Why Brisbane businesses should be outsourcing their managed IT support services
As businesses strive to cut costs, outsourcing certain operations plays a major role in decreasing the financial strain on their budget. More often than not, business operators who employ staff to manage certain day to day operations tend to encounter glitches along the way. Some of these glitches may include industrial action and illness. The staff who participate in industrial actions or fall ill for whatever reason still get paid even when no work gets done, so the business loses productivity while still spending money. Outsourcing operations that do not need to be handled internally can save businesses a lot of money over time because the aforementioned factors would not be a source of concern for business owners. While the scenarios presented here are general, there are more specific areas of operation that a company can outsource which would tremendously benefit the organization. One such area is that of Information Technology Services or IT Services. While it may not seem readily obvious as to how outsourcing this level of operations can be, consider the following reasons why doing so can be truly beneficial to your business (NOTE: For the purpose of simplicity, outsourced managed IT services provider will be used interchangeably with its acronym OMITSP throughout this article):
Many Brisbane based business owners wonder if they really need the services of an OMITSP. You may be wondering the same thing about your business. Here are four characteristics that are common to businesses that really need an OMITSP:Does My Business Really Need a Brisbane Managed IT Services Provider?
- The business is facing strict compliance requirements from industry regulators
- Your business is ready to assess the growth potential of its network
- The business needs to secure and stabilize its IT environment
- You are of the strong belief that your company will derive great benefits from the expertise of an outsourced managed IT services provider.
If any of these characteristics apply to your business, then you definitely need a managed IT services provider to help you develop a well-rounded plan that will help your business move forward to meet its objectives.
There are a number of challenges that businesses face daily that make managing their own IT services tedious, stressful, and shows a lack of fiscal sensibility. Let us focus on some pain points that should make you consider using an outsourced managed IT services provider:
- You will have to find, recruit, and retain certified IT network professionals for computer repairs within the organization. These duties of a managed IT services technician are taken very seriously.
- Staff has to be aided in staying current with new skills and technologies
- Rather than focusing employees on network support, you end up focusing them on mission-critical processes and core competencies
IT Network Operations:
- IT Services have to be delivered to more remote workers and offices
- The need to deliver high-availability and high-quality network services to meet round-the-clock demand
- The need to manage, maintain, and upgrade your IT management systems and infrastructure
- Securing communications, transactions , and data to stay abreast of the latest security threats
- Meeting and maintaining security and privacy regulations
- New technologies have to be implemented to maintain competitiveness in the market or niche of operation
- The need to provide rapid responses from the time of conception to delivery of products to the market, especially for manufacturing companies
- New business operations and markets support
- Avoiding the use of internal global resources to implement a global network service
- Providing financial backing to dynamic business growth with restricted budgets and staffing levels
- Increasing IT network services while reducing network overhead costs
As you have read, there are numerous challenges associated with businesses managing their IT services. The staff, network, and business factors are very great and take a lot out of the business to operate internally. If your business is struggling with its own management of these services, it is time you think about outsourcing the management of your IT services. The longer you take to recognize how these challenges are negatively affecting your business operations is the more it will end up costing you in human and financial resources. You can look at it from another angle. Imagine, for instance, that your business offers web hosting services to clients all over the world. You will have to employ many people to run the centers, do troubleshooting, and perform repairs and upgrades, all of which come at great cost to you. However, when you check out the cost of outsourcing most of these services, you see substantial savings right in front of you. Would you not make the switch and outsource those services? If you are smart, you definitely would. Doing the same for your IT services would be a move in the right direction.
Advantages of Outsourcing for managed IT support services
So far you have seen the challenges associated with running your IT services using your own staff. The demand on them is indeed great and pressuring and costly. No story would be balanced without hearing the other side, so let us now focus on the advantages to be had by choosing an OMITSP.
- With network support outsourced, your IT staff can focus on strategic activities that help to make the company’s network infrastructure run more efficiently
- Service Level Agreements (SLAs) that are well defined and guarantee the response and resolution times for network problems that may arise, thereby minimizing possible impacts on users
- There would exist a more proactive management of network services through daily monitoring of equipment and connectivity, automatic notification of faults, and responsive and reliable trouble management by trained technicians
Associated Cost Savings:
- There will be no costs associated with developing management and reporting capabilities since those operations have been left to outsourced expertise
- One can gain access to management expertise and leading network technologies without incurring high capital expenditures or ongoing investments in maintenance resources, IT staffing, and upgrades
- Network costs are reduced as a result of having a single point of contact, thereby simplifying vendor management for IT staff
- Since you are paying only for the networking services used, you can predict the monthly fee for management and network services
Choosing the Right Brisbane managed IT provider
Now that you have come to the point where you have decided that you need an outsourced managed IT services provider, the next step is to determine how to identify the right one for your business. Many businesses that have made the mistake of hiring the first provider that comes along have paid dearly for making such a hasty decision. As with anything else, you have to shop around and find out from others how good, or bad, specific providers are. You have to look for ones that have built up a good reputation with a proven track record. It’s just like buying a pie – if it is the first time you are buying it, you would ask others who have tasted it to see if it is any good. Based on their responses, you can decide whether or not to buy it. There are certain characteristics in the pie that you are searching for. In like manner, you have to know what kind of OMITSP you need for your business. Hiring the first one that comes along may leave a bitter taste in your mouth, so to speak.
