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Keeping your business competitive with IT support

As any business grows, technological change occurs at an exponential rate which makes it harder for businesses to adapt. In a recent survey by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, only 21 per cent of SMEs have ever received support in their digital capabilities.

The rise of new and emerging technologies has made it even more important for businesses to future-proof themselves which is why more and more are outsourcing their IT system to stay competitive. An IT system is crucial to the successful operation of any business. While it can be daunting relying on an external company to manage your firm’s IT processes, when you do seek out an IT provider with the experience and know-how to mitigate those risks, it will ensure that nothing will be left to chance.

While fear of surrendering control will hold some businesses back from outsourcing their IT, those that do will see some immediate and long-term benefits:

Costs: Businesses know that it takes time and money to find, hire and train a team of IT specialists. And even a temporary employee may not live up to expectations. When you outsource, it’s much easier to free-up staff, saving the high costs of training IT staff and running an expensive in-house IT department.

Experience: Qualified IT professionals have worked across many companies and customers bringing with them a breadth of experience. They make sure their level of expertise is maintained and their technical knowledge is up-to-date. And you don’t just benefit from the expertise of one person, you profit from a team of IT professionals who have proper industry training and certifications

Increasing efficiency: Maintaining IT and keeping up-to-date with technology through an IT provider means that your business can streamline processes and focus on its core competencies. Through being able to predict, prevent and act quickly to avert serious issues, they will ensure that catastrophic failures, cyber-attacks and extended downtimes are a thing of the past.

The outsource becomes the insource: Particularly for smaller businesses, the IT provider becomes an addendum to the business, working in partnership with your business to ensure that IT is delivering value to a business. The IT provider therefore acts as a conduit between the business and IT.

Keeping up to speed with new technology: The speed with which technology is evolving has meant many businesses do not have the budget to train their IT staff, who inevitably become isolated from the fast pace of change. Using specialists who adapt to these rapid changes and stay-up-to-date, will mean you have the right technology to solve your current and future business challenges.

Renew your focus on your core business: Do you service your car or repair your boiler when it breaks? Most of us don’t have that expertise, which is why IT outsourcing allows you to focus on what you do best and not get distracted by the complexities of IT. Companies need to serve their clients and generate revenue.

Risk reduction: While it’s a given that every investment carried out by a business presents a risk, an IT provider can take on and manage the risk. Furthermore, the infrastructure and service level agreements of an IT provider will allow smaller businesses to have a resiliency that is only normally experienced by larger businesses.

Security and compliance: The rapid pace of technology has meant that businesses cannot afford to fall behind the competition when it comes to addressing the increasing sophistication of security threats. Faster network speeds, data being shared and migrated to clouds, and employees bringing their devices to work all present a host of new security challenges. By working with an IT specialist, businesses will then have a clearer picture of the biggest threats and weakest points, so they can prioritise and focus on those areas of information security that need attention and which are the highest risks to your business.

Expertise goes a long way: Ultimately, firms need a technology partner that understands all aspects of their business. They should be able to provide support in all areas including: Business and user applications, wired and wireless connectivity, physical and digital security and backup and data management.

In an intellitrends survey of Fortune 500 companies, 48 per cent of them reported tech-performance issues daily. With this worrying statistic in mind, the more solutions you have in place to resolve these issues, the quicker your staff get back to work and the less money your business loses.

When outsourcing is done well, it can bring specialist expertise and efficiency to your business challenges both now and in the future.

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