Operating a business today without well integrated and effective technology is like trying to drive a car while blindfolded. Not only is it impossible to see where you’re going, you’re likely to get blindsided by any number of hazards no matter where your end destination lies.
For many small business owners, however, taking the time to discover all the technology options available is just too much effort. Decisions about what technology to use and how best to maintain it take a back seat to the day to day requirements of running a business. But what happens when your technology shuts down?
It’s back to driving with a blindfold.
As the third installment of my blog series (you can read the first and second posts here and here), I’ll explain the benefits of outsourcing your IT functions to a top of the line, local IT firm. Although there are many reasons why this decision can bring value to your company, the subject of this blog is the holy grail of decision making; cost.
Quality and Cost
Telling someone they can get a particular good or service for cheaper than an alternative often has the implied stigma of lesser quality. When it comes to outsourced IT firms, however, this old adage doesn’t ring true. When you outsource your IT functions to a local IT firm, you gain access to a team of experts where at least one person will always be available to help your company with any problem. These IT personnel also tend to be of a higher quality than most small businesses can afford to hire, but which IT firms demand. Many firms, for example mine (Fusion Managed IT), pay for continual training for their engineers to insure they stay this way.
“So if the quality is higher than what many businesses currently use, it’ll cost me more, right?”
Actually, the opposite is the case. Despite the fact that you get more IT staff that can help you and they undergo more training, many business often pay less for the services they receive than they do for their current IT staff. And because these firms are always looking ahead to new technology trends, they can save you money in the future by alerting you to potential upgrades.
So how exactly are they cheaper?
Not On Your Payroll
The biggest way that an outsourced IT firm can save you money is by staying off your payroll. No matter what your company makes, it’s doubtful that one of your core competencies is IT infrastructure. So hiring someone who knows their stuff (or more likely, that you HOPE knows their stuff as well as they say) is going to cost a pretty penny. Social Security, healthcare, and other benefits quickly start to add onto that already pricey base salary. Don’t forget overtime if/when your IT infrastructure goes down.
And what happens if your IT stops working when they’re on vacation? All that money you spent can’t help you fix the problem when you need it most.
By outsourcing your IT, you get the expertise of engineers you know are talented and knowledgeable without having the pay them as employees. That means no base salary, no healthcare, and no Social Security costs. A select few companies like Fusion also offer an infrastructure as a service model, so you pay the same every month no matter how much support you need. And you know they stay up to date on technology because the firm will pay for training for their own engineers.
All this means that you get can cut costs while focusing more on your core competencies without IT ruining your business.
Shared Pool of Resources
“If all these firms hire better IT people and take the cost of paying for them, how does that cost not get transferred into my bill?”
The beauty of IT firms is that they work with multiple businesses across different industries. The reason the cost of services provided by an IT firm is often lower than the alternative is because those costs are shared among the firm’s customers. Instead of you paying for one person to just service your IT needs (and hoping you have a big enough budget to hire a good person), now multiple companies are providing the funds necessary to “hire” a team of experts.
Each company only pays for what they need, but the combined resources allow the IT firm to hire and provide the best engineers it can to solve your problems. With companies like Fusion, which provide that Infrastructure as a Service model, you pay a low flat rate no matter how much you use. This means you avoid having to pay when you don’t really need the service. But you can still afford to have the best engineers working for you when you need them because other companies are essentially helping you pay for them.
This insures that you’re not only getting the best service available, but in the most cost effective way possible.