The truth of the matter is that there are many OMITSPs around that offer a diverse array of services and use different management models that will make it hard for you to choose the right one. Hence, the very first step that you need to take in order to find the right OMITSP for your business is to understand the different types of service providers that are present on the market. Some outsourced managed IT services providers cater to small to medium-sized companies while others only entertain discussions with really large corporate companies. Depending on the size of your company and its operations, you will have to decide which type is the best fit for your business and then check them out individually. It is interesting to note, though, that if your company has a diverse geographic spread, hiring an OMITSP that caters to such large firms may not necessarily be the best option or most cost-effective solution for your business.
This brings us to the second step you need to take in order to find the right OMITSP for your business, which is to do research on all those companies before making a final decision on which one to use. As indicated earlier, each provider has their own service offerings and the only way to know if they have what you want is to check them out. Get references from other people who you know use OMITS so as gather direct feedback on how well they operate. You can even compare your business size to that of the referrer’s to get an idea of the exact OMITSP that would work best with your business. Three other things that you must check for when researching outsourced managed IT serviced providers are:
- The type of certifications the OMITSP engineers have earned. If they have industry-recognized certifications, then that provider is one to seriously check out.
- Take a close look at the OMITSPs fault tolerance. How well do they stand up under pressure? Their track record will determine how well they manage when it comes time for them to respond to situations that arise.
- Check to see if the OMITSP has made any investments in new technology and automation systems. If the provider has done that, it indicates that they place a high value on security and availability.
As you go about gathering facts and brainstorming which OMITSP is right for you, here is something that can help to make your search a little easier – focus on providers that maintain their own network and offer a wide range of managed services. This type of outsourced managed IT services provider can give you the option of choosing a fully managed IT network service, security and other related services, or a mix of single services that match the needs of your internal network management resources and your business overall. Another plus of utilizing the services of this kind of OMITSP is that it can scale its services to fit the ever evolving needs of your organization. Progressive businesses are always growing and as such their network and infrastructural needs will change, becoming more demanding at times. Having an OMITSP that can quickly adapt to these changes will make your business continue to run seamlessly and give you peace of mind that your network will be able to handle anything it is called upon to do.
Concepts to Beware Of
There are many preconceived notions that people generally have about many things. That is also true about OMITSPs. While researching the ones that you feel may be the right fit for your business, take into consideration the following falsely held beliefs about them:
- You Get the Same Level of Service for Different Prices
OMITSPs charge different prices for their services. Many people wrongly believe that they can get the same level of service for different prices. For example, Company Alpha may charge $2,000 per month for their services while Company Bravo charges $500 per month for the same services offered by Company Alpha. You can rest assured that you will NOT get the same level of service from both companies. Even though the price charged by Company Bravo may seem like a deal, you are in effect robbing yourself and you will get a level of service lower than you expected from them. Though Company Alpha charges a premium price, you can expect, and will get, value for your money if you decide to hire them to manage your IT services. Think of both companies as ice creams of the same flavor from two different frozen novelty companies. You know that the more expensive ice cream will have the better taste. I am sure you get the point.
- You Get Better Service From Providers Who Have Lots of Staff
That too is not necessarily true. You can have an OMITSP with over 600 staff members who are very inefficient at what they do compared with another OMITSP that has 100 staff who are very competent at what they do. It does not boil down to only the amount of human resources the provider has. Other factors that must be considered include the current workload of the provider, its financial resources, and the quality of their management, systems, technical staff, and processes. Many businesses that are looking to outsource the management of their IT services are generally concerned with whether or not the provider’s staff can quickly respond to their needs so as to mitigate any possible interruptions in their network. Once again, you have to seek out OMITSPs that have proven track records of service and reliability. Mind you, an OMITSP can have many staff members and run efficiently, but that too is dependent on the factors previously mentioned. In most cases, however, the opposite is true.
- OMITSPs in Close Proximity to My Business Means Better Service
That is not necessarily true these days. In the past, before the advent of remote access and monitoring systems, having your provider next door would be ideal since they could just run over to your office and fix problems that may arise. These days, the majority of reliable OMITSPs run their operations from hundreds of miles away from their clients, often times from other countries. They can connect remotely to their clients’ systems and perform a lot of non-technical work from where they are. For the ones that are truly efficient, if a technical problem arises, they will send someone to your business to rectify the issue. So, providers do not have to be close to you to offer their services. Consider a Cloud Service company like Dropbox. They may not be in your country, but you are able to store your files on the cloud from anywhere in the world and retrieve them no matter where you are. In like manner, OMITSPs can work from anywhere and deliver the quality service that you are paying for. While performing your due diligence checks, factor in this aspect and you may end up finding that the one that is the right fit for your business is thousands of miles away across the ocean.
Running the day to day technical operations of your Brisbane IT department can be quite hassling for your staff. They need to be able to concentrate on the daily operational tasks that they have been hired to do. Outsourcing the management of your IT services will help them to focus on their core duties, rather than repairing laptop screens. They will be under less pressure and thereby become more productive where it matters. This will result in easier management of your IT infrastructure as well as the continuous updating and upgrading of the network as it become necessary. Keep in mind too that you will save money when you employ the services of an OMITSP. The savings are derived from having one point of contact for the needs of your network and you are only paying for the network services that you use. You will also not need to hire additional IT staff to handle miscellaneous issues that may arise from time to time. This article has shown how beneficial it would be to your business to outsource your managed IT services. Apply the things that you learned and your business will be on its way to effectively cutting costs and growing from strength to strength.