Is IT outsourcing needed for small business?
Imagine you start the small business you dreamed of. You have a reliable team, hired accountant, maybe an attorney. What about a managed service provider? Do you need it? Will it be the right decision? Of course, as a business owner, you are worried about risks. Outsourcing any part of the business is often very risky, but there are some ways to avoid it, and we’ll talk about them a little bit later.
What services can you outsource?
Services you can outsource totally depend on the kind of your business, but there are some common services :
- data center operations;
- security and compliance;
- help desk, FAQ and knowledgebase maintenance;
- cloud computing services;
- backup & disaster recovery planning;
- monitoring and maintenance of the network;
- customer support services;
- web and mobile software development.
Why is IT outsourcing is good for small businesses?
Usually, small business at the start has one employee, who handles software and hardware installation, and troubleshoots technical issues. With the company growth, other IT needs arise, and you may need to hire new specialists.
Often there is no need to hire all the IT department in-house and it’s much more productive to use the services of the IT outsourcing company. You’ll receive the next benefits:
- You don’t need to recruit the entire team one by one, because you will hire a provider, who already has a team. Also, you won’t need to worry if some specialist leaves the team, as this is the provider’s responsibility.
- You’ll reduce costs. Hiring an outsourcing company will cost you less than hiring an in-house team of IT specialists.
- The competitiveness of your company will increase. When you outsource part of your business, you can allocate resources to focus on other business aspects and tasks.
- Staff reduction. Insofar as you don’t hire new specialists, your in-house team does not expand.
- Minimization of the company’s risks. The contractor takes overall risks related to outsourcing area.
- Access new technologies. You’ll use new technologies without detailed self-study and with the provider support.
What about risks and drawbacks?
There are no perfect things in the world, so IT outsourcing for small business has some common disadvantages:
- Security risks, the unscrupulous contractor may use sensitive data of your company in their own interests.
- Management risks (failure of deadlines and tasks).
- Bad quality of the outsourcing company’s work.
But with the dependable and experienced outsourcing team, you have nothing to worry about.
How to mitigate and avoid risks?
No matter if your company is small or big, whether you have a lot of experienсe or you are a beginner – you need to assess risks. You can secure your business following the next recommendations:
- Choose a managed service provider wisely. You need to look for reviews and feedback from other companies. Ask about the provider’s experience and successful cases. You can ask for references to previous clients and directly get a review from them.
- Give a third-party provider detailed terms of reference and make sure he understands you correctly.
- Find out how the provider will handle data security.
Final thoughts: when is it appropriate to hire an outsourcing IT company for small business?
At first, you need to understand what tasks you can delegate to a third-party. Can you manage these tasks by your own or do you need to hire new specialists? How many specialists do you need? For how long will you need them? Do you need an in-house specialist or can you outsource a new part of work? Will it be valuable or result in losses?
Anyway, as before any serious decision about business, you need to make at least a small analysis. If you decide to outsource part of your tasks, try to find out as much information as possible about your future provider. Outsourcing can be risky but with a reliable third-party company, your business will be safe and sound.