Small business owners almost always have budget on their mind. Finding ways to cut costs and overhead to increase profit margins is a big part of your job. Most small businesses spend less than 7% of their profits on tech annually. This is a very small percentage of profits for everything IT can do. Your business success can hinge on the e-commerce, data security, business intelligence, and network stability provided by IT.
In an effort to keep IT costs low, many companies will recruit an “IT person” who is responsible for managing all aspects of the company’s IT. If this person is internal, they usually don’t work on IT full-time. Their IT responsibilities were tacked on in addition to their day job, so to speak, because they are the most tech-savvy person on the team.
Many companies think this is the best solution because they don’t need or can’t afford a full-time IT person on staff. Many companies believe if they only have a few employees, it won’t be very complicated and someone can take care of the IT on the side.
Network management includes licensing, warranties, hardware maintenance, and security. It is a broad field that requires expertise and skill. This newly appointed IT person likely doesn’t have the training, certifications, skills, or more importantly, time to manage a network.
Put yourself in the shoes of the part-time “IT person” on staff. They are up against deadlines, projects, and a whole lot of responsibilities. When an IT issue comes up, they have to drop everything and take care of it, for the sake of productivity of the team. But what about their productivity?
If this issue is something they’ve never seen before, they are learning as they go, which only takes longer and kills efficiency in the long run. Or worse, a virus could spread through your network or you could be a victim of a cyber-attack. In this case, your IT person’s hands are probably tied.
You have to ask yourself a few questions:
- Does your part-time IT person know how to safeguard your data and your network?
- How much time are they spending on IT?
- How much is that costing you in hours away from their main responsibilities?
- How much will loss of data cost you if something goes wrong?
- What will you have to invest to correct issues they didn’t know how to prevent?
In the long run, putting the responsibility of IT on a full-time employee could cost you a lot.
A team member who is acting as the IT person is going to be reactive, not proactive. An issue comes up, and they try to fix it. They aren’t putting much thought into an IT strategy because they still have a full set of responsibilities outside of IT management. When you have proactive IT management, increased efficiency across the team is possible.
Outsourcing your managed IT means offloading these responsibilities to a team dedicated to tech. You won’t have to worry about managing the daily tasks necessary to keep your business on track. Many of these processes can be automated with enterprise level tools. Network security and monitoring will be going on 24/7 and you will be able to call on your help desk when any issues arise.