In our last article, we talked about the pros and cons of IT outsourcing right here in Seattle. Now that you know the benefits and drawbacks that outsourcing can bring, let’s discuss whether or not IT outsourcing is a good idea for your small business.
Since we’re an IT outsourcer, you probably expected us to say that every business can benefit from outsourcing. We didn’t say that because it’s not true. Not even in the least.
Companies with a lot of computers, a decent number of employees, and with a lot of data are more likely to benefit from IT outsourcing, but if the following sounds like you, there’s really no need for you to find an outsourced IT services provider, also known as a managed services provider (MSP).
You DO NOT need IT outsourcing if:
If the above bullet points describe your company, we congratulate you. You’re handling your IT management tasks really, really well! (In fact, you’re doing so well that we suspect you’re a managed services provider yourself!)
If your company has at least 20 computers, relies on disk or tape backup, and doesn’t have a reliable method for testing backups– and your IT person is so overwhelmed with putting out fires that he or she doesn’t have time to check logs, much less monitor ongoing network activity – you should probably consider IT outsourcing.
As a small business owner, you probably work with a good number of outsourcers already. You might have an outsourced accountant or bookkeeper, you probably have an outsourced janitorial service, you definitely outsource your construction needs, and if your company ships anything, it goes without saying that you’re outsourcing that task too.
(That is, unless you’re a shipping company. In that case, you probably still outsource some tasks to FedEx. Probably. If you’re a small shipping company in Seattle, please let us know the answer to this. Now we’re curious.)
As we were saying… this mix of tasks naturally fits the outsourcing model because the companies or professionals you outsource to either have more resources, more time, or more skilled knowledge than you do regarding their field.
It’s the same with IT outsourcing. Sure, you could have your in-house IT person (or small IT department) take care of everything for you, but when you have an MSP who can handle after-hours patching and 24/7 network monitoring for you, your IT person will have a lot more time to help you determine your IT strategy, so you can grow your business.
If, perchance, your MSP also works in the same city as you and is happy to come over and roll up their sleeves to tackle your thorniest IT issues – well, that’ll give your IT person even more time to research and plan your IT strategy. Since IT is such a business-critical tool, the more your IT person can focus on forward planning, the better.
And by the way, we know just the IT outsourcing company to recommend…
Since 2001, Interplay has been helping Seattle’s small business owners take the hassle out of IT management, with tailored solutions crafted to fit your exact needs. Whether you need an on-demand CIO, traditional break/fix services, remote monitoring around the clock, or something much more specialized like licensing and vendor management, Interplay is always happy to lend a hand.
And hey, update us about that FedEx question we had… we really are curious.