Anyone running an SME knows all too well that constant balance of keeping costs down, whilst ensuring you have all the systems in place to steer the business towards profitability.
If your IT systems and processes perform a central role in your business, you may be deliberating on whether to manage it in-house or outsource it to a dedicated IT support company. After all, it’s not always obvious which parts of your IT are vital, a luxury, or not worth having at all.
The good news is that a good IT support company will help you figure this out and work with you to find a bespoke package of support, active maintenance, proactive planning and disaster recovery.
Even better news: SMEs that outsource to an IT support company are more likely to experience business growth in the longer term.
Don’t believe us? We’ll show you some figures that will stop you in your tracks, and show you the benefits of outsourcing your IT needs to a support company.
IT Support Statistics
For any SME, identifying the true value of outsourcing IT Support will come down to cost-effectiveness.
That said, it’s not always easy to determine your IT Support’s true value.
How do you put a price on the time you save fixing IT problems or researching the latest Cloud storage solution? What’s the value of the increased productivity provided by a properly managed IT solution?
That said, the data does show that it’s both cheaper to outsource than to bring it in-house, and to mitigate against the colossal financial losses caused by IT system failures and malware attacks.
Let’s start with the in-house costs of managing your own IT solutions. According to the 2019 Deloitte Tech Trends report, the impact of the in-house template of IT management makes up as much as 70% of a company’s IT budget. And that’s just to keep business-critical systems up to par.
Even if you take salaries as a marker of spend, the cost of hiring external IT support would generally be much cheaper than hiring a permanent IT Manager. If the average base pay of an IT Manager is £51k per year in the UK, that’s a saving of around £46,200 given the average annual spend on managed IT support costing around £4,800 per year (based on Firstline clients).
Not only that, but because an IT support company will employ several professionals with different specialisms, you’ll have access to a far broader range of knowledge and experience.
An IT company will also keep operating expenses down, will make your systems last longer, and find the best (and cheapest) solutions to your problems.
When you consider the cost of cyberattacks on top of this, the picture gets clearer.
It’s estimated that around 43% are aimed at small businesses, with only 14% being sufficiently armed with the tools to withstand the attack.
According to a 2017 study, businesses that do recover will have spent around $117k (£85k) to bounce back from their attack. A staggering 60% of small companies will not recover and will shut up shop within six months of an attack.
The cost of downtime (either as a result of cyberattacks, network issues or human error) is also unimaginably expensive. A Gartner study has found that a company’s downtime (the period in which their systems have gone down) will cost $4600 (£3,300) per minute. And, whilst outsourcing your IT support won’t eliminate the risk of experiencing downtime or even cyber attacks, you will be reducing the chances (and the severity) of them happening.
But there are also the less tangible ways in which managed IT support can benefit your business. The time you would spend researching the latest antivirus technologies or cloud storage options could be better spent on your business-as-usual tasks.
With smooth-running systems, you’re also more likely to gain a competitive advantage when it comes to recruiting new staff, and becoming successful in your niche.
How IT Support Helps SMEs
The way in which managed IT Support can benefit your SME will obviously depend on your needs as a business. A good IT support company will work with you to develop a bespoke package to respond to both your needs and budget.
When you first start out building your business, you can’t avoid having to react to issues as they’re thrown at you. That said, as you start growing, a proactive approach to problem mitigation will save you a lot of time dealing with issues that could have been prevented.
When it comes to IT, a whole gamut of issues can be planned for ahead of time, from servers crashing, software updates, hardware audits, to proactive maintenance. That said, it’s not always clear to business owners what aspects of their IT activity need to be planned out.
When you hire the expertise of IT support, they will know what needs to be planned for, even if you don’t. They’ll be able to schedule processes at times that are least disruptive to your business.
There’s a range of day-to-day issues any SME faces, from building your IT infrastructure, maintaining it, backing up and storing data, to fixing issues and limiting disaster risk.
A good IT support company will help you with your daily IT support from IT design, purchasing and installation service for all hardware, software and telephone systems requirements. They’ll be able to help you with your hosting, network maintenance and offer you a 24/7 helpdesk to deal with any fixes that need taking care of.
Because an IT support company will have a team of experienced engineers with their own specialities, you’ll be able to count on your IT being in the best hands possible.
Backup and disaster recovery
It’s not always possible to avoid IT disasters altogether, but outsourcing your IT support will greatly reduce your chances of both disasters happening in the first place and the extent of the collateral damage if they occur.
Whether your business is hit by a cyber threat, loss of data or network disruption, an IT support company will build resilience into your IT systems, identify the systems and steps you need to protect them and bring together a robust strategy for bouncing back if disaster strikes.
Along with ensuring your data is securely backed up, but critically, that your business can function in the time it takes to restore your data. Your IT support will work with you to create a business continuity plan to ensure you stay operational if the worst should happen.
Your hardware and software will form a big part of how smoothly your SME runs, and with an Asset Management process, you can ensure all your assets are working to their full capacity. They’ll make sure they’re replaced when they’ve reached the end of their lifecycle, and schedule maintenance to increase their lifecycle.
Not only will asset management reduce your running costs, but it will give you the peace of mind to know that your resources are fit for purpose.
Given that nearly half of all cyberattacks are aimed at small businesses, protecting your IT systems is a no-brainer.
A good IT support team will work with you to understand your systems and create a bespoke cyber security solution.
This might start with a cyber security audit to review all your IT support systems and processes and identify gaps in your protection.
Because cybercriminals are constantly developing their techniques, an IT support company will be able to monitor your networks and endpoints and deal with threats before they become serious. They will provide 24/7 service that’s tailored to your specific needs.
Learn How To Get Reliable IT Support
The data is persuasive: outsourcing IT support is cost-effective and will give you the peace of mind that your systems and processes are up-to-date, fit for purpose and secured against risks.
That said, it’s important you find the right IT support company for you. This means finding a company you can trust, but who you can work together with to find a tailored solution to your problems within your budget.
At Equity, we pride ourselves on delivering a service that’s responsive, transparent, expert and fair. We’ll listen to the needs of your business and work with you to find the best possible solution tailored to your needs.
To find out more about how our IT Support Services will help your SME, we’d love to hear from you.