Any business needs to make the best use of the resources available to it, so if you’re looking at your IT requirements, it’s worth weighing up the pros and cons of outsourcing it. Many businesses now do just that, and you could find that you increase your business efficiency as well as reducing your IT costs.
Why go for managed IT and cloud services?
High-quality IT is an essential part of all successful businesses, and if you manage it in house, you’ll be used to the challenges that can bring. It costs money to recruit and keep well-qualified IT professionals for computer repair work and to provide the focus for managing your network. You may need to deliver services to remote offices and staff, and ensure these are constantly available and of the highest quality, meeting round-the-clock demand.
This can put a lot of pressure on your IT team, and as you manage them, you should bear in mind that a key staff member could fall ill, potentially leaving an awkward gap in skills and provision, and the same could happen if a team member joined an industrial action. This is not meant to produce a worst-case scenario but just to examine some of the potential issues that might arise.
One of the reasons that you may be uncertain about how IT outsourcing could work for you is the sense that you may be losing control of this critical part of your business if you don’t employ people directly. In fact, it can be a false economy, as by outsourcing, you can rely on a company whose job is to provide everything you require whenever you want it.
Making the change
You need to examine the possibilities, so do your research and talk to IT providers so that you understand what they can do for you. There are two main options: to have servers on site that are managed and maintained by the provider, or to go for a cloud-based solution. The first will have costs of maintenance as well as the costs of paying for the experts, so you will be kept up to date with upgrades in terms of hardware and software for whatever your business needs are.
A cloud service allows all employees who require it to have access to a central database of information. It means that whether it’s looking at the financial situation, orders, sales, deliveries, human resources issues, or marketing, they can have real-time information at their fingertips wherever they happen to be. All that’s needed is a laptop, a tablet, or a smartphone, and the connectivity is there.
A company such as Infor can provide specialist knowledge and experience in this area. Infor CEO Charles Phillips was formerly the president of Oracle, and he and his team have a massive amount of experience in delivering appropriate IT solutions for all sizes of businesses. You can choose to set up a system where you have your hardware on site and get software upgrades or simply use the company’s cloud-based services.
A major advantage of cloud services is that the provider gives you IT management that is reliable, is swift to react to any problems that occur over your network, and increases your data security. Data is backed up at a different location and is always protected, preventing the possibility of a security breach, either accidental of deliberate, from an employee.
Check the costs and benefits
Moving to new IT systems can be unnerving initially, but if you do a careful cost/benefit analysis, you could action the best possible solution for your business.