What is Outsourcing IT Services for organisations

July 2021

IT Support AU What is managed IT services provider

By IT Support AU

Outsourcing business services (whether it’s payroll, accounting or IT) allows organisations, businesses, firms, NFPs, government and enterprises to focus on what they do best. Increased demand over the last few years proves that it’s the solution of choice for business managers and the cause for business success.

What is Outsourced IT Services

A growing number of Australian organisations are relying on Outsourced IT services providers for their technology requirements.

Outsourcing IT is employing the services of an external provider to manage the organisation’s IT requirements. A Managed services provider (MSP) makes it easier for firms and companies to meet their IT requirements.

Modern companies, businesses, organisations and firms use technology for delivering services, staff, clients, collaboration and business operations. The technology comes with the added burden of maintaining systems and protecting information and data from cyber criminals.

A part of this IT burden includes updating computer systems, installing antivirus, cyber security, cloud computing, business continuity plan, regular backups, implementing new operating systems and maintenance. To meet their IT needs, firms can either hire and train their IT staff or outsource to another firm, called a Managed Service Provider (MSP).

Hiring staff for an in-house IT department is generally not cost-effective for small to medium enterprises (SMEs). Hiring and maintaining staff requires a sizeable investment. For organisations interested in external providers for IT solutions, have one of two options, wait until something happens i.e. systems break down or use a managed IT Services provider.

In the first scenario, a firm risks its IT operations by using a “break-fix”, on-demand service provider or casual IT support. The IT technician comes to the location when things have broken down and are nonoperational. They charge an hourly rate for fixing the problem. The cost is lower but the risk lies with the organisation because IT systems are not actively managed.

The disadvantage of this approach is that firstly the IT technician does not know about the firm and the incentive is to “patch things” for short term gain rather than long term success. The work is not guaranteed and multiple call-outs can cost a fair amount of funds.

On the other hand, Managed IT Services Provider (MSP) is an IT partnership. A Managed IT support firm is the virtual IT department and manages IT services with the goal of keeping things from breaking down so that there is little risk of failure, staff frustration and the need to fix problems. The IT partner helps achieve business growth and success.

Additionally, business services like network monitoring, server management and cybersecurity require the constant attention of IT support and can’t be provided by a break-fix or casual IT technician because of the ongoing nature of the operation.

MSPs are IT partners and build long term business relationships and partnerships with organisations which enables them to focus on what they do best. The incentive for an outsourcing company is to provide the best solutions and outcomes for its clients, long term growth and success by keeping IT operations secure and fully functional.

Small to medium organisations and firms with 4-50 employees can achieve the most out of IT support firms because they may not have the resources and the time to build and manage an in-house IT department. This makes Outsourcing IT a much more attractive option.

“Outsourcing IT to Managed IT Services provider allows businesses to focus on their core and achieve the best outcome for Organisations.”

What type of IT Solutions can be Outsourced

Outsourced IT Services are classified into two major categories.

Outsourced IT infrastructure for firms

Maintaining company systems is an ongoing concern. Updating systems and installing new hardware are tasks best outsourced to a responsible IT services provider.

As the business grows so does the footprint of all the devices including systems, laptops, tablets, printers and mobile devices. Outsourcing reduces IT overhead and staff can access company services simply by signing in.

Outsourced software for firms

Software is crucial for automation, analytics and repetitive tasks. Commonly used business software solutions include CRM (customer management tool), Cloud-based accounting, Cloud-based payroll and CMS (web design and website management) for increasing business productivity and success.

Advantages of outsourcing software consulting for firms include custom software development, regular software updates and patches. IT support firms also provide IT support for plugin development to benefit employees and business processes.

Which IT Services can be Outsourced

Modern-day business operations and essential IT services are best outsourced to IT providers or managed IT services firms. Outsourcing allows organisations to achieve their goals and objectives and position themselves for success. These services are essential to organisations because they increase productivity, security and empower staff.

Cyber Security

Cyber Security is an essential IT service because it can lead to serious consequences or business failure in the worst-case scenario. According to inc.com, 60% of businesses that experience an attack fail within the first 6-months of the cyber-attack.

A hack or cyber-attack is a threat to business success. According to Security Brief AU, 80% of Australian companies lack critical cyber security investment. Businesses, organisations, firms and NFPs can enhance their security and safeguard their organisation with

a) investing in cybersecurity,

b) guidance of IT providers / MSPs,

c) ongoing preventative monitoring measures and

d) raising awareness among staff to report incidents

Organisations that experience cybersecurity incidents may also experience reputational loss from media coverage. 

Business Continuity

Business downtime is unacceptable for any modern enterprise. Business Continuity is an essential IT Service that considers the risk of downtime from multiple sources like systems failure, loss of network connectivity, 

cyber-attacks and complete loss of sensitive data.

The service aims to increase functionality and availability, improve resiliency and lower downtime possible in the worst-case scenario of failure and achieve success. The service aims to improve the 

organisation’s resiliency in the case of systems failure.

Network maintenance

Connectivity is essential for employee collaboration, business workflow, delivering services to clients and user experience. Since the pandemic began, the mobile workforce and Work From Home (WFH) requirements increased business reliance on networking and fast connectivity. The WFH trend and employee flexibility is expected to continue and become an essential component of an organisation’s success.

