A recent study found that worldwide IT spending is expected to reach a total of $4.5 trillion this year.
This is due in part to the fact that organizations will begin relying more heavily on external consultants to help bridge the gap between in-house capabilities and resources needed.
If you’re looking for reliable IT services without the need to hire and train a team in-house, an outsourced IT provider might be the perfect solution.
In this article, we’ll cover the most common IT services you can outsource, the pros and cons of outsourced IT services, cost and how to find the right partner.
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What Are Outsourced IT Services?
Outsourced information technology (IT) services offer IT security, support and consultancy solutions for hire, from an external managed service provider (MSP).
These services offer more than just troubleshooting or solving your IT issues.
Outsourced IT providers closely monitor your company’s network, provide system backups and ensure your network is secured from cyber attacks.
Outsourced IT vs. In-house IT
While outsourced IT gives you access to experts outside of your organization, in-house IT requires you to hire an on-site team of IT experts in your company.
An in-house IT team can handle your company’s daily IT operations, such as providing technical support to employees, implementing security measures and evaluating the efficiency of your company’s networks and systems.
Let’s break down the difference between outsourced IT services and in-house IT services.
- You aren’t required to have IT employees on-site
- You are provided with IT support and management remotely
- You are charged a monthly rate or per user rate
- Outsourced IT employees are not entitled to company benefits
- You depend on an on-site team to handle your daily IT issues
- You pay a fixed salary rate to your IT employees
- Your IT employees are entitled to company benefits
What IT Services Can You Outsource?
From ensuring your network is secure from potential cyber attacks to providing you with expert support, here are the common outsourcing IT services you can choose from.
- Network Security: Your outsourced IT provider detects cyber attacks and prevents your company’s network from unauthorized modification and access that can result in potential vulnerabilities.
- Troubleshooting Support: Your outsourced IT provider offers expert support to your on-site employees, including forgotten passwords, slow internet connection, accidental file deleting and even printer issues.
- File and System Backup: Your outsourced IT provider duplicates or stores your company’s files and data in another storage platform such as the cloud. This prevents the loss of important files if they get damaged or corrupted.
- Network Maintenance: Your outsourced IT provider ensures your company’s network is secured and optimized by installing, upgrading or replacing your hardware and software.
- IT Consulting: Your outsourced IT provider evaluates your company’s IT needs, such as advanced cybersecurity protection, cloud hosting or cloud cybersecurity and determines which path is best suited for you.
- Help Desk IT Services: Your outsourced IT provider ensures that you’re provided 24/7 support if you need help troubleshooting even the most mundane office equipment such as scanners, printers and servers.
- Repair Services: Your outsourced IT provider ensures your equipment is working optimally. This IT solution includes removing malware and viruses, and computer hardware troubleshooting.
5 Pros of Outsourcing IT Services
Outsourcing is a cost-efficient and reliable solution if you need additional help or lack a team of in-house IT experts. Benefits of outsourcing include:
1. Reduces Labor Costs
According to a Glassdoor study, the standard U.S. employer spent $4,000 in 2019 when hiring a new employee.
Outsourcing your IT services allows you to only pay for services that you need. This saves you an average of 15% of your budget on hiring costs.
Partnering with an outsourced IT provider allows you to save money on aspects like your employee’s salary and benefits and prevents you from making large investments such as hiring additional staff.
2. Reduces Costs For Office Space
The average annual office rent in the West End of London had an average cost of 118 British pounds per square foot at the end of 2021, making its rent significantly more expensive than other European countries.
When you recruit an in-house employee, you need to allocate a budget for their office space.
But when you partner with a third-party IT provider, you aren’t required to have office space for your outsourced team since they’ll be working in a remote location.
3. Eliminates Employee Training
Typically, a training period is associated with a new hire, and it can take up to six months for a new employee to feel confident in dealing with their tasks.
If your industry has a high turnover rate, this training period can be especially problematic.
