IT infrastructure and IT strategy play an important role in the success of any organization. The issue is, not all organizations have access to the resources, experts and assets required to truly gain efficiencies, reduce cost and improve return on investment.
In fact, in most cases, it’s only large enterprises and big businesses that truly have the resources to build a first class in-house IT team.
So, what does that mean for small and medium-sized organizations? They can either do it entirely in-house and get by with a minimalist approach, or they can turn to IT outsourcing to fill the gaps in their internal IT team.
IT outsourcing is an exciting prospect, allowing companies to access the expertise and skills they simply couldn’t afford in house. Yet, as with any third-party vendor, there are both benefits and risks.
In this blog, we aim to look at the most common pros and cons of IT outsourcing, so that your ontario-based business can decide whether it’s the right choice for you. Before we get into that, let’s first take a look at what IT outsourcing actually is.
What is IT outsourcing?
IT outsourcing is a business practice in which an organization partners with a third-party expert who can implement and manage various IT functions - from cybersecurity, disaster recovery, cloud management and network maintenance - on behalf of the business.
Outsourcing IT functions can help organizations develop, implement and maintain the right IT strategies for better business outcomes and performance.
IT outsourcing can help organizations reduce their IT costs, access external expertise that would be otherwise expensive to hire in house, accelerate time to market for new solutions and keep up with the IT infrastructure of businesses that are far larger.
However, while there are a number of advantages with IT outsourcing, (as with any third-party vendor) there’s also risk. Let’s take a look at both the advantages and disadvantages of IT outsourcing.
✔️ The advantages
Reduce IT costs
IT outsourcing is about making your business more efficient and effective, but it can also help you reduce IT costs as well. If your business doesn’t have a constant need for IT functions and technical support, IT outsourcing can be significantly more cost effective than a large team of permanent employees.
Scale your IT team
Sometimes your IT team may not have a lot going on, but other times they might have a huge amount on their plate. You can’t hire new employees every time your IT team has a sudden surge of tasks. IT outsourcing gives you the opportunity to access more resources as-and-when they are needed.
Enhance your cybersecurity measures
Cybersecurity is important, and you probably already have a plan in place to protect your business. But do you also have additional security measures like data monitoring, protection and backup? An outsourced IT provider can go above-and-beyond to ensure your IT infrastructure is protected from the threat of cybercrime.
Improve the focus of your internal team
With a small internal team, your company will get the most ROI by ensuring they are focused on revenue-driving tasks and the core competencies of your business. Your internal team should be focused on developmental strategy and driving real growth. Leave the IT functions that keep your business running to an outsourced IT vendor.
Gain access to specialized expertise
Although your IT team is no doubt talented, small and medium-sized businesses often don’t have the resources to afford highly-specialized IT teams. It’s simply impossible for a small team to have expertise in all areas of IT. Yet IT is a broad category and involves a wide range of expertise, knowledge and experience. IT outsourcing is an opportunity to get access to highly-skilled experts.
X The disadvantages
Less control over your IT functions
Outsourcing your IT will put the management of those IT functions into the hands of a third-party vendor. While that may sound like bliss for some businesses, other companies might feel uncomfortable giving up control of those functions to a partner outside of their internal team.
Work time and rhythm synchronization
When you outsource your IT functions to a third-party, it’s important to consider when they’ll be working. Working in different time zones, having different styles of task execution and how (and when) they communicate with your business could all impact how much rhythm you have with your outsourced IT company. We always recommend going with a local outsourced IT provider, where possible.
There’s no doubt about it, working with the right outsourced IT provider results in cost savings. However, the opposite could be true if you don’t choose the right partner. Try to avoid flexible goals and projects where possible so that your vendor can’t change the deliverables or deadlines, and therefore the price, halfway through a project.
Your internal team is there for a reason. You trust them and know they have the quality to deliver great work. Quality is an important factor when outsourcing your IT. Some IT providers have fantastic infrastructure and highly-skilled, experienced staff, while other providers will have less qualified staff and produce lower quality work. Make sure you choose your outsourced IT provider carefully to maintain standards.
Interested in learning more about outsourcing your IT strategy, infrastructure and support to a local expert? Get in touch with OT Group today. We provide innovative IT solutions to organizations across South Eastern Ontario, from Ottawa to Toronto.