Should I Outsource my I.T?

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Selecting the right I.T. Support partner can give your business a HUGE boost.
So; you’ve grown your business through hard work, determination and making tough, but informed, decisions. You’re employing 35 people, looking to open a new office to expand your footprint and move in to the next phase of business growth, bringing with it another 15 employees and yet … I.T. is becoming a real issue.
 
You’re having to spend time with your mate (We’ll call him Bob!) who helped set you up all those years ago and has helped you out whenever you’ve needed a bit of guidance. Trying to understand why things aren’t always working, why your Email keeps getting blacklisted, why the office WiFi is just a total pain and wondering how best to connect your new office and Bob, well … Bob’s got a new job and just hasn’t the time to really help out anymore. Plus, you knew the business was getting a bit too big for Bob and people internally are starting to complain about things “Just not working”!
 

What do you do next? Well; really, you’ve got two options;

 
  1. Employ someone to run and manage your I.T. internally
  2. Look to outsource your I.T. to a reputable company

Both have benefits, both have pitfalls.
 
The average salary of an IT Manager is £38,366 (Source: Payscale.com). With recruitment costs and employer contributions, that will easily mean an initial £50,000 outlay in the first year. Once you’ve put out a job description (Bob’s helped you on that!) and gone to a couple of recruitment firms, they’ve managed to shortlist you 8 candidates. The interview process begins … What exactly are you going to ask them?
 
Recruitment is a time-consuming and expensive process. Candidates could ask technically complex questions back or use technical jargon that you might not quite understand (half the time they’re just showing off by the way!). But ultimately you could find yourself making the wrong decision and 9 months down the line you’re contemplating going through the whole process again as things just haven’t worked out.

You’d still be reliant on that one person, who has holidays and the odd day off sick – during which time you’ve no cover whatsoever (Bob’s moved away with his new job) that one person has to do all the firefighting and is therefore unable provide you with good, solid, experienced advice on how best to set up this long overdue new office, which you’ve finally got the go ahead on and, if you were to analyse it, does this new guy really have the business expertise and in-depth knowledge to advise you anyway?
 
What’s the alternative? Googling “IT Support Yorkshire” results in 48 MILLION results. Where do you start? What do you need? Are they any good? And (It’s pretty key, so I’ll repeat it) WHERE DO YOU START?
 
Outsourcing, therefore trusting another company, with something that is pretty much fundamental to YOUR business, is quite a scary, and potentially damaging process to undertake. Read any of the marketing blurb from those Google results and they’ll all tell you they’re the best, most cost effective and proactive support company in the World (Yes, including us!). So, how do you start?
 

First step is to decide what YOU want from an outsourced I.T. Support company.


Is it just a ‘break fix’ solution you want? (Not recommended) OR do you want someone who will advise you, help you through the ‘Dark Art’ of I.T.?  Who will not JUST fix problems, but look at the root cause and actively work with you to drive issues down (The truth is, from any support company, they want as few calls as possible from you!), you want I.T. to work for you and increase productivity, pushing up profitability, you want someone who you feel you can actually TRUST.
 
Make sure you have an agreed Service Level Agreement (SLA) in place with any Support company and that you have checked through their contract for any hidden costs (I know of at least one large company who will charge you £200 for every new PC or laptop you purchase, ON TOP of your agreed monthly support fee) check you won’t be charged extra for having regular management meetings (Many give you a small amount of hours per year, which can quickly run out, then charge you a high hourly rate) and clarify exactly what is covered under your monthly support fee.
 
Selecting the right I.T. Support partner can give your business a HUGE boost and provide you, effectively, with an IT Director and a fully functioning IT Department for potentially less than it costs to employ one person. They don’t take time off or ring in sick, they don’t leave – meaning you need to go through the recruitment process again, they are backed up by a legally binding contract and SLA and the right selection WILL help your business grow and become more profitable.
 
Personally, I reckon we’re the best one in the World and MTech WILL help your business grow. But I would say that, wouldn’t I!

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