Instead of hiring a new employee and training them from scratch, outsourced IT services provide you with access to experts who don’t require training.
4. Provides Access To Expertise Across Different Touch Points
More often than not, there will be cases when a complex situation might arise, and your in-house expert might not know how to handle it.
Typically, this occurs when your employee has a knowledge span of only the basic issues that happen within your company such as recovering passwords for your employees.
Since professionals from outsourced IT services typically deal with new challenges from different companies on a regular basis, they aren’t restricted to a number of skills.
This gives you access to expertise your in-house team may not have.
5. Performs Immediate Implementation
An in-house team might pause their current operations to prioritize important tasks and sometimes require training for a new project.
If you need to have a new program or software implemented, an outsourced IT service provider can perform the task immediately, since they already have the necessary resources and experience.
Cons of Outsourcing IT Services
Trusting your company’s processes and security to a third-party provider can come with risks.
Here are three disadvantages of outsourcing IT services:
- Less control: When partnering with an outsourced IT provider, you won’t have full control of how they perform their tasks and it’s possible that they won’t meet your company’s standards.
- Delayed response time: Between inquiries and long conversations, waiting for a response from an outsourced IT provider may affect the turnaround time of solving an important issue or completing a task. Quick communication is required to solve a security issue and delayed responses can cost you money.
- Security concerns: When you outsource an IT provider, you’re entrusting them with your network’s security and your customer’s data. It’s vital to partner with an outsourced IT provider that’s credible, since sharing sensitive data to the wrong people may lead to data theft and hacking.
When Should You Outsource IT Providers?
Now that you know the benefits of outsourcing your company’s IT, you may be wondering when you should make the switch.
If one of more of these applies to you, it might be the right time to outsource your IT services:
- You lack a team of in-house IT experts: When you don’t have a team of experts, your projects might take longer to complete and workforce productivity can decrease. This happens because your employees are focusing their time on a task they aren’t familiar with.
- You need additional IT assistance: You don’t have enough IT experts to cover every issue and your team is only handling common issues that occur in your company making their skills limited.
- You want to cut costs: Instead of paying your team a fixed salary, an outsourced IT team cuts your costs, since you only pay for the services you need.
How Much Do Outsourced IT Services Cost?
The cost of outsourced IT services varies based on several different factors, such as the number of users and servers and the services you need, which can range from remote network monitoring, maintenance and basic or advanced cybersecurity protection.
If your company has 50 employees and lacks an on-site IT team, you can expect to pay an average of $100 per employee, per month, which can cost around $60,000 per year.
One-time charges can apply to outsourcing strategic planning sessions or on-site emergency visits, and additional costs can occur if your company is scaling or if you have new projects to implement.
Before partnering with an IT services provider, make sure the costs are transparent up front — which brings us to our next point.
What To Look For In An Outsourced IT Provider
When choosing an outsourced IT provider to partner with:
- Watch out for hidden fees: Say your outsourced IT service provider charges you $150 per month. While the price may sound appealing, ensure that the base fee will also cover immediate response times, hardware setup fees and on-site emergency support to prevent you from spending more than you expected.
- Keep an eye on hourly fees: Some outsourced IT service providers might try to charge you a base number of hours per month. While you might think that this will cost you less, the IT service provider may attempt to charge you more once you go beyond the hours you agreed on.
- Ensure that you will be charged a per month or per user rate: Whether you opt for a per month or per user subscription, a fixed rate gives you peace of mind knowing that you won’t be dealing with any surprise or hidden fees.
Wrapping Up On Outsourced IT Services
Outsourced IT services ensure that your operations are closely monitored and secured from potential cyber attacks, from a team of remote-working IT experts.
The most common services these providers offer include network security, maintenance, troubleshooting support and IT consulting.
From reducing costs to maximizing your in-house team’s productivity, outsourcing IT services is a solution that gives you access to high-level IT expertise without hurting your budget.