5 myths about outsourcing to a Managed IT company
Outsourcing your company’s day-to-day IT tasks can pay off.
(Photo: Getty Images)
A generation ago, running a company meant fully focusing on delivering a top-tier product or service. Today, leaders of any organization are also expected to keep a close handle on an area of their company that is critical to its success, but often tangential to its core mission: information technology.
While advances in information technology offer many opportunities for efficiency, managing day-to-day IT tasks can also be difficult and distracting. From live helpdesk support to managing servers and desktops to instituting antivirus solutions, some company leaders choose to simplify their day-to-day IT operations by outsourcing these tasks to experts. That way, those in charge can focus on their main line of business, and a Managed IT services provider can focus on keeping their computers, networks and systems up and running.
Despite the obvious benefits of hiring an outside company, there are still several prevailing misconceptions about what it means to work with a Managed IT services company. Debunking these myths can help shed light on whether hiring an outside firm to take care of your organization’s IT needs may be the right decision.
Myth #1: You will lose control of your IT department if you outsource.
If you outsource your Managed IT services and feel like you don’t have full control, you probably just haven’t found the right partner company.
“Making the switch to managed services outsourcing should feel comfortable,” explained Eric Casteel, the senior director of IT sales for Managed IT services company Marco. “When you hitch your wagon to us, our job is to listen and really, truly understand what you need in order to be successful.”
It’s important to note that you can still maintain your own IT department even if you outsource commonplace tasks such as help desk support to a Managed IT company. In a typical arrangement, a Managed IT company is simply taking care of the lower-level tasks like PC replacement, virus removal and ordering equipment. As a company, you can retain total control over your big-picture aspirations and objectives. Remember that your Managed IT company is there for you, and ready to help in whatever ways will make your company most productive.
Myth #2: Managed IT services are just for big businesses.
You don’t have to run a large business to justify a Managed IT arrangement. In fact, smaller companies can usually stand to benefit the most from outsourcing their IT services.
Since IT positions are notorious for their high turnover, the amount of effort that it takes to recruit, train and retain IT professionals can place a disproportionate burden on small businesses. In some cases, it makes sense for a small business to outsource all of its IT tasks and completely avoid having to put together its internal team. In other scenarios, an outside company simply helps prevent a small internal team from becoming overloaded with putting out day-to-day fires.
Both situations are perfectly valid, said Mike St. John, Marco’s regional sales manager for Michigan who also has a Master’s Degree in IT. “Managed services is for any business that doesn't have its own internal IT department and any organization that wants to offload the infrastructure support from their internal IT personnel so that they can focus on application development, and not have to worry about taking care of network hardware and the infrastructure.”
Myth #3: With time, your Managed IT company will prioritize new clients over your ongoing business.
Your relationship with your Managed IT company should be based on an ongoing conversation, not a one-time list of tasks. Set expectations early and often by establishing regular meetings to check in with your provider.
“Our dedication to your needs does not get weaker over time. In fact, it’s the opposite,” Casteel said. “As we continue to learn more about your business and your goals, we’re able to integrate that information into how we deliver your IT services.”
In other words, a long-term partnership will allow your Managed IT services company to go a step beyond handling repetitive tasks. Keeping your company’s profile in mind, your Managed IT partner can also help provide general technology roadmaps and insight into some of the latest technology trends. The longer you stay with a Managed IT company, the more value they can provide.
Myth #4: Managed IT is expensive.
Looking only at the sticker price of outsourcing gives an incomplete picture of the true cost of Managed IT services. In many instances, an effective outside team can actually save a company money by preventing or quickly fixing system failures that would render a company’s employees ineffective.
“A properly built Managed IT company has a help desk with people standing by waiting for client calls,” explained St. John. “If the network is being supported properly and monitored effectively, Managed IT eliminates downtime for the client.”
Those savings, said St. John, can add up quickly. “Look how much they stand to lose in an outage if their network isn't properly set up, or if they get hit with ransomware and can't properly recover because they haven't tested their backup solution.”
Myth #5: An “a la carte” approach to outsourcing is more beneficial than a blanket approach.
To save money, businesses may be tempted to take an “a la carte” approach to outsourcing. They think that perhaps an outside company can manage a single aspect of their technological needs while an in-house team manages the rest. In reality, that approach often backfires, said Casteel.
“If an organization wants to truly take advantage of freeing up their IT staff to work on strategic initiatives for their company, an ‘all in’ offering is what they should be looking for.”
Original Date: Nov 13 2018
Written By: Jessica Levy