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Is a Dedicated In-House IT Staff Obsolete?

How do you keep your IT systems running at peak efficiency if you don’t have a dedicated IT department?

You can’t hope to run a competitive business without any technical infrastructure. What’s more, technology is getting increasingly complex and you need people who can stay on top of the latest innovations. Even if you have a fair amount of technical expertise yourself, you won’t have the time to maintain your infrastructure as well as run your business.

If you can’t afford your own dedicated IT department because your business has not matured, you can always outsource all the IT support you need. Ideally, you should look for a company in your neck of the woods. If, for instance, you live in Canada, you should look for a company like Firewall Technical, which offers IT support in Ottawa and provides the technical support that you need to deploy, sustain, and develop your networks, servers, and desktop computers.

While, of course, you could also look for a virtual network provider, you may not need all the functionality of a cloud environment. The benefits of scalable resource management, SaaS, and international collaboration will be lost on you if you have a small firm. If, for example, you just have a small retail store, a law firm or an accounting business, you probably just need a server to share applications and files between users on a small network.

By outsourcing your IT needs, you will free up your business’s limited human resources. Your managers can now focus on developing your core business rather than devoting their time and attention to making decisions about complex technical issues that they don’t fully understand.

5 Benefits to Outsourcing IT

If you decide that outsourcing IT services would be a perfect solution for you, here are 5 immediate benefits that you’ll gain:

1. You’ll be able to control your IT costs. Outsourcing your IT needs does away with the financial burden of fixed costs, replacing them with variable costs. As a result, you’ll have much better control of your budget. Your costs will be low as long as your infrastructure is well-maintained. You will only need to pay for what you need when you need it. For the most part, you will just pay for repairs or upgrades.

2. You’ll be able to cut down on your staffing costs. While you can always hire temporary employees to fix issues, their lack of familiarity with your computer systems will make it difficult for them to provide you with the quality of service you need. By not hiring IT employees, you’ll be freeing up your human resources budget; and you can now focus on hiring the people you need to build your business organization.

3. You don’t have to sift and sort through resumes when hiring someone for temporary work. If you’re not trained in IT, it’s difficult to assess whether someone has the training, experience, and qualifications you need to do the job well. Your outsourced IT support company will already have hired the best people for a wide variety of jobs. In addition, these people will have plenty of exposure to different types of technical problems because they will have worked in a variety of industries. Consequently, they will probably be able to resolve your problems quickly.

4. You will be able to level the playing field by increasing the efficiency and competitiveness of your business. Even if you could afford your own in-house IT service, you might not be as competitive as others in your industry because you will have to pass on the costs of research, development, and implementation on to your customers.What’s more, by outsourcing your IT needs, you will be able to implement new technology quickly and be able to launch client’s projects without any trouble. In addition, by working with a third party IT service provider, you’ll have access to the same expertise, and possibly even the same technology, used by bigger companies. Your managed costs and your economy of scale will actually give your organization a competitive advantage.

5. You can put compliance and security on autopilot. When you outsource your IT support, you don’t have to worry about if your firewall is up-to-date, if you have DMZ installed, if your servers and workstations have been audited, or if your company has implemented or maintained PCI standards. All these issues will be covered by your outsourced IT service who will upgrade all your current systems and develop a maintenance checklist to make sure your infrastructure is always in good shape. Although there are many responsibilities with owning an IT structure, as well as risks related to ensuring the safety of your client’s sensitive information, the burden of these risks and responsibilities will be assumed by the IT support company.

Continuing the Relationship

Even after your business has grown to the point where you can now afford to hire a full-time IT staff, you may decide to continue the relationship with your outsourced IT service. By continuing to rely on an outsourced provider to manage your risks for you, they might be able to do a better job than your own IT department. This is because they are already familiar with many things related to your business like security and government regulations, markets and competition. In addition, they will be aware of the latest technologies.