A slower network leads to lower productivity and staff frustration. Without a robust network business services are impacted. Continual network maintenance is required as part of modern-day services like cloud computing, eCommerce, VPNs, remote backups and disaster recovery plans. 

Ongoing IT Support

Ongoing IT Support for organisations is vital for employee troubleshooting and problem-solving. Active Directory logins, Outlook email connectivity, printer breakdown are examples of ongoing IT support and use cases of Managed IT providers.

Advantages of Outsourced IT Solutions

The advantages of outsourcing IT solutions for organisations, firms, NFPs are as follows.

FOCUS ON WHAT YOU DO BEST

Outsourcing IT to a Managed provider allows management to focus on what they do best. Managers can concentrate on their team as well as their strengths. Staff resources are not wasted in tasks that generate no direct income or benefit for the firm. Outsourcing allows staff to focus on their core leading to higher productivity.

Cost-effective

Instead of hiring staff, paying wages (Superannuation Guarantee) and managing staff, organisations purchase the finished product or IT service. Outsourcing is more cost-effective as there is no staff training 

or hiring involved and the level of service (if not better) is available instantaneously.

Complex services require a strong skill-set which can be expensive to source. For smaller organisations (SMEs), it is not viable to maintain their own IT department. Instead, IT support firms and managed IT providers are the virtual IT department that employees can speak to, like 

in-house IT department.

Fixed budget

Outsourcing IT allows managers and financial controllers to manage their operating costs and IT expense. The IT support firm can formulate the IT strategy for the organisation and estimate their estimated monthly 

expenditure.

Budgeting and projection enable the organisation to control their IT expenses on a monthly basis and in the near future (12 months). At the same time, fewer funds are swallowed in unforeseen circumstances because of the oversight of a Managed IT Provider.

Risk Management

The Australian Government’s cyber agency has identified that cyber-attacks on local organisations have been increasing year on year. Cybersecurity is a serious risk to business success because of the consequences.

Managed providers help reduce the risk with constant monitoring and providing useful guidelines for staff so that these incidents can be reported and investigated. Firms that are attacked experience downtime, loss in productivity as well as reputational loss.

Compliance

Organisations in the finance and healthcare sector are required to follow government regulations as part of their IT operations. This is due to 

a) they are usually a prime target and

b) they store a large amount of sensitive data which makes them a target for ransomware and malware attacks. Outsourced IT firms help displace IT compliance overhead.

Disadvantages of Outsourced IT Services

Outsourcing IT is the solution designed to enhance the capability of the organisation. However, this doesn’t apply to all cases.

  • Response Times Managed IT firms try their best to fix issues within the accepted time frame (usually 24-48 business hours). Complicated issues can take IT technicians longer to restore services which can result in downtime and staff frustration. A solution to this problem is formulating an appropriate business continuity plan.
  • Staff Risk Whilst the IT support provider does its best to protect against external attacks, hacks and viruses, opportunities for exploitation still exist. Security risks arise when staff access work files and documents from an infected machine or mobile phone or use an unsecured WiFi connection leading to viruses and malware downloaded into company systems. Staff education and awareness are important factors in managing the risk.
  • Limited Serviceability Not all managed IT service providers have the same IT portfolio. There is a chance that the MSP does not provide the IT expertise in the field that a firm is concentrating in. In this case, they might not be a perfect fit for the organisation.
  • IT Specialisation Based on their areas of IT expertise, managed providers concentrate on the best firms and organisations for IT partnerships. Not all MSPs operate in the same market and cater to similar clients. Some IT Support firms have the expertise and specialisation and provide customised support best suited for a category of clients.

How does Outsourcing IT Services contribute to organisation’s success

The fast-paced, ever-changing world of technology and automation, AI, machine learning, digital marketing requires firms to integrate and apply complex technologies.

  • Focus on what you do best  Business managers in an organisation can divert more IT resources to focus on parts of the business that generate value and growth. A managed IT provider can provide partial IT solutions in areas of less significance, allowing firms to increase revenue by building value.
  • IT Partner IT service provider contributes to an organisation’s success and future by forming dependable IT partnerships. By sharing the workload, providing strategic IT consultation and future guidance they help firms achieve success. Outsourcing is excellent for smaller to medium-sized firms with fewer resources for an in-house IT department.
  • Integrate New Technology / Digital Transformation With time organisations have a change in business requirements and goals. They might require IT expertise in a new technological direction. It can be hard or expensive to find talent straight away. The best option is to employ an IT provider for IT expertise, IT strategy and IT management.
  • 24-hour virtual IT department MSPs provide after hours and around the clock IT support, a requirement for some businesses that operate around the clock eCommerce stores and for cybersecurity monitoring. Crucial business services and business continuity dictates that IT support teams plan an ever-increasing role in business growth and success.

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IT Support AU Managed IT Services provide outsourcing solutions to organisations in Melbourne and Australia. We focus on achieving outcomes and success for clients so you can focus on what you do best. We are your business IT partner, virtual IT department and cyber security advisor. Learn how we can grow, improve your organisation using Technology. Start today with a free consultation 1300 0123 01.