When you own a small business, it takes a lot to compete with larger companies. The only problem is that you don’t have the resources that those big corporations keep on hand. This means you have to try to find the balance between spending money and making sure the company functions at optimum efficiency. One way you can do this is outsourcing all your Information Technology needs to a reliable service.
How Does the Arrangement Work?
There is no great mystery about how IT services offer their support to clients. While there is some variance from one provider to the next, the usual approach is to lock in a monthly fee to ensure help is there when needed. The terms of the agreement between provider and customer will specific what services are considered standard and are included in the monthly fee. In most cases, those standard services will be more than enough to keep the company network up and running.
The agreement will also include provisions for services above and beyond the norm. These are provided for an extra charge, but typically at discounted rates. This is one of the perks of signing a contract with the IT service. By entering into a one-year agreement, the small business owner is essentially locking in lower pricing that covers anything that could happen.
Lower Costs for Staffing
Outsourcing is all about saving the client money. In the case of your small business, choosing to outsource the IT system maintenance and upkeep means that you have less staffing costs to meet each month. Think of what you would pay in the way of wages or salary in order to keep full-time or part-time people on hand. Rest assured that the monthly fee you remit to the service will be much less than what you would have to pay to even a single IT employee.
Ancillary Employee Expenses
The savings is not all focused on keeping the payroll more manageable. You also do not have to provide any type of benefits as part of the outsourcing arrangement. That means there is no need to provide vacation days, sick days, health insurance, bereavement pay, or any of the other benefits that come with a full-time IT specialist. All you have to do is make your monthly payment on time and all will be well.
There is a good chance that the terms of your agreement with the IT partner will include a limited amount of consultation services. Consider what would happen if you were thinking about upgrading to a new software program for the sales team. How would that program integrate with the other databases already in place? A professional who knows your network well can provide you with feedback about the software under consideration, including the resources it would need to run properly and how it would interact with the accounting and customer service software already in place. This advice could end up saving you a bundle in terms of purchase price and complications down the road.
Making the Network More Secure
As part of the support, the professional will also provide solutions that keep your network more secure. This is important, since the last thing you need is for someone to hack your server and gain access to all the company’s proprietary data. The IT professional can help you select programs that increase security without creating any major headaches for your employees.
Remember that part of the basic service will likely include running periodic system checks. Those checks are not just to clean up any errors and get rid of junk files found on the network. It is also to make sure the firewall is functioning properly and the protection software is up to date.
If you own a small business and need help with your network, consider setting up a working agreement with a local IT service. Once you have the chance to see how well the arrangement works, you will never consider using any other method to keep your network functioning at optimum efficiency.