As UK PLC begins to emerge from lockdown and economic uncertainty continues to be a reality, outsourcing IT support is an area business should consider to manage costs and focus on their core business. IT support services can be provided by internal resources or outsourced to a ‘managed service provider’ (MSP). This article looks at the benefits of outsourcing IT support so you can make an informed decision for your business.
There are several benefits to the outsourced model:
Focus on your core business
For the majority of businesses, large or small, it’s vital to focus on your core business and ensure your overhead costs are minimised.
It is expensive to employ a dedicated resource. The salary costs are only one element of that cost and once you add in your infrastructure costs such as office space, equipment and utilities as well as employee benefits, performance management and training; those costs increase.
Outsourced IT support can be more easily scaled up or down. You can draw on a pool of resources with different types of expertise from Helpdesk support to IT infrastructure monitoring and maintenance.
The right IT strategy for you
A good MSP will get under the bonnet of your business deploying an IT infrastructure that supports you in obtaining your business objectives. A good MSP will be able to flex that strategy to embrace new and better ways of doing things so that your organisation’s IT can differentiate you among your competitors.
IT Support Expertise
It is challenging to keep internally employed IT resources trained to the level of expertise required to do the job as technology constantly evolves. In addition, end-user IT support is most often provided by a 1st or 2nd Line Engineer and networking and infrastructure support is provided by a different type of Engineer with different skills sets. It is unlikely you’d be able to employ one Engineer to provide all the support services you require.
The right licensing
Let’s take Microsoft Office as an example. Microsoft sell Home and Business versions of their Office solutions. In addition, each suite of Microsoft 365 Small Business or Enterprise products contains several plans and options.
The right license type with the right set of features is not always easy to find. It’s easy to double up on functionality or not choose the right license for the functionality you require. Your MSP should be able to advise you.
Disaster recovery and back up are not a ‘one size fits all’ solution. There are a variety of products and solutions depending on the type of IT infrastructure you have.
Businesses using cloud technologies will need to use a different type of back up solution to those with on-premise servers as traditional back up products don’t work with cloud-based products such as Microsoft 365 and in particular data stored on Teams or SharePoint.
Enhanced focus on compliance
GDPR, sector specific regulatory requirements will impact the type of IT infrastructure you should have in place, where and how your data is stored and who can access it. An MSP should be able to guide you through the range of choices open to you and advise you on the most appropriate solution.
For example, if your data is stored using cloud technology then you need to make sure that the county where it is stored has GDPR compliant ‘safeguards’ in place.
Now that we’ve looked at the benefits of outsourcing IT support, it’s only fair that we assess the potential drawbacks also.
There can be drawbacks to outsourcing your IT support
Companies should be aware of the following before entering into a contract with any potential Outsourced IT company:
Long Contracts and complicated Ts & Cs
Conduct a tender process and compare at least 3 providers. Ensure the contract length is reasonable and you’re clear what’s included and excluded.
Ensure you understand where your data is being saved.
If your files or folders are stored on an on-premise server then does your IT provider have a backup strategy in place? If your data is stored using cloud technologies, make sure you know the data centre locations where your data is hosted and where it is backed up to. This can have GDPR ramifications.
Experience and longevity
Make sure your chosen MSP has a solid reputation and enough resources to deliver on their promises.
Overall, we believe that the benefits of outsourcing IT support truly outweigh the negatives and we’re happy to answer any questions or queries you may have regarding IT support for your business.
Could outsourced IT support be suitable for your business function?
Westlake IT is a long-established and forward-looking MSP offering professional and meticulous outsourced IT support for businesses of all sizes and industries. Contact us for an open and honest discussion about your IT support needs. Call Susannah on 02392007850 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.