Managed IT Services: Reducing your costs and improving efficiency
Any successful business maximises its resources. Resources can be allocated to the profit generating parts of your business, such as sales, or else focusing your resources in building a solid support infrastructure like your IT structure. This is a conundrum every business faces. You can either invest in one area only, leaving the other side lacking resources, which is extremely dangerous for business continuity and profitability, or else invest a bit in both. Which means that you are spreading your resources thin. But what if you could get one of your resources managed professionally by someone else? In comes Managed IT Services, or in layman terms, outsourcing of your IT function.
Whilst everyone understand IT is essential in managing any business or organisation, allocating ENOUGH resources to the IT function can be impossible for most business. By outsourcing your IT function you can focus your resources on what you know best- managing your business.
From our experience clients tend to have their reservations about outsourcing their IT function. We are asked questions like:
- Why would it make more financial sense to outsource then employ IT personnel directly,? and
- Why should I trust a third party with such a delicate area of my business?
Managed IT services offer various advantages.
- Cost Reduction: By outsourcing your IT you are converting the fixed cost to a variable cost thus freeing money to be invested in other resources.
- Technology: Technology evolves. Fast. IT services companies are experts in the field. Being knowledgeable about the latest technology is their livelihood. By outsourcing your IT services to a reputable company you will have access to the latest technology.
Technology has various fields. Whilst you might employ a jack of all trades, who knows a little bit about a lot of things, Managed IT services companies have experts in all fields.
Let’s explain it in simpler medical terms. Your company might employ the G. He knows and understand the issues, but he will send you to a specialised doctor for more complex things. Why? Because the specialist knows more about their sector.
A Managed IT services company employs the services of various such experts.
- Focus your resources: No business has unlimited resources, both financial and human resources. Outsourcing your IT services will help you allocate your resources to your core function, thus increasing efficiency.
- Lack of resources: Smaller businesses cannot allocate the same resources to their IT function as larger companies. This many times causes issues. By outsourcing your IT you will be using shared resources with other similair businesses, thus benefitting from the same economies of scale larger companies enjoy, without the burden of having to employ a large team yourself.
So you have decided to outsource your IT function. How do you go about choosing the right company? The following are important considerations:
- Skills and experience. As a minimum your managed services provider should have a number of employees that between them have skills in various sectors related to the IT function. One of the main advantages of outsourcing your IT services to an established company, is that you pay for expertise when needed.
Companies with knowledge, experience and proven track record are a safer bet, since they are more likely to have the in house know how to cover all your requirements.
- Qualified Solutions. Does your IT services provider represent specific companies? If yes then you can rest assured that you’re not tapping into the knowledge of your service provider, but also of global players in the industry.
- Best Practices. As with any type of industry there are several ways to arrive to the solution. However some are not ideal, and will result in higher expenses at a later stage. Make sure your provider follows industry practices.
- Good Reputation. The reputation of a company does not only reflect on the service it offers, but also highlights stability. The last thing you want is to assign your work to company which cannot do the work because it has no resources to allocate.
One final note. Small one man providers may offer slightly lower rates than companies, but in the long run this solution might prove to be more expensive. Firstly, one person cannot be an expert in all fields, so they either do a job themselves without having the proper knowledge, thus taking more time than an expert would, or worst, doing a bad job. Either way it will end up costing you more.
One must also keep in mind that everyone needs time off, either for planned vacation, or on sick days. What happens if the person is sick when your network has issues?
A company has all the expertise at hand, and has more than one person to do a job, thus will be able to service you better.
Finding a trusted partner with experience and a good reputation is essential. We at InterTek have been managing IT services for various companies in Malta for over 20 years. Contact Us today for more information.