When to consider outsourcing your IT department

There will be a point in a manager’s lifetime where one must look for the most effective way to get the job done and keep the business moving forward. And concerning the IT department, there are several things managers should consider if they’re making an attempt to outsource. Especially if you’re stuck on how to manage IT service requests for most of your technology issues, it may be time to consider outsourcing.

Here are some situations that signal a time to start outsourcing your IT department.

The infrastructure of the organization is changing
When the company is in a growing stage, leaders within the organization must access the needs of the employees. They have to ask whether there are enough technicians in place to handle all that is going on.

Companies that grow at a fast pace will often have a harder time getting a full IT staff in place to keep up with all the internal issues. The network may be a lot more difficult to handle if there are more employees increasing the workload of the IT department.

Too many technology changes are in place
In many instances, the IT staff may not know about the new technology that may be needed as the company grows. It can be expensive to train a growing IT staff and is always cheaper to hire contracted workers that have a pool of different employees with various skill sets. A leader that needs someone who is proficient in hardware, software, desktops, servers and routers will spend a fortune. There may simply be too much technology in place to actually keep a full time IT staff.

The increased cost of technical support
Sometimes, the budget just may not allow it. Paying for healthcare and providing retirement options like a 401 K can be quite expensive for a company. Especially if there are already a lot of employees in place, it may not be feasible to pay for more people to support the technology. In many cases companies get money to buy the technology, but there isn’t always a lot of money to fund the support of the new technology.

If budget cuts in the IT department result in layoffs there will not be much of a choice to make and will have to get outsourced help. Remember: it is not logical for a company to function without IT support, but IT support is the most logical thing to vanish when budget cuts are made.

Remote support
Many of the servers and network technology is managed through virtual servers and cloud hosting. Contracted IT teams will usually have software applications in place that can monitor equipment. This usually allows companies to cut down on the amount of workers that are needed to physically access servers and switches. Since a lot of the equipment is managed through the clouds, many preventive maintenance issues can be addressed this way. Outsourced workers can inform you about hard drives that are about to crash. They can warn about space allocation issues on servers. All of this can be done through remote support sessions. There does not have to be technician on site to provide this type of information.

It doesn’t make a lot of sense to pay a person full time to monitor network activity if an outsourced group provides information that is just as beneficial. Instead of having someone in place to monitor issues constantly, you can have a team that only notifies you when someone actually goes wrong. The cost of this is going to be a lot less than having a full time staff in place.

Stable IT environment
If your IT environment if fairly stable you will not have a real need for a full time IT department. Many networks are equipped with Cisco switches that are configured to function without a lot of errors. Even old equipment will be able to be utilized for a lengthy period before it is time for upgrades.

Companies that only have a need for troubleshooting on an occasional basis can do without the full time services of an IT department. A contract IT team can handle issues that may only occur when companies experience power outages or equipment failure.

If the staff for your organization spends a lot of time working from home there may not be a need for a full time IT staff. There may be some issues that occur sometimes that require professional help, but this may be rare. Small organizations that have field technicians or employees that work from home will benefit greatly from outsourcing.

Lastly, any company that rarely has workers in the office should not go to great lengths to get a full time IT department in place. There won’t be enough work for them to do. Instead, it’s better to get outsourced help that only needs to be paid when issues occur.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Robert Cordray
Robert Cordray
Robert Cordray is a former business consultant and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience and a wide variety of knowledge in multiple areas of the industry. He currently resides in the Southern California area and spends his time helping consumers and business owners alike try to be successful.

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