Outsourced IT Support
Keeping Your Team Focused with Outsourced IT Support
Outsourcing allows companies to choose what areas they want to focus on for internal operations, and what areas they can rely on outsourced labor to complete the picture. Outsourced IT support, especially for the lower two tiers, can allow internal IT specialists to better serve the organization.
The New Normal for IT Organizations May Be Anything But
As software development companies exit the holding pattern that many entered in order to transition through the pandemic, they are looking at their IT departments that served them well. They provided support for remote working and minimized operations as employees stayed home, but now it might be time to move basic functions to outsourced IT support. It’s time to think about how the IT department can provide a path for company transformation as industries embrace new technologies. These include the “digital transformation” of quick and intelligent web response to customers and clients, scalable services like cloud computing to handle the sometimes volatile world of the commercial internet, and a marketplace full of services available to incorporate into your own internal operations (such as as-a-service CRM). Externally, software development teams need to incorporate services such as website empowerment through global content delivery networks and edge computing. The big question for most software development companies with busy IT support teams is, who has the time? And if you try to add team capacity, where are the available workers?
A New Perspective on Outsourced IT Support and Other IT Services
Many of the reasons for outsourcing have to do with economics and focusing on certain areas of a business while offloading routine functions to outside vendors. These are essential ways to leverage outsourcing to accelerate into newly expanding post-pandemic markets, but there’s another perspective. Software development companies need additional IT help and expanded areas of expertise that can be gained from outsourcing IT support in order to incorporate essential new technologies into their operations. Since most IT organizations are already operating at or near full capacity handling on site and remote workers using existing technologies, opportunities can be missed. As a Forbes contributor, speaking of outsourcing as a way to expand an organization’s IT capabilities, noted: “it is difficult to venture off to something new without dropping some of your existing tasks and projects.” And there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth if essential tasks and projects are dropped.
To Evolve, or Not to Evolve Your IT Operation and Services
The range of ways that IT operations are implemented, from virtualization to “as a service” products, cloud computing and storage to edge computing, has expanded beyond what even a versatile team can manage. As CIO magazine noted, “not even the largest IT organizations can tackle the vast range of options that cloud services present.” Companies that are transitioning software development to new technologies are especially in need of external talent for activities such as cloud migration where experience and a full team effort are keys to success.
Nearshoring, a Powerful Strategy to Fill IT Roles, Basic and Advanced
Companies like Sonatafy provide nearshore, or geographically near, international resources that provide outsourced IT support roles to allow company software development workers to evolve into roles developing new technologies. Nearshore talent, well-educated and experienced in diverse technologies, can also fill roles from a fractional CTO strategic role to web development, DevOps, and more. It is up to company management to use their vision to mix and match for the best present services, future evolution, and overall bottom line.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why should you outsource IT services?
IT activities, especially patching, security, and other maintenance tasks, take significant expertise, training, and planning. Outsourced IT can often take advantage of economies of scale, employing an IT support company that keeps their whole team up to date and provides you a portion of their well-trained team for your needs.
For many smaller software development groups and companies, developers serve as internal IT support as well.
How much does it cost to outsource cyber security?
A package of outsourced cybersecurity services can include network monitoring, employee training, device security configuration, net-gen firewalls and more. Typical costs for basic services to small businesses and nonprofits, after startup costs, run $150-600 per month, with add-ons for some organizations running much higher.
How much does it cost to insource it?
Cybersecurity management positions, the CISO or chief information security officer, typically have a salary of up to $200,000 or more. Team members’ salaries can run $90,000, plus training. Equipment such as net-gen firewalls adds more with recurring costs for updates. In-house cybersecurity teams may have a greater insight into risks, perform customized penetration testing of systems to determine their security, and execute other activities not included in a basic outsourced cybersecurity package. All this to prevent incidents that typically cost around $200,000 to well over a million dollars per event.
Should I outsource my IT department?
For many organizations, outsourcing at least part of the IT department makes sense because it takes a lot of people with specialty training to provide all the functions of an IT department, from help desk support to new device configuration, plus network and server operations and maintenance. With outsourcing, software development companies find they can specify the mix of services they need on an ongoing or infrequent basis and safe costs, while benefiting from the experience and training of IT professionals who are part of a professional IT outsourcing organization.
What are the pros and cons of outsourcing?
The biggest advantage of outsourced IT support for many organizations, even beyond cost control, is that they gain the advantages of a large company’s IT department while only paying for the services they need. The IT services organization takes care of training their workers, has beneficial relationships with hardware and software vendors, even receives partner-only updates from software vendors like Microsoft. In emergencies, an outsourced vendor can have significant advantages over a small internal IT group.
The drawbacks include less control over the provision of services, potentially choosing among the hardware and software offerings they support, and possibly service delays or inability to quickly reach them in an emergency. It depends on the vendor, of course.
What are the reasons of outsourcing?
