The increasing importance of IT to even the smallest businesses means that they need a diverse range of skills in order to ‘keep the lights on’. And as the business grows, so too does the demand for resources to support and maintain operations.
The typical business now uses:
- Desktop PCs, laptops and tablets
- A centralised server to facilitate file-sharing
- Email functions
- A customer database of some kind
- Specialist applications that control specific business operations
In order to maintain this collection of products and services in peak condition, your business would need to employ:
- A server specialist
- An engineer to provide hardware and software support for the PCs and mobile devices
- An email specialist to manage message stores, quotas and connectivity
- A database manager who can optimise the CRM system for maximum performance
- At least one software support specialist to manage and maintain your business applications
Many SMEs struggle along with very few employees to provide all of these functions, but these specialists end up spread too thin. The systems stay online, but rarely at their peak capacity. Some believe that the only alternative would be to employ the full list of staff specified above, which would be impossible within the business budget for staffing and/or IT.
In-sourcing makes no sense
Offering a flat-rate of £20,000 for each of the five IT specialists outlined above, your business is looking at an annual wage bill of at least £113,800. And for most small businesses, that is an unacceptably high cost.
The real, affordable alternative is to outsource IT responsibilities to a suitably qualified third party. Using outsourcing, your business has instant access to a team of fully-qualified, experienced experts, able to fulfil virtually any IT function.
But the benefits extend beyond just keeping the existing infrastructure running. Proactive support and maintenance services are used to improve and optimise performance, and prevent system degradation for instance.
An outsourced IT team will also be able to recommend future improvements and upgrades based on their observations of how your business uses the available computing resources. Combining their industry experience with lessons learned working on other clients’ systems, they are well placed to make recommendations that will boost efficiency and help reduce costs in the longer term. This level of experience and knowledge is only available to those experts who spend their time working across many company systems, and in the industry, rather than within one company only.
Lessons from start-ups
When it comes to IT support provisioning, established businesses can learn from the example of modern start-ups. These micro-businesses adopt a lean approach to every aspect of their operations, outsourcing any function that falls outside their own core expertise and experience to keep running costs as low as possible.
Frequently, start-ups rely on outsourced IT support and Cloud hosting services to gain access to the technical and human resources they need to operate effectively. And there is no reason to think that any other SME could not adopt similar services and realise the same benefits.
For more information about why outsourced IT is so cost effective, and how it could work for your business, contact Broadband Cloud Solutions today for more details.
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