An essential part of doing business is knowing when to make changes; for some businesses, this includes deciding when to start outsourcing IT services. Of course, this isn’t an easy decision to make. For one thing, it could entail spending a bit more money at first compared to the original IT budget (which for some businesses is practically zero). For another, it could take a little time for the outsourced IT team to integrate with the rest of the business. Fortunately, outsourcing companies like Austin Technology only use experienced professionals; this means that the process of updating and maintaining IT services will be as smooth as possible.
So, how can a business know for sure when it’s time to start outsourcing IT services? Here are some of the main indications that it’s time to make the switch.
IT is draining resources from core business operations
Given how many resources IT infrastructure requires, it can actually take away from core business processes if those resources aren’t managed well. IT services take a lot of manpower, training, and skill to provide, and they can also be difficult to scale back if it turns out they’re detracting from other departments. If it’s a question between shutting down parts of the IT team, or outsourcing to get the same results without draining resources, the conclusion is pretty obvious.
The IT department has a high turnover rate
Any company or department that has a high turnover rate probably suffers from something else: employee dissatisfaction. If your company has an especially high turnover rate in the IT department, this could mean that employees don’t feel valued. Maybe their salaries aren’t high enough, or they’re trying to move mountains with limited resources. Whatever the case, that’s a sign that you should either devote more resources to the IT department, or start outsourcing.
An IT project needs niche expertise
Standard IT processes or projects require skill, but not necessarily specialized expertise. However, things like cybersecurity and artificial intelligence are sometimes an essential part of IT services, but in-house IT teams don’t always have the skills to take care of them. When these tasks are outsourced, though, the company will gain access to highly trained specialists. Not only do these specialists have the knowledge that’s needed, but they’ll also have the experience to complete the projects without any hiccups.
The business needs a fresh perspective
An IT department does a lot more than just fix sluggish computers and keep anti-malware updated; many of their standard tasks are quite complex. They also have to integrate their tasks with employee workflows, ensuring that their security measures improve efficiency instead of slowing things down. This gives them a lot of potential influence on the day-to-day operations of a company, which may or may not be a good thing. If an IT department lacks imagination or motivation, that could prevent improvements from being made. However, outsourcing could bring valuable new ideas for restructuring old, inefficient processes.
The business is growing rapidly
Growth is one of the main goals of any business, but this can also present challenges for the IT department. As a business scales up, their IT infrastructure will become inadequate, as could the skills of their current IT team members. These issues could be fixed with enough resources for training or recruitment, but that isn’t necessarily at the top of the list as a business is going through a growth spurt. A more practical option is to start outsourcing IT services, which can grow along with the business without requiring additional resources.
It’s necessary to stay compliant with regulations
Most businesses have to worry about data protection regulations, but this is truer for some than for others. Between national and international regulations, some organizations have to devote a lot of time and effort into properly processing and storing customer data. This requires audits of the security system and IT infrastructure, and a team that can make adjustments as necessary. The process is especially labor-intensive for larger companies, which may struggle with compliance as a result. Outsourcing can provide not only the experience in staying compliant, but also the necessary resources and manpower to keep everything up-to-date.
The business is vulnerable to cyberattacks
Cybersecurity is more important now than ever, but some businesses allow it to take the back burner. The bad news is that once they do start taking it seriously, it’s often too late to do much besides try to mitigate the damage. Cyberattacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and without an equally sophisticated security system, it’s practically just a matter of time before a hacker takes notice of the vulnerabilities.
Adequate protection against cyberattacks requires not only the right software (such as anti-malware), but also the right strategies. When this responsibility is outsourced to IT professionals, it can be addressed with the latest cybersecurity techniques and technology.
IT staff isn’t getting regularly trained
Many companies provide periodic training for their employees, helping them upskill or keep up with current industry trends. However, the IT department doesn’t necessarily get priority where regular training is concerned. At the same time, though, the IT industry as a whole is rapidly advancing, so training really is necessary. The result is that the IT department has to operate with outdated methods or technologies, leaving the business inefficient and vulnerable. If IT services are outsourced, on the other hand, the business will always have access to highly trained professionals.
The IT department is costing more than it should
Any department within a company should justify what it costs by providing value in return. When it comes to IT, skilled workers are in high demand; this gives them a great position from which to negotiate a higher salary. Maintaining a team of highly paid experts costs a lot, but it’s possible to get the same level of service and expertise for a much lower cost through outsourcing. Many outsourced IT services also charge a fixed rate, so the business wouldn’t have to worry about increasing infrastructure costs or other expenses.