When it comes to your business, it’s important to consider the quality of your IT support.
For a small business, this is not an easy matter and it can be quite difficult to find the right solution
Let’s go over the benefits of outsourcing IT support and whether it’s the right choice for your business.
Reduced Operating Costs
By outsourcing your IT support, you can negate the costs of hiring an employee. Their management, training, insurance, retirement, etc. are not yours to worry about, which saves you a lot of resources and time. For small businesses especially, if you can’t afford to hire an employee for this job but it still needs doing, then outsourcing is a suitable solution. You wouldn’t need to spend time and money on finding the right employee; you’d simply have to look for an IT support provider that suits your needs and arrange an IT support contract with them.
Focused Resources and Skills
Outsourced IT support will be heavily focused and competent at their job, meaning you can improve your own company’s competence by reducing the set of skills needed and narrowing them down. This means your employees can be more specialised in their role and, in turn, will produce better results by not needing to work in multiple roles at once. Now that you have freed up some money and time, you can spend it on other areas of the business that directly improve your end product or service.
Exceptional and Experienced
IT support providers will have a team of experienced and skilled individuals since that is their primary focus. This means you can be certain to expect high-quality and capable customer support for your business, and you can be sure that they will be qualified for your needs. Support providers will have far more resources available to them, meaning they will be qualified to provide support for lots of different IT subjects. If you are uncertain about whether they have qualified employees to provide support for your business, you can simply ask them and find out.
Providers are tailored to their role and will always have the latest technology and methodology at their disposal to improve their service quality. In modern times, software and hardware are upgraded so often that is unfeasible for most businesses to keep up with it, which makes it even more beneficial to outsource. This will save you a lot of money that you’d be spending on your IT department and allows you to invest it elsewhere to focus on improving the quality of your company’s product or service.
More Options and Flexibility
Most customer support teams work strict hours and are closed outside of them, which is inconvenient for customers who have issues out of working hours. Whereas outsourced support often has the option of providing 24/7 assistance, which is optimal for customer services and would increase your business’ ratings. Other than out-of-hours assistance, IT support providers have far more resources available to them in terms of staff and capabilities and will be able to scale alongside your business as it grows. This means you can remove the hassle of needing to employ new people constantly and can simply update your current standing with your provider, maintaining a healthy, mutually beneficial, business relationship.
Naturally, there are some drawbacks to outsourcing your business’ IT support department, so it’s important to consider those too.
Some IT Functions Are Too Complex
For very complex software or hardware products, it may be impossible to find an IT support provider that is suitable. Some things are too specialist for general IT support to provide quality customer service on, and in those cases, you have almost no choice but to create and train your own support team. An example is a large-scale software solution your business has designed and developed from the ground up and is being sold to users. It’s not possible for anyone other than the developers to know how to fix issues with the software and it would require the business’s own specialised team to deliver support for the product.
Lack of Control
By having your support outsourced, you have a much larger time delay between effective communication about issues and queries. This can cause issues by slowing down the recovery of an issue and can greatly increase the time needed to act on or rectify a customer’s complaint.
Another outsourcing concern is that customer data may be held outside of your control, which could pose a significant security risk in terms of data confidentiality. Also, if data is held outside of your business, it may take a lot longer to retrieve it and use it, which could slow things down quite dramatically.
Most support providers will require contracts for a specified amount of time and these cannot be nullified. This means that you may be locked into an agreement that isn’t working out for you, and if you were required to purchase proprietary software, you may feel stuck. Changing providers or creating your own team may be significantly hindered by the current contract and its limitations and could be more expensive to get out of.
On another note, if your customer data is stored externally on the provider’s systems, it may be even harder to exit a deal with the provider and could cause you to lose data by doing so, which can be catastrophic. In order to avoid these situations, it’s very important to analyse the contract you are buying into and ensure a mutually beneficial and safe business agreement.
Company Morale Impact
The morale of your employees would only be impacted if you had to discharge the previous IT support department in order to outsource. Other employees may be concerned that their department is vulnerable to being discharged and outsourced as well, which may affect their work or standings with management.
If your business elects for 24/7 support, it is worth noting that the support outside of business hours may be from a foreign country and could pose issues in terms of customer service quality. A lot of customers get frustrated by foreign support because of the difficulties in communication when they are already likely frustrated by having an issue to begin with. It’s advised to ask about the 24/7 support options and inquire as to where the support is located to determine if any potential issues exist.
In conclusion, it is worth taking a look at the providers out there and comparing it to your current IT support department – if you have one. It is clear that there are significant benefits for businesses, especially small ones that cannot readily afford to commit to an internal department.
If you do opt to outsource your IT support, it is vital to evaluate the contracts available to you and get a quote from multiple different providers to find the optimum deal for your business. Make sure to ask the relevant questions to ensure the best support for your customers.
If you are a larger business, it may not be so obvious what the best choice is, and you will need to properly evaluate your current set up and use the points explained above to determine the most cost-effective and suitable solution.