Because IT is such an important part of modern business, you must take particular care when outsourcing your IT to an external source.
The company you outsource your IT tasks too must be of the utmost quality. A company that uses untrained or minimally trained employees can result in further difficulties for your business. Many times, these problems occur in the form of language barriers and long wait times in regards to solutions.
The phrase, "You get what you pay for," is true when it comes to outsourcing. If the company's price seems too good to be true, watch out; there may be risk factors lying in wait.
Reachability and Responsiveness
When outsourcing to a dedicated IT company, you hold the expectation that you can reach them as soon as a problem arises. In most cases, you can; however, a companythat operates in a different time zone can be a risk factor. If your network goes down, you lose money every minute you're not online. Repairing IT issues as quickly as possible should be the top priority.
The company you outsource to should be available any time, day or night. It's also a good idea to use a local company should any on-site work be necessary. Using an IT company located hours away can result in long wait times if they have to make a service call to fix an issue. You should also consider the amount of time it takes them to respond to a problem; IT companies have automatic monitoring systems in place to alert them when problems arise. How long does it take to resolve these problems?
When outsourcing your company's IT to an external source, you're opening a hole in the security. The company will have access to the entire company's sensitive information.
Employee records, addresses, payroll, and more will be at risk of exposure. If there is any doubt about the security of the IT company, don't use them. A company that uses background checks when hiring employees is ideal. Placing a clause in the contract that entitles you to reparations should a leak occur due to the IT company can give a secondary layer of protection.
Outsourcing IT can save you a lot of time and money. There's no need for an in-house staff, and you can count on a professional to handle a problem that would take you hours to fix. That said, you have to consider the three above factors before agreeing to work with a given company. So say for instance that you live in the London area, sourcing your IT support within London is your best bet: there will be no language barriers, you will get local access, and they will be reachable when you need them.
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