Companies undertake IT outsourcing for a variety of reasons depending upon their vision and purpose. While this may vary from company to company, all of our clients have found outsourcing their IT to be a fruitful and successful component of their business strategy. You should consider it as a potential strategy for your business!