IT Managed Services – Why you should be outsourcing your IT Support
Posted by Timothy Platt on Feb 8, 2017
Managed IT Services allow you to outsource your IT support and planning needs to a specialized company that has the in-depth expertise, process rigor, and customer service skills to ensure your technology works. Further, it’s a proactive approach – the vendor works to ensure that problems are eliminated before they happen. Support is available whenever you need it and a long term understanding of your needs is achieved. This is very different from the traditional “break-fix” approach where IT only shows up when there’s a problem – and often doesn’t understand the “big picture”.
Why outsource? Let’s turn the question around – unless you are a technology company, why would you insource technology skills?
Challenges of Insourcing Your IT
The average small to medium size company is utterly dependent on Information Technology (IT) – email, web sites, cloud and on-premises business systems – are all critical for day to day operations. Meanwhile, the scope and breadth of technology is continuously increasing – Windows, Mac, Wi-Fi networks, internet, web sites, Android, iPhones, tablets, servers, storage, and business applications – both in the cloud and on-premises. The scope and depth of knowledge required to adequately support all of this is simply too much for 1 or 2 people to support. And we haven’t even discussed security, backups, audits, and regulatory compliance!
In a nutshell, the challenges we see for most internal IT teams are:
- Inadequate skills – Struggle to maintain breadth or depth of knowledge. They are too busy fixing problems to learn and grow.
- Motivation – Often under-motivated to fix long term, recurring issues. They believe they are ensuring their own job security
- Coverage and Availability – being critically dependent on 1 or 2 key people is not a good business practice and can be disastrous
- Turnover – Replacing, recruiting, and retaining tech personnel can be a significant challenge – especially for a non-technical business
- Management overhead – Managing techs day to day and making key decisions requires an understanding of the underlying technology for the best chance of success.
Cloud to the Rescue?
But hasn’t the switch to cloud (a fancy term for “hosted”) solutions simplified the needs? Indeed, it has, in some respects. The necessary administration (maintenance such as patching and version upgrades) has gone away and reliability have improved greatly. However, the needs of an organization are still dependent on basic infrastructure such as laptops, desktops, phones, servers, networks, and Wi-Fi, along with an increasingly complex “web” of interconnected cloud systems. To be successful in supporting IT a broad set of deep skills is needed in varying amounts. Cloud has only added to the skill necessary!
In summary, for a small company to maintain an effective internal IT staff is challenging and a distraction that the business shouldn’t have to deal with. But outsourcing can be full of pitfalls as well!
The Downsides of Outsourcing
Maybe you’ve tried outsourcing before and not had a good experience. Have you experienced any of the following?
- Lack of sense of urgency – Vendors treat customers as “out of sight, out of mind”, especially when providing remote services
- Lack of communication – Not fully understanding your needs and desires is always a roadblock to success.
- Lack of planning – Coordinating the various small details of a successful IT project requires considerable skill and planning in an ongoing fashion
- Reactive instead of proactive – Have you been sold proactive service, yet end up receiving a purely reactive service? Something more akin to the classical “break-fix” method of providing IT support?
The Orlando IT Company that Cares About Your Small Business
Virtual Operations is the Orlando IT company that cares about your small business. We have the skills and expertise to ensure your technology works for you. We are Orlando’s top small business IT support, and that is the advantage that Virtual Operations provides.
At the end of the day, moving your IT support out of office is a big decision. If you have any questions about outsourcing and would like to speak to an IT expert, please call us at (407) 268-6626.
This is the 1st part of a multi-part series discussing the advantages of IT Managed Services, you can read the second part here.