For businesses large and small, there are often tipping points when it becomes uneconomical to continue to manage particular functions internally. Instead you need to look outside the business to buy in the necessary expertise.
In terms of IT, we’ve come to recognise some of the key indicators that suggest you need to consider outsourcing. Here’s our top five signs:
- When your IT Manager has no time to do anything other than fight fires. Be that fixing the temperamental printer on the 3rd floor or dealing with software or hardware issues for end users. Projects will start to slip and it takes too long to get easy things done, like adding a new user or replacing a laptop. It’s a classic sign of an IT Manager being stretched too thin and is often the case as a business grows but the IT function doesn’t.
- A major change in circumstances in the business. For example, when you’ve acquired or merged with another business or are expanding in to new, bigger premises. All too often, the IT function is left to cope with the resources they always had but with a lot more work to do.
- The third sign is more often associated with smaller businesses with no official IT function. In these situations, the task of IT will have fallen by default to the person most skilled at fixing things when they go wrong. That could be the MD, FD, Marketing Manager or Designer. Inevitably there comes a point when that person is unable to add value in their ’day job’ because they are being sidetracked by IT issues. Time is money and when a person has less time to make money, then think about why!
- The penultimate sign goes back to the IT Managers that are over-worked and under-resourced and tends to impact SMEs at the larger end of the scale. Unexpected Cap-Ex is a tell-tale sign that projects or infrastructure are not being sufficiently well managed to anticipate and plan for change. That is often down to a lack of time and ability to focus on the strategic elements of the IT department.
- The final sign is the one that crops up most often. It’s when something has already gone horribly wrong. Backups have failed, servers crashed and died or critical software has ceased to function. Whatever it is, if you’re unable to cope with a disaster, it’s time to call in some help.
Not all businesses need to outsource their IT, but as the range of skills required to keep systems running smoothly increases, it’s never a bad idea to have a backup plan.
At Sentis, we offer a free IT audit to all businesses to see if there are any areas you should look at. There’s no obligation and it might just help you avoid number 5.