Outsourced IT Services & Solutions For Small & Medium-Sized Businesses
As the role of technology increases for businesses of all sizes, many leaders of small and medium-sized businesses struggle to find the staffing and financial resources to build and maintain the robust technology infrastructure their organizations need.
Even businesses that have traditionally relied on one dedicated IT person or a small staff are finding that they need a broader range of skills and expertise to provide the continuous upkeep and forward-looking technology strategy necessary to successfully support their business today and into the future.
When they find themselves in this situation, many business leaders consider external IT support to either work beside their own staff or to handle the complete care of their network and infrastructure.
Kelser, a managed IT services provider, supports the technology needs of businesses of all sizes by offering comprehensive, proactive managed IT support solutions. But don’t worry, I’m not going to push you to work with us or even to consider managed IT support.
The point of this article is to provide business leaders like you with the information you need to make the right technology decision for your business.
In this article, I’ll explain the services and solutions that outsourced IT support can provide. With that knowledge, you’ll be better prepared to confidently decide what solution will work best for your business. We are committed to providing honest information you can use to determine the best approach for you.
What Are Outsourced IT Services & Solutions?
Businesses hire external organizations to handle a multitude of critical business functions and activities ranging from human resources to legal advice and more.
Outsourced IT services and solutions offer another way for businesses to partner with external experts to get the full complement of services and support they need without the expense of adding full-time staff.
Outsourced IT services and solutions experts can work alongside your internal team or provide full support for your business.
What Kinds Of Outsourced IT Services & Solutions Are Available?
Businesses have two options for outsourced IT: break/fix and the managed IT support model. Both solutions are valid and there are pros and cons to each.
This is what most people think of as traditional tech support. When something breaks, an outside contractor comes in to fix the issue. Break/fix providers may also offer project work.
Also known as reactive IT support, this type of service is usually billed after the job is completed based on an hourly rate plus the cost of parts.
Related article: What Is A Break/Fix IT Provider? The Pros & Cons
2. Managed IT
Technology has evolved into the critical backbone of every business.
Many organizations use a newer IT support model that provides comprehensive, proactive care and maintenance (as well as strategic planning) to keep business networks operating safely and efficiently with minimal downtime and avoid budget surprises.
This type of support, called managed IT, is available for a single, static recurring monthly fee or subscription cost, based on things like the complexity of the environment and number of devices being managed.
(Managed IT service providers may also provide project work which is arranged and billed separate from the ongoing managed agreement.)
Related article: Managed IT Support: The Pros & Cons
How To Select Outsourced IT Services & Solutions
As with any business decision, doing your homework is important.
1. Assess Current State
The first step is to honestly assess where your gaps in skills and technoloy are and the best way to fill them effectively.
2. Explore Financial Resources & Current Spend
Determine how much your current technology situation is really costing you. Make sure to look for hidden costs that don't diretly hit your IT budget, too.
For example, if you have an on-site server, don’t forget the facilities and utilities costs that go along with that approach.
How much can you afford to pay? What is the best use of your financial resources?
3. Ask Around
Once you are ready to find a provider, we encourage you to explore several options. Why? Because if you get a provider that isn’t the right fit, all of your effort to identify your gaps and resources will be useless.
Do an internet search, but also ask your business contacts. How do companies like yours handle their IT?
Related article: How Do I Choose The Right IT Provider? (Criteria You Can Use)
If a provider comes to an interview (yes an interview!) with a ready solution, be wary. How can they possibly know what your business needs without listening to your pain points and business goals? No ready-made solution will fit every organization.
To build a partnership with you, your IT service and solution provider needs to understand your business, your industry, your customer base, your regulatory and compliance needs, your infrastructure, your business plan, and more before helping you decide on the right technology tools for your business.
Related article: What Value Do Strategic Business/IT Partnerships Provide?
Are Outsourced IT Services & Solutions Expensive?
The truth is that outsourced IT services and solutions can be expensive. But when you consider the full cost of your current technology spend and the cost of employing the full suite of technology experts that every network needs, the cost of outsourced IT services and solutions is usually much less than hiring internal staff.
The reason is that when you work with an outside provider, they cover the cost of benefits, hiring, training, certifying, and retaining staff (among other costs). In addition, costs that are passed on to customers are shared among the provider’s many customers.
(And, no more worries about a critical member of your internal IT team leaving unexpectedly. Your provider has the staff you need to cover every eventuality.)
So, you get the convenience and confidence of having the qualified resources you need when you need them without having to bear the full cost burden long-term.
I’ll offer one other cost note: according to an IBM report the average cost of a U.S. data breach in 2022 was $9.44 million, more than double the global average! The cost of proactive IT that can help prevent cyber risks pales in comparison.
Related article: What Factors Affect IT Support Costs? (10 You Need To Know)
Is Outsourcing IT The Right Solution For Your Organization?
Only you can decide on the best technology solution for your organization.
The good news is that after reading this article you have a better understanding of the options for outsourced IT services and solutions. You know the difference between break/fix and managed IT and you know that both have advantages and disadvantages.
Wondering if your organization is too small for managed IT support? Read this article to find out what sized organizations can benefit from managed IT.
At this point, you might be still exploring your options and have some thinking to do. That’s perfectly normal.
Or, you may be ready to learn more about how break fix and managed IT compare in terms of cost, reliability, security, and productivity.
If you find yourself confused, looking for more information, or wanting to talk to a person, click the link below to provide your contact information so one of our advisors can reach out to learn about your pain points and answer your questions.