To Outsource Or Not To Outsource?
Updated: Dec 21, 2020
That is the question all small businesses should ask.
Every business owner faces hundreds, if not thousands of important decisions that have direct bearing on the heath, growth and efficiency of their business.
Do you hire an Account Executive to service existing clients so you can find new ones?
Do you secure new clients and then hire someone to service them?
Do you buy the next level accounting software or do you outsource to an accounting firm that has the software?
When it comes to IT, the choices are no less complicated.
As a small business with a limited budget what do you really need and how do you manage it?
Most successful business owners credit their good fortune to their focus on the area they know best, allowing the experts in their respective fields to not only assume the responsibility, but the accountability as well. When you outsource IT, you shift the responsibility of IT architecture, cyber security, disaster recovery, business continuity, cloud services and scalability to an experts, leaving you free to focus you and your resources on the core competencies that drive your business value.
Not all Tech Companies are “Service” companies, Exceptional Customer Service, Trustworthiness, Proven Expertise and Alignment with your long-term goals are just a few of the hallmarks of a professional and effective Managed Service Provider.
Good customer service is not simply answering the phone when someone calls. It’s working as a partner to team up and identify solutions that are right for the business. And no two businesses.
When choosing an IT partner, consider the following.
An ability to speak with a representative who understands your goals, issues, risk tolerance and budget in order to effectively offer solutions that are fit for purpose.
Multiple ways to connect with a human who can address your issue and set your expectations.
The ability to avoid long term commitments or obligations, even in the face of poor service
When is comes to choosing an IT service provider, don’t confuse experience with expertise. Don’t pay for time, pay for value.
Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgement. If someone has experience it means trial and error brought them to a level of knowledge that is rooted in practical application. Expertise means you gain knowledge based on your skill.
How long has the company been in business? Chances are if they've been around for a long time, they are doing something right.
What industries do they serve? Success in multiple industries demonstrates the ability to identify unique challenges and respond to a client's needs with the right solution.
What certifications do technicians hold? Certification indicates more than just knowledge of a subject areas. It shows the company values the technician's investment of time and money to improve their skill set.
Trust Outsourcing IT is more than just hiring a company with technical expertise to manage your technology. It’s about forming a mutually beneficial partnership built on respect and trust. Trust is something that is earned over time through interactions between people and organizations. If you’ve never worked with a company, how do you know they are trustworthy?
Accreditations. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) grants accreditation only to companies that meet stringent criteria.
References. Happy customers who are willing to provide a reference indicates that the company is doing a phenomenal job and has done their part to build a solid relationship.
Company Website. A well designed and informative website indicates the company has invested time into projecting a professional image to the world.
Trust your Gut. Chances are you are successful in business because you’ve learned to trust your instincts. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Transparency Beyond customer service, expertise, and a good working relationship, understanding the length, terms and cost of your engagement with a technical service provider avoids uncomfortable questions and allows clear understanding of terms including payment, work beyond scope and termination.
Engagement. When it comes to technology support, every business has its own unique needs and challenges. To meet these needs and challenges, guard against any engagement that attempts to fit your square peg into their round hole. An engagement agreement is a good way to ensure mutual understanding, including any commitments, required length of engagement and any terms that may apply, such as sixty-day notice period prior to cancellation.
Service Offering & Cost. Any good business requires their customers know precisely what is offered and at what cost. This reduces misunderstandings and allows all parties to make informed decisions. IT Support is not different. Make certain your service provider is clear about what they offer your business and the associated cost for their services. It is always a good idea to ask what is NOT included, to ensure avoidance of surprises down the road.
Accessibility. Unlike some industries, IT support must account for needs and emergencies at all possible times. According to Murphy’s Law, this means that systems will crash on a major holiday, at midnight or just before a client presentation. When you have an IT emergency, the most important thought is getting it fixed and fixed quickly. Less of an immediate thought is the associated cost. Many IT firms maintain different rates for business hours and non-business hours. The same photos for weekends and holidays. Knowing costs before an emergency strikes, and how quickly you can expect assistance, is important data. This permits you to manage an emergency much more effectively. Make certain your IT partners outline their after hours support costs as well as the associated response times.
Our team is constantly testing to identify the latest security challenges, changes and best practices to keep you safe and informed. Contact us.