A CTO’s Guide to Outsourced IT

Managed IT services

As a Chief Technology Officer, one of the most important decisions you could make is whether to continue managing your IT services in-house, or whether to have an outsourced IT provider to a managed service provider (MSP).

It is a big decision and you may have a number of questions that you’ll ask yourself before coming to a decision, such as:

  • Why should I outsource my IT services?
  • What should I look for from a service provider?
  • What does the future of outsourcing look like?

The goal of this blog is to help you answer these questions and aid you in making the right decision for your business.

Why Should I Outsource My IT Services?

Deciding whether to outsource your services is a difficult one to make. Consider your existing infrastructure and from there, think about whether it is providing you with everything you need. Are you often seeing peaks in costs? Is your system unable to grow with the requirements of your business? Do you lack skilled staff to provide you with the level of service that your business needs to run successfully?

You could also approach this question by asking yourself what outsourcing could bring your company:

  1. Skills and Knowledge – An outsourced service provider is a technical specialist and is likely to be more experienced than in-house teams.
  2. Expansion – A MSP can make your IT infrastructure develop with the growing demands of your business.
  3. Maintenance & Performance – A MSP will regularly maintain your system, reducing the risk of problems. Service levels are generally agreed within the contact and so if issues do occur, a MSP will make sure the system is back up and running quickly, to avoid financial penalties and damage to their reputation. This can be much more effective than an internal IT team.
  4. Contingency Planning – MSP’s will plan for every eventuality, putting in place a contingency plan.
  5. Security – MSP’s will be up-to-date with IT security issues and will make sure your systems are protected from malicious attacks, accidental loss and any other form of unauthorized access at all times.
  6. Costs – In-house, you may have peaks and troughs over your IT spending. However, with a MSP, you will see a manageable monthly charge, with no unpredictable costs. You will also have a reduction in staff costs too.

What Should I Look For From a Service Provider?

If you decide to outsource elements of your IT system, you then have the difficult task of choosing a provider. Here are a few key things to consider:

  • Make sure they have good references
  • Make sure they know your business well and understand your goals
  • Find out how they can provide you with maximum service level, to avoid disruption to your business
  • Ask what their plan is for security as this is crucial to your business
  • See what their costs are, to see if they meet your budget
  • Decide whether you feel you could build a positive business relationship with them over time

Unfortunately, after all of your searching, a MSP may not always work out how you’d hoped. It is therefore important to have an exit strategy. This is often overlooked, but should be written into the contract, so everyone can be clear right from the start.

What Does The Future Of Outsourcing Look Like?

Deciding on outsourcing is a big step to take and so it is important to understand what the future of outsourcing holds.

In recent years, there have been a number of developments, with these set to continue in the future. It is a fast developing area, which is becoming more and more accessible to businesses, including to SMB organizations.

It is difficult to determine how outsourcing will develop into the future, however, it is certain that it will continue to evolve. There are two key areas to watch out for:

Software as a Service (SaaS)

One key development has been Software as a Service (SaaS). This has provided businesses with a plethora of benefits, from reduced lead times and with a focus on monthly subscriptions, there are no large one off costs.

Cloud Computing

One of the most significant developments in recent years has been cloud computing. This brings a number of benefits to companies, including reduced costs and an ability to grow easily along with your business. This is set to continue in the future and bring even more benefits to businesses to help them reach their goals.

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We hope this has provided you with more information into outsourcing your IT Managed Services. If you’re looking to outsource your own systems, or move them into the cloud, let us know your questions in the comment box below.