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Bay of Plenty Region
Monday, March 8, 2021
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The best use of techspertise

During 2020, new data and privacy laws came into play, remote working exploded, and cyber-security, data protection and IT risks become constant conversation pieces. Business owners and operators had to become IT experts overnight. Non-trained IT staff in organisations have also had IT-related tasks added to their workload.

This may have not been a new thing, but demands seem to have increased and expectations and keeping up the knowledge can be daunting.

This period of the year has historically been the time for new jobs, and changes of roles and you may face a hole in the organisation with knowledge and the “go-to” IT person leaving for pastures new.

This is a great opportunity to review what resources are required and to get the best bang for your buck. So do you outsource or hire in house with specific IT assistance in mind, or look at a co-managed IT solution.

Deloitte’s latest Global Outsourcing Survey found that 57 percent of companies outsource so that they can better focus on their core business.

Benefits of IT service outsourcing

Focusing on your core business activities and outsourcing activities like IT has many potential benefits including:

Helping create a business culture where everyone is focused on achieving the same goals.

Increased in-house productivity: When employees do not have to worry about certain IT tasks that they have little to no experience with, they are free to focus solely on their day-to-day job duties and core business functions. This can result in increased employee productivity as well as reduced stress associated with having to perform IT tasks.

It reduces the amount you spend on business functions that don’t directly contribute to revenue growth. Hiring and managing in-house employees requires a significant time investment.

It’s a cost-effective way to improve your team’s efficiency. Outsourcing enables you to have an in-house team that can leverage the support of outsourced workers. When having an outsourced IT department, you can often cut costs in relation to your company’s IT requirements and can provide more skilled resources for less money. Spend can be fixed and budgeted. For example, having an IT team in-house can be costly, whereas outsourcing your IT tasks can reduce costs in relation to salary, employee equipment, benefits and more.

An Outsource IT department remains upskilled, trained and has your best interests at heart. Most IT companies have expertise in several IT areas as well as special equipment or technology that allows them to be more productive and provide a higher level of services.

Outsourcing IT tasks can often result in an increased quality of task completion compared to having in-house staff complete the tasks. Maintenance, security and updates get done and disaster recovery plans can be checked.

There are also reasons to hire in house

An employee will have greater buy-in to your company.

Knowledge and skills developed by working on your projects is kept in-house and is available for later use.

An employee has greater familiarity with your organisation, simply because they are onsite all the time and, depending on your IT company arrangements, you have greater cost control.

It prevents doubling up of work efforts, which can happen in communication from your employees to a third party.

Data sensitivity and size of company. Are you comfortable an outside party may have operational control over certain business functions and potential access to sensitive information? Many IT services require that you provide sensitive information pertaining to your business’s security and data, so you should also get a clear idea of how the IT resource – either in house or externally – will protect your information.

A co-managed IT situation is also popular where an in-house champion looks after either strategy and longterm plans where an outsource IT department looks after the day-to-day operational aspects. Or vice versa.

With the right agreement in place with an outsource IT department, which deals with hundreds of different business environments, getting up to speed and having best practices can be implemented easily and effectively.

I recommend that you weigh up over the break the pros and cons of outsourcing vs employing for specific requirements, and stay safe this summer.

Tony Snow
Tony Snow is chief executive and co-founder of Stratus Blue. He can be contacted at tony@stratusblue.co.nz.

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