What Does an Outsourced IT Company Actually Do, Specifically?
As someone who has been running an outsourced IT company since 2004, I’ve had my fair share of conversations with business owners about the best ways to handle the IT function of their businesses.
After all of these conversations, one thing I can safely say is that a lot of the people I talk with – whether they already work with some type of IT company or not – are usually totally unaware of what we as outsourced IT companies actually do. If they’re not sure how we spend our time, they’re not sure about the value that we’re able to generate – and that’s exactly what I want to talk about today.
In this article, I want to explain everything that an outsourced IT company does, from top to bottom. That way, you’re in a better position to decide whether or not working with one is the right decision for your business in the first place.
What IT Support Companies Do
Outsourced IT companies are responsible for a lot more than just running an occasional virus check or making sure that you’re always using the latest version of Microsoft Word. We assist with a wide range of different functions, all of which are critical, but not always obvious, to the health and future success of your company.
- Help Desk Support: If something “breaks,” you have a team you can call to get back up and running right away.
- IT Budgeting and Cost Control: Outsourced IT companies help make sure that you’re only spending as much money as you need to and that you’re extracting the maximum amount of value out of your existing investment.
- Hardware Acquisition and Setup: Instead of researching computers, servers, and other pieces of hardware, you can let someone else do that on your behalf.
- Vendor Management: Instead of working with dozens of companies on all of your hardware and software needs, work with one – your IT company – who will manage everything on your behalf.
- Line of Business Software Management: These are the applications that are specific (and critical) to your core business – the ones you can’t live without. You can’t afford to have anything happen to them and with the right outsourced IT company, you won’t have to worry about it again.
- Network Management or Cloud Integration: Do you want to enable your employees to work remotely? Do you want to overhaul your network or embrace the cloud in a way that significantly empowers productivity and collaboration? Your outsourced IT provider can help.
- Cyber Security (Including Patches and Updates): Cyber crimes like ransomware are becoming more common (and costly) all the time. The chances are high that at some point in the future, you’re going to become the target of cyber criminals – you can’t change that. Your outsourced IT company can help make sure you don’t become a victim.
- Backup and Disaster Recovery: Even if your entire network crashes and your most important client files are gone, your outsourced IT company can create the infrastructure needed to allow you to pick right back up again without losing so much as a kilobyte of data.
Finally, outsourced IT companies can take on the accountability in your business for managing and making strategic IT decisions. Having an experienced IT manager assigned from your outsourced IT company on your side can allow you to rest easy. You’ll be secure in the knowledge that your technology is exactly where you need it to be so that you and your people can get back to focusing on doing the work that is actually in your job description.
Who is an IT Support Company Right For?
Once you know the “what” of outsourced IT companies, you can begin to focus on the “why” – namely, “why should I consider working with an IT support company at all?”
Generally speaking, these types of organizations are best suited for businesses where the current IT solution – be it a tech savvy employee or an “IT guy” that’s called on when needed – is causing a negative effect on your organization.
If you’re like most small business owners in particular, your descent into the world of technology probably started small. A new point of sale system here, an updated tool for file sharing there. Maybe you bought a laptop, and then you bought one for every employee, and now you’re facing a situation where if any one of those machines went down – or was configured improperly – your business would cease to function.
That point right there – the one where technology starts to feel more overwhelming than beneficial – is where outsourced IT companies enter into the conversation.
If you tried to manage everything described above yourself, it would quickly turn into a full-time job – which is a problem, since you’ve already got one of those you should be focusing on. You would have to not only research and buy new hardware, but pay people to install it and train people to use it. You’d have to proactively keep it maintained and patched for security fixes and then, just a short time later, you’d have to start all over again once your current investments reach end of life.
A D-I-Y approach can work in some situations, but when it begins to add unnecessary stress to your employees and your business, that’s when it’s time to re-think your options. Many of our clients have learned this lesson the hard way, when that tech savvy employee who has been doing all of the IT work in addition to their own responsibilities finally comes forward and laments the feeling that they’re “working day and night trying to do their own job along with running the company’s IT infrastructure.”
If you’re the owner of the business and you’re spending too much time on IT-related tasks, then the reality could be much worse, as you should really be spending your time on the tasks that are going to be driving your business forward.
At InsideOut Networking, we believe that every company deserves to know the benefits of having their own IT department. But the truth is, most small and medium businesses are not at the point where they can afford to set up their own in-house infrastructure, and that’s where organizations like ours come in.
In the best case scenario, when you engage an outsourced IT company, everything works flawlessly and you’d never even know they were there. In the worst case scenario, they’re the partner who is proud to stand by your side when you need them the most.
Either way, you win.
Now that you know exactly what an outsourced IT company does, you’re in a better position to determine how (and why) you could integrate one into your own business. At InsideOut Networking, we’ve been helping businesses like yours make these types of decisions since 2004, assisting them in leveraging the best that modern technology has to offer along the way. That’s precisely what we’d like to do for you, too, and we’d be honored to have the opportunity to do so.
I’m Dave Goodenough. I started InsideOut Networking in 2004 with the idea that if we could cut through all the jargon and tech speak and just have real conversations about computers and technology, we could help a lot of people out and develop long-term relationships with our clients.
Today, we have over 2,500 clients who trust us to make sure their computers are always up to date and protected from security threats, allowing them to do exactly what they need.