Information technology is a democratizing force that can change our lives by making technology tools and services accessible, faster and more easily understood — most times at a lower cost. Complex algorithms now often take the place of traditional users, perhaps offering more efficient and personalized products for end users.
To remain competitive, small businesses must maximize current technologies. They must do this cost effectively and with little direct Information Technology (IT) experience. Maintaining a dedicated, full-time IT department, as do their larger counterparts, is simply too expensive, time consuming and inefficient for small businesses.
Everyone in your company wants their needs met and resources allocated for their benefit. Consultants who are providing IT leadership should facilitate discussion with all of the departments, recognizing themes that point to inclusive solutions, and prioritizing activity based on suitability. A consultant should bring ideas that come from their unique experience in the IT industry. Ideas can have to do with how to better utilize existing IT capability or with filtering out the best of new technologies that will help the business meet its objectives.
Focus on Core Business
People are generally happiest doing what they do best. They get easily frustrated by tasks that are distracting or have nothing to do with their core job functions. Doctors, Lawyers, Accountants, Architects, Engineers, Marketers, Executives, Office Managers and most everyone else are at their best when they focus on their core competencies. The time and effort spent on figuring out Information Technology has a very real opportunity cost. Researching solutions, implementing new technology and fixing IT-related problems are extremely inefficient for non IT professionals. By outsourcing IT and using a managed service provider, internal staff are free to spend time focusing on revenue generating opportunities and the business of the business.
Economies of Scale
Managed service providers achieve greater economies of scale because their single focus is on IT. They consolidate purchasing power and have access to deep and broad knowledge bases and therefore deliver better, faster and cheaper technology solutions and services. Using developed best practices, these providers complete tasks far more efficiently, often to an order of magnitude greater than small businesses can do on their own. All of this translates into real cost savings in terms of both time and money.
Even a few minutes of systems downtime can carry enormous costs to a business. Maximizing up-time is a requirement for a successful business. Small businesses simply cannot afford issues with internet connectivity, email communications, corrupt data or systems failure – the cost of reacting to these events is just too high. Managed service providers offer planned, measured approaches to pro-active systems maintenance, security, backup and disaster recovery. When providers couple this with remote systems monitoring and 24/7 response capabilities, they reduce and often totally eliminate costly downtime.
Predictable IT Costs
The value of managed service providers goes well beyond the cost reduction and results in exception cost savings. In almost all cases, small businesses will spend 25% to 50% less than the cost of even one mid-level IT professional. Additional cost savings are realized since recruiting, training, vacation, sick days, turnover and other management issues are all taken out of the equation. When utilizing a managed service provider, costs are budgeted, planned and controlled.
Many small businesses find themselves confronted with the challenges of growth or at times with the burden of scaling back. Both cases present a genuine human resources dilemma when relying on in-house IT resources, especially when these events are unplanned. These all-too-sudden requirements rarely come in neat 40-hour blocks. Small businesses may need to selectively add or reduce administrative functions, strategic expertise or a combination of both. They need the agility of just-in-time resources for emergencies and the capability to rapidly adjust day to day technology support levels. By utilizing a managed service provider, this flexibility comes with ease and without affecting the livelihood or morale of employees.
Using a managed service provider to outsource your IT is an excellent way to allow your employees to focus their energy on other strategic initiatives. Contact Xodyak today for a no-cost consultation and discover how you can improve your technology strategies.