How do you prioritize IT support in your small business?
If this is an area you haven’t given much thought to, you’re not alone. But ignoring this important business function can have disastrous effects.
Here are six ways of investing in IT support can help your business grow:
1. Reduce downtime
IT outages and unplanned downtime could cripple your organization.
Let’s take Amazon. In July 2018, they experienced an unplanned outage lasting 13-15 minutes. If you don’t think that sounds like a big deal, think again. It’s estimated those 15 minutes cost Amazon more than $2.5 million in lost revenue.
Any time your IT systems go down, your business will lose out.
This could be a direct loss — like Amazon — through a reduction in sales. Or it could be an indirect loss, thanks to the loss of productivity that happens when your employees lose access to systems and data.
Global giants like Amazon can roll with the punches when it comes to unplanned downtime. But small businesses might not be so lucky.
When you outsource your IT support, you reduce the likelihood of unplanned downtime. Not only that, but you ensure that — if the worst were to happen — you would have a team of experts ready to get your business up and running again ASAP.
2. Keep your costs under control
When you’re growing your business, it can be tempting to cut corners to keep costs to a minimum.
We urge you not to do that with your IT support — but we do understand how expensive it is to recruit an in-house team.
You have their salaries to pay for — with the national average sitting around $50,000. On top of this, there are costs associated with recruitment, training, and benefits.
And your work is never done. You will need to recruit more staff as your business grows and ensure your staff keeps up to date with industry trends.
Not only that, but SHRM recently warned about high rates of staff turnover.
According to the report by Accounting Principals and Ajilon:
More than a quarter of employees (25.7 percent) are actively seeking new job opportunities and over half (55.5 percent) are passively open to new job opportunities.
Add all these factors together — and costs can easily spiral out of control.
Outsourcing your IT support helps you retain control of your budget, prioritizing business growth without gambling with your IT systems.
In fact, the data suggests managed IT services can lower your IT costs by up to 40%.
So investing in your IT could actually save you money in the long run — giving you more to reinvest in your business.
3. Increase your operational efficiency
Owners of small businesses often retain control of IT support — or delegate it to employees in other areas — to keep costs down.
Most people have at least some IT knowledge.
How hard can it be?
The truth is, this isn’t an efficient way for you — or your other employees — to spend their time.
Think about it:
Could time be better spent on actually growing the business, rather than firefighting issues that arise on a day-to-day basis?
How will you cope when a major issue arises and you don’t have the right people there to support you through it?
Outsourcing your IT support frees up time in the business — for you and other members of your team — to do what you do best.
Not only that, but experts in IT will be able to resolve the problem in a fraction of the time — which actually reduces your costs (as well as increasing efficiency).
4. Identify potential issues before they cause any damage
Is your current IT strategy reactive in nature? Do you spot issues proactively, or do you spend your time fixing things as they break?
Each time a problem occurs with your IT systems, it will impact your business in some way.
Outsourced IT support gives you 24/7 network monitoring for peace of mind.
Your team can identify potential issues before they escalate, reducing — or even eliminating — any downtime or disruption that occurs as a result.
This reduces the financial impact on your business — and helps you maintain your reputation with customers. Two elements key to business growth.
5. Protect your data
As a small business, it’s vital to protect your organization from cyber-criminals.
It’s easy to believe it will never happen to you, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In 2017, more than half of organizations experienced at least one ransomware attack.
If you want to avoid such attacks on your business, you need to work with a team of experts to ensure you stay on top of the techniques used by cyber-criminals.
According to AT&T, there is a disconnect between the way business owners perceive cybersecurity risks — and how they act upon it in their organization:
“Despite cybersecurity being the top technology priority in the past year, many organizations see it as their most underperforming IT area.”
Outsourced IT support can help you bridge this gap — protecting your business from threats that could cripple your business (and your reputation).
6. Keep up with the latest trends and insights
The IT industry is constantly evolving in line with new technologies. If you want to maximize business growth, it’s essential you have an IT support team that prioritizes innovation.
Not only is it difficult to ensure an in-house team keeps up to speed, but there’s currently a shortage of skilled IT professionals in the USA. A recent report from Gartner highlighted this. They listed IT talent shortage as one of five emerging risks, stating:
“Organizations face this talent crunch at a time when they are already challenged by risks that are exacerbated by a lack of appropriate expertise. Previous hiring strategies for coping with talent disruptions are insufficient in this environment.”
They also suggest there will be 1.4 million job openings for IT specialists in 2020. This makes outsourced IT support seem even more appealing, if not essential, for small business owners.
IT innovation is key to business growth. When you outsource your IT provision, you can take advantage of your competition’s lack of resources — always keeping one step ahead.
Are you ready to outsource your IT support to people who want to help you grow your business? Get in touch to find out how we can help.