Blog / Finding efficiencies in I.T. for SMBs
Efficiency is a serious issue for small businesses, especially new startups looking to establish themselves in the market. It’s critical that costs be kept in line and resources are used to their fullest extent. Waste and even tiny inefficiencies can mean the difference between becoming a success or becoming a statistic about SMB failure rates. Unfortunately, too many small businesses (and even some larger ones) think efficiency is just a matter of keeping costs to a minimum, when it actuality it is more about getting the maximum value for the best price. Those two scenarios are not the same.
Take information technology services as an unsurprising example. Unlike larger organizations that can support entire IT departments, most small businesses simply don’t have the resources to keep a specialized IT professional on staff. In these situations, more often than not, technical support falls on the shoulders of employees who were hired for a different job but demonstrated some degree of technical prowess. Rolling technical jobs into other employees’ job descriptions seems like a logical move to make, and it might even work in the short term, but it’s by no means the most efficient move. Not only are your minimum IT services requirements likely being underestimated, but there are many hidden costs that most owners don’t think of initially.
First, lets take a look at the minimum IT services small businesses need. Remember, these are just the baseline services you’re rolling into your non-technical employees’ duties on top of the job they were hired for:
- Planning and budgeting
- This is about determining upcoming technical needs, such as which devices will need replacement/repair, storage costs and software subscriptions, internet requirements, and more.
- Device procurement and management
- This is about sourcing both hardware and software for the business. It also includes managing backups and updates for all devices and software as well. Remember, this isn’t a one-and-done situation; your IT employee should be updating every device, and the software on each. That means you might have to update the same app multiple times across different devices.
- This is one IT requirement that is often overlooked. Processes, licenses, and critical IT tasks should all be documented, and regularly updated.
- Internal help desk
- You almost certainly need a technical resource that can help with everything from resetting passwords to troubleshooting hardware.
- Security assessments
- As regular followers of our blog and newsletter know, cyber security is a complex but crucial area of specialized IT. Unless your employee is actually a technical savant, your data, and your business, are at risk.
At first glance, none of these services (except perhaps security assessments) seem especially complicated, and yes, technically-minded staff probably can handle them. But remember efficiency isn’t just about minimizing costs; it’s about maximizing value as well, and that is where the inefficiencies of delegating internal IT start to employees start to build up. By offloading IT services to your employees you wind up introducing inefficiencies that will likely cost you more than simply outsourcing your IT to a managed services provider like TRINUS. To put it another way, non-technical resources working on technical tasks will take longer to finish the job, and likely won’t do it as well or as thoroughly as a specialist. Moreover, those employees wind up spending less time on the jobs they were actually hired for, producing inefficiencies there also.
Fixing these inefficiencies is just one (excellent) reason to consider outsourcing your IT needs. Oftentimes the labour costs and lost productivity of keeping IT inhouse outweigh the costs of engaging a dedicated managed services provider, and even when they don’t the access to specialized expertise and services provides additional value that exceeds the difference. By outsourcing your IT needs, you give yourself and your employees more time to focus on building your business, not troubleshooting problems they may not be qualified to handle in the first place.
If you’re looking to enhance your business’s productivity and streamline IT costs by outsourcing to a managed services provider, contact TRINUS today.