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Your business is likely to be highly dependent on information technology and if you don’t have the in-house skills or knowledge at your disposal in order to meet your needs the obvious solution is to look at outsourcing.
If you are looking to keep tight control over your IT costs and concentrate your primary focus on other aspects of your business that you are more knowledgeable about it is perfectly possible that outsourcing your business IT tasks could be a smart move.
Whether it is a biometric security solution that you are seeking or want carrier-neutral network access, you might want to visit iConnectMontana.com, for instance, to get a better idea of what services you need could be outsourced.
Here is a guide to the questions you need to ask and points to consider when you are looking at outsourcing your IT tasks.
Do you need to outsource?
A good starting point would be to evaluate whether you actually need an IT outsourcing solution, and if so, what aspects of your IT requirements could do with being outsourced.
The fundamental purpose that should be driving your decision to outsource some of your IT tasks should be the ability to gain access to the best and latest technology solutions and to try and get these services at a cost that compares favorably to employing in-house staff.
It could be that your business demands access to skilled IT people but budget restrictions mean you can’t justify the cost of having someone with those skills permanently on your payroll.
If you don’t have a big enough budget to cover your IT requirements in-house the logical solution would be to look at whether you can get these needs covered via an outsourcing arrangement.
There is also the fact that your business could well derive benefit from having access to the latest technology but your level of in-house knowledge falls short of what’s needed to achieve that aim.
Finally, there could also be a scenario where you need some temporary IT help to get you through a project. In that situation, outsourcing is ideal for giving you access to the skills you need without having to recruit or commit cash to a salary.
There are so many aspects of IT that can be outsourced
There are so many different aspects of IT and it can be very challenging to cover all the bases and get what you need to be done simply by just relying on an in-house team.
It can help to create a comprehensive checklist of your specific requirements and then compare that list with the resources and skills that you have at your disposal from within your business.
It might be that you need help with software development or you need to protect your business from security threats such as viruses that have the ability to bring your business to its knees without adequate precautionary measures in place.
There are also plenty of other considerations such as disaster recovery and data backup measures and website management, all of which can be successfully outsourced.
It might be that you choose a sort of mix and match solution where you outsource certain tasks that you don’t have the skills or manpower for, while keeping everything else in-house, or you could decide that a large number of your IT tasks could be completed via an outsourcing arrangement.
Go through your list of requirements and check which of these can be covered internally and which tasks could be handled more cost-effectively when you find an outsourcing solution.
Different types of outsourcing available
Once you have identified a need to outsource some of your IT tasks one of the next steps would be to try and decide which type of IT outsourcing would be most appropriate for your business.
One of the most popular options would be to find a cloud- computing solution where you use a suitable service provider to provide the IT-related functionality that you need, which can be delivered using a proprietary network or handled over the internet.
Another regular choice amongst those that are considering the idea of outsourcing would be to sign up for managed services.
Managed services should give you access to a variety of different skills and a degree of knowledge that is not always available in-house. Typical IT applications that are outsourced via managed services include the provision of a virtual private network (VPN) and aspects of internet security.
Aim to have a suitable checklist of outsourcing options and requirements so that you can identify which option will work for your business and where you need to plug a skill or knowledge gap.
Creating a contract for the services
As is normal practice when you decide to use an outsourcing option there will be a service level agreement (SLA) to be agreed and signed.
This SLA will cover all aspects of the IT services you will be receiving and it should be a comprehensive document that covers critical service aspects such as response times and what costs you are going to be charged on an ongoing basis.
An SLA should also outline what the consequences are if the outsourcing provider does not meet performance markers such as response times and completion dates if you are using a contractor for a time-specific IT project.
This agreement is a key document and any SLA for IT services needs to cover every aspect of the relationship between you and a third-party provider.
Finally, it is highly relevant to mention the subject of governance, especially if you are outsourcing your cloud computing requirements.
Your sensitive data needs to be governed by the right levels of security and robust access policies.
IT outsourcing can be a successful way of addressing your technology requirements in a cost-effective and almost future-proof way when you are gaining access to the latest skills and tech options.
Outsourcing your business IT tasks could be the solution that allows you to focus on growing the company with a degree of confidence that your network and software requirements are taken care of.