Small business IT: what to do yourself, what to contract
Today's technology is always evolving, and small businesses without a highly skilled IT team can find the changes difficult to keep up with. Even the experts have to stay on top of their game to keep up with the wealth of options now available – but this commitment to IT upskilling is what organisations stand to gain from partnering with another business for computing support.
You probably think nothing of outsourcing your small business tax management to a qualified accountant – so why not your IT too?
The benefits of IT outsourcing
Outsourcing your IT services provides your staff an opportunity to focus on growing your business without worrying about software issues outside their area of expertise. External tech experts can handle everything from the day-to-day to one-offs, without affecting how you run your business. Here are just four great benefits of outsourcing your IT services:
Keep your technology and services up-to-the-minute without having to understand the detail.
1) In-house expenses: You immediately save money on staffing, as you no longer need someone with high-level training on standby 24/7 to deal with issues or maintain your existing infrastructure.
2) Fast turnaround time: Not only do the team you outsource to really understand the technology you're using, they also provide a service – which means dealing with your requests quickly.
3) Latest updates: Keep your technology and services up-to-the-minute without having to understand the detail. Your support service manage maintenance and upgrades as part of the package.
4) Stay secure: The types of threats small businesses face change all the time. Outsourcing your IT support means you have an expert keeping up with the latest security trends and implementing protective measures on your behalf.
Which IT services should small businesses contract out?
Deciding which of your IT services are better managed by an external party comes down the expertise you have in-house, and where you want to direct your budget. Areas you could consider outsourcing include:
Let your contractor provide the best network solution for your business and manage it. With network management, your provider monitors for problems, installs updates and performs back-ups.
There have been a number of high-profile data breaches over recent years, where thousands of customers have had their personal details exposed or compromised. While large businesses can bounce back from these kinds of debacles, a small business might not. Cyber attacks are not easy to manage, and an experienced IT provider can ensure your network remains properly protected from risk.
Hosting your network in-house requires costly set-up and maintenance expenses, as well as expertise. Outsourcing your cloud-hosting means you can continue to use modern technology without worrying about whether you can afford to upgrade, or whether you have the right solution in place.
What IT support services can you manage in-house?
There are a number of great, free business applications available now, such as Microsoft Office 365 and the Google suite. These applications allow you to set up groups, control who has access to specific folders and documents, as well as share information easily when other people need access. You'll probably also find that your marketing team themselves can manage IT support for areas like social media.
Simple IT Security
Developing an awareness, or culture, of IT security is as important as having the right infrastructure. While managing firewalls and other threats is beyond the scope of many small business users, you can educate your staff around password security and what's appropriate to share to minimise potential problems.
Customer service software and services
If your business deals with with customers directly, and provides a level of support for them, it might be easier to keep some of those services in-house. For example, if you have a CRM system that supports your client relationships, you may want to have full control of it so you can customise fields or reports as and when you need to.
Outsourcing your IT network solutions
Biz tech offer customised IT strategies to help all kinds of businesses manage their needs. Not only can we deal with your IT infrastructure day-to-day, we can help with specific projects or be on call for when you need expert advice. Make sure your team has the back-up they need – contact Biz tech today.