What Is IT outsourcing? It's the business practice of using external providers to handle information technology functions (i.e., software development, infrastructure solutions, software support). For instance, with remote work and cloud computing skyrocketing, companies that outsource IT services are also on the rise.

Why do businesses outsource IT services?

There are several reasons why companies decide to outsource specific tasks or projects. These include:

1. They want to access better skills and expertise - i.e., they cannot find that talent internally and do not have the budget to hire them as full-time employees. 

2. They need a low price-to-quality ratio - i.e., they want to reduce their IT costs while maintaining high-quality results and not compromising on the value they can deliver for the customer.

3. They need to scale up quickly - i.e, they need more resources or expertise for a short-term project or a specific period but do not want to go through the hassle of hiring full-time employees on a long-term basis.

IT teams are the backbone of any company

Did you know that they can help increase productivity and operational efficiency? By outsourcing IT services to an MSP, a business can keep their IT team focused on the things that matter most, allowing them to deliver on their core activities. This ensures that all of your IT systems are in top condition for the benefit of your whole company. The operational efficiency increases your company’s productivity and all related metrics.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on our lives, and it's affected everything from the way we shop and eat to our modes of entertainment. As the economy begins to recover, these trends can be expected to continue, which means that companies across industries will need to find a way to manage the new volume of data that they're handling.

Because data is at the foundation of all of these digital developments, companies must have systems to ensure this data is protected.

Businesses must invest in these systems now, ready for whatever lies ahead.

Remote working has introduced gaps in network security for many businesses, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Cyber breaches can result in the loss or theft of data, but perhaps even more importantly, they can result in reputational damage for a company.

In the backdrop of the pandemic and the accelerated use of data, companies’ security systems may not keep pace. Many businesses are so consumed in dealing with the impacts of the pandemic that they don’t have the time or the resources to assess their cyber environments, leaving them vulnerable to breaches.

Outsourced IT for data security

As more and more data is generated and used, security breaches will increase soon. An Internet Security Report from WatchGuard Technologies has detected a two-year high in network attacks on companies in Q3 2020, for instance. Data security is increasingly a key concern for businesses of all kinds going forward.

Key aspects to consider when attempting to solve this problem:

  • How to manage your business's valuable data even when you are not physically present at your premises 
  • How to ensure sufficient access control measures are put in place to prevent unauthorized access 
  • How an increased awareness about cyber threats can help employees 

With the fast transition to remote work, IT infrastructure has also become more prone to internal and external threats. 

As a result, the pressures on IT security are immense, given that there are many more entry points for breaches.

All of this is happening when IT departments are already overwhelmed with simply keeping services running smoothly.

It seems like there's always a new threat or vulnerability popping up when it comes to cybersecurity. You can have the best security in the world, but that doesn't mean you're safe. Even if you're using a top-of-the-line security solution, it may only be taking care of some of your vulnerabilities—and leaving you exposed in other ways.

This is one of the main reasons many businesses choose to outsource their cybersecurity needs. When you partner with a managed service provider, you don't have to worry about keeping up with all the latest threats or buying and managing expensive software on your own. Instead, you can relax and let your provider handle the heavy lifting for you.

MSPs provide security management

Another benefit of outsourcing is access to newer security technologies. While it may be tempting to hire in-house security specialists, it singles the most challenging field to fill in the IT department. According to the 2018 "State-of-the-CIO" reports from CIO magazine, nearly 60% of respondents said they expect to have difficulty in their security fields.

If you have ever managed your security, you know how hard it can be to keep up with the latest threats and patches. Even if you employ a top-tier security product, it still needs 24x7 monitoring by experts, which makes more sense to outsource than to handle internally.

Businesses might also benefit from the services of a virtual CISO or CISSP, who can sit down with stakeholders, assess the current environment, and come up with the best strategy for the company, including policy creation and regular employee training.

With all of the industry standards and regulations that exist today, security has genuinely become a full-time business. Whether you deal with personal health information, financial data, or other types of confidential information, you must be aware of and follow all regulatory requirements. MSPs have dedicated staff that ensures your company meets all necessary regulations, mitigates risks, and maintains security.

One of the most critical components of cybersecurity for businesses is continuous monitoring.

To maintain the highest level of security, networks, servers, and workstations must be monitored 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year. But, the fact is that most companies don't have the staffing and resources to accomplish this task in-house.

That's where MSPs come in. These providers offer unrivaled protection with advanced solutions that incorporate AI, machine learning, and dark web threat intelligence. This allows them to quickly detect threats before they become a risk or cause damage.

Closing security gaps helps to prevent breaches

According to a recent report released from Accenture, cybercrime will cost businesses over $5.2 trillion in the next five years. But what exactly does that mean for your business?

It means that even the most prominent organizations are susceptible to gaps in their security systems. These threats can quickly destroy a business, costing millions of dollars in the process, not to mention immeasurable damage to their reputation.

Here's where managed security service providers come in: They're able to mitigate and manage cybersecurity threats more effectively than an in-house team. Ready to breathe easier and sleep better at night?

Benefits of outsourced IT

If you ask most small business owners what they want, they’ll tell you that they want more time and resources to grow their business. But when it comes to outsourcing specific tasks, many business owners are reluctant.

Why is that?

In a word: control. Business owners often feel so strongly about the importance of control that they’re willing to accept less-than-ideal results rather than give up any of them.

But there’s good news! If you understand how managed IT services work, you can still retain control over your IT systems while benefiting from the expertise and scalability. And with the right partner, your business will reap the benefits of affordable IT support that scales as your needs change.

To make sure your outsourced IT services set-up is as effective as it can be, you need to consider much more than just the technology.

You’ll need to consider all the human factors, such as how your staff will feel about an outsider coming in and taking some of the responsibility and how easily they’ll get on with someone who isn’t a regular employee.

It would help if you also thought about the practical aspects, such as dividing tasks and responsibilities between the in-house IT staff and the MSP. This can be done by area of expertise – for example, having the MSP deal with long-term planning while your staff deal with day-to-day maintenance – or by when tasks need to be completed (in-house staff during business hours, MSP out of hours).

Don’t forget to communicate

When your IT services are well managed, you'll notice a few things. First, communication will be clear and regular. Second, the frequency of support problems will decrease. And third, you'll feel confident that you're getting the best service available. When it comes to your outsourced IT services, make sure you get the most bang for your buck by choosing a managed service provider who can provide clear communication and support while also providing reports on frequent issues so you can solve those problems before they happen again.

SSI wants to be your partner for managed IT services. Let us show you how we can optimize your IT operations while increasing efficiency and reducing costs. Request a managed IT services proposal.