Cost controls, both reducing IT expenses in most cases and also having predictable monthly bills, are attractive when considering outsourcing. The ability to get a full range of services tailored to your business size can be attractive, since you can effectively share the hours of several specialists for less than a single full-time employee in your organization. For most companies, running an IT department is not part of their core business, so being able to outsource and stay focused is also attractive.
Why do organizations outsource IT tasks?
From operating an IT support call center to performing a server room relocation, there are tasks that even large companies find are better outsourced to companies that specialize in handling IT tasks. Software development companies generally focus on areas where they have the in-house skilled resources available and can expect quality results, and outsource tasks they don’t have experience with or don’t want to staff and operate internally.
Why would a company choose to use cloud computing or outsource its IT functions?
An important consideration with cloud computing and outsourced IT support is the question of capital expenses versus operational expenses, CAPEX versus OPEX. For software development companies that prefer not to invest in hardware and in-house personnel, an equivalent mix of computing resources and IT services can be obtained by outsourcing and using cloud resources. This also helps companies that are uncertain about their needs, providing the ability to easily scale up or down or relocate as needed. External services also lend themselves well to supporting remote workers.
What are the negative effects of outsourcing?
As with any service, it is important to ensure that the provider can meet their commitments to you. An overcommitted outsourcing provider could have difficulty meeting your company’s needs and expected service quality levels, for instance. Outsourcing also provides only what the vendor is able to offer, for example a Microsoft-oriented outsourcing contract may not be of much help to your marketing department that uses Apple computers.
Can we outsource an IT function?
Definitely. One to consider is cybersecurity, especially if your organization is not currently protecting itself against the very real dangers faced by companies from data breaches and other mishaps. Another area to consider is maintenance of your server systems including backup and disaster recovery preparedness.
What are the risks of outsourcing?
Ultimately, one important risk is that you may not get value for your money. Outsourcing firms need to manage their resources so that they can provide appropriate service levels to their clients, and that can go wrong sometimes. It’s also important that the service provider be trustable regarding security matters and skillful software maintenance, avoiding both data breaches and misconfigured or unusable systems.
What are the four main reasons to outsource?
- Saving time: Outsourcing saves employee time and lets them focus on their primary jobs
- Experts resources: Outsourcing provides ready access to a wide variety of expertise as needed
- Cost control: Companies that outsource can manage costs flexibly by selecting only the services they need
- Risk management: Outsourcing places the management of personnel and the services they provide along with risks in the hands of others.
When should the firm outsource activities?
Outsourcing can be appropriate when a company is expanding, as it provides a quick and effective way to add resources without the delays and commitments of hiring new staff. It is also appropriate when a company is trimming or repurposing, allowing the organization to focus on its primary goals rather than operating many departments.
What companies use outsourcing?
Startups use outsourcing to help with growing pains, for example adding outsourced software QA resources to complement their internal software development team. Multinationals use outsourcing strategically to meet company needs in changing business climates or to provide temporary help in meeting the obligations of a large contract.
What are the objectives of outsourcing?
Outsourcing helps companies that want to:
- Lower costs
- Promote company growth
- Refocus on company objectives
- Meet specific business goals quickly
What is the number one reason for outsourcing?
Supporting your existing team with additional resources that can tackle areas your onsite team may not have time to address or have the technical prowess to provide the best end result.
How does outsourcing reduce costs?
By outsourcing, a software development company can specify the exact amount of the services they need, rather than setting up to provide it internally with overhead and management costs. Outsourcing reduces a company’s financial commitment to capital and operational costs involved in a process, and also to personnel costs. Instead of setting up phone lines, desks, computers, and help desk personnel, a company can order a variable amount of help desk capacity from another company.
What are the benefits and risks of outsourcing?
The main benefit of outsourcing is flexible access to resources without associated investments, resulting in cost savings. The main risk is that the outsourced services won’t be of the quality needed, and the company no longer has direct control over the process so it can be harder to fix.
What does globalization have to do with outsourcing?
Outsourcing is an important tool for multinationals to strategically find cost savings and use those savings to expand and invest in their global operations. Activities such as software development can take place, for example, outsourced to countries where the costs, tax benefits, and trained worker availability allows outsourcing providers to offer attractive resources to the multinational.
Simplifying Outsourced IT Support by Keeping It International, But Local
Talented IT support personnel are available in the geographic regions near to the US, allowing companies like Sonatafy to connect them with US-based software development companies that face resource shortages locally or want to reach more goals while still keeping within a targeted budget. This international reach within a specific region is called nearshoring, and companies are finding that, when cost savings and results are balanced, it is an excellent way to gain efficiencies for companies of all sizes. Well-educated IT support workers and teams are available in many companies in Latin America, ready to work with US firms with a minimum of the challenges found in global outsourcing such as significant time zone, travel, and cultural differences that make working with overseas times much less interactive. Contact Sonatafy to find out more, and review the many services available.