It’s common knowledge that ‘IT guys’ and IT support are staples of larger companies. The infrastructure of these businesses is highly dependent on technology, such as their servers and networked computers. It’s essential for them to have entire IT departments, as any issues with their systems can result in significant downtime.

There’s no question that these companies need in-house IT guys.

However, many people running smaller or moderately sized companies may not know if they need a department to handle IT issues, or whether it’s better to outsource it in its entirety to a third party.

If they do choose to outsource, what benefits can be gained over the alternative?

The answer: third-party IT support companies such as EC-MSP help small and medium sized businesses avoid forming IT departments if it isn’t the best option for them.

Who Can Benefit the Most from Outsourced IT Support?

While it might be quicker to say that all companies below a certain size should outsource their IT support, every establishment is different. The digitization of SMEs is on the rise, and these businesses typically benefit from outsourcing. However, all businesses have different objectives, needs, and structures. As a result, it’s important to look out for key indicators pointing to the need for outsourcing.

The process of Digitalization for SMEs

1. Businesses that may struggle to employ a new full-time employee should avoid hiring dedicated IT personnel. In-house IT support may mean a quicker response to any hitches, but also means another full paycheck and staff member to accommodate.

2. Businesses with infrequent IT issues. If your establishment has historically had few issues with computers and other technology, it’s more cost-effective to outsource IT support and call them on the rare occasions they’re needed.

3. Businesses where IT is less essential to its structure. In this modern age, some businesses can be run primarily from smartphones, with computers reserved for auxiliary tasks.

4. Businesses struggling with profits. If a company isn’t dealing with IT issues every day of the week, outsourcing will often be cheaper. Costs for these services differ, so this might not always be the case.

What Are the Advantages of Opting for Outsourced IT Support?

Now that it’s clear which kinds of businesses will stand to benefit from outsourcing, it’s important to see what exactly they’ll gain.

Outsourcing IT support, when appropriately instituted, will provide several advantages for these enterprises.

1. More Conservative on Finances

For many businesses, this is the primary motivation to outsource. A company must ensure that there’s continuous positive cash flow to keep it running smoothly. Relying on in-house IT support when it isn’t necessary will eat into finances. Outsourcing ensures IT support experts are only called – and billed - when needed.

2. Allows for Specialized Support

While SMEs might fall under the same umbrella, these companies can vastly differ. Their IT needs can range from being run-of-the-mill to specialized disciplines such as artificial intelligence and server security.

Unless an enterprise has a fully staffed IT support department, there may be lapses in the technical ability of the in-house personnel when more advanced aspects of IT are involved. It’s much easier for a business owner to outsource extremely technical problems to third parties as opposed to hiring and training multiple personnel for the same.

3. More Manpower and Resources Available

There are numerous software suites and products tailored to deal with very niche IT problems. While some of these are exactly what your company might need if there’s a major problem, they come at a price, and sometimes quite a hefty one.

There’s no point buying any of these software solutions and using it just once. Reputable IT support companies have a number of software resources at their disposal, allowing them to optimally tackle any issues. Additionally, there’s significantly more manpower to harness for more complex problems, which allows for brainstorming more complex solutions.

4. Improved Cybersecurity

Owners of small businesses should be aware of basic cybersecurity tips to protect their company. The experience and training of external IT support teams exposes them to the most common, as well as lesser known, security gaps that SMEs may be susceptible to. They can assist in ‘plugging up’ these vulnerabilities. In carrying out their jobs, they are also less likely to make errors that expose the business to online threats.

5. Compatible with Scaling

The hope of any business owner is that their small company grows and increases in profit with each year that goes by. An in-house IT support department can only grow by employing more personnel, which increases the financial burden that the department has on the business as a whole. Dedicated IT support businesses often have the advantage of being large enough to allow for scaling upwards as the company needs.

6. Improved Business Efficiency

Using outsourced IT support saves companies money in the long run. IT issues are also more likely to be solved faster. Along with the fact that there are less full-time employees to manage, the company will generally run smoother, with less downtime, larger profits, and a more compact workforce.

Making the Decision to Outsource IT Support

For people who run SMEs or businesses that tick outsourcing compatibility boxes, making that move to a third-party option as opposed to an in-house department can come with a significant improvement in how a business is run in terms of efficiency, finances, and personnel management. It’s important to assess whether this is the best option for your business, regardless of its size, as the benefits can be immense.

Author's Bio: 

David Novak is an internationally syndicated columnist and expert in consumer electronics. His column appears in over 120 newspapers around the country, and enjoys over 3 million in readership. His website and byline appear all over the world including such publications as Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Men’s Health, Popular Science, PC Magazine, National Geographic, Newsweek, Popular Mechanics, Forbes, Cosmopolitan Magazine, T3, Stuff, Wired, CNET, Engadget, InfoWorld, Men’s Journal, Electric House, HSPA, South Carolina Living Magazine, Georgia Living Magazine, Florida Living Magazine, Kentucky Living Magazine and GQ Magazine.