Outsourced IT Services - A Complete Guide for 2024

IT outsourcing, or outsourced IT services, has become a trending topic over the past decade. There are many reasons why companies outsource their IT operations, but one reason is overarching: the need to remain competitive in a rapidly changing business landscape.

As customer demands evolve and technology advances, businesses need help to keep up with the changes. Today’s technical demands are just too many for companies to meet them all with in-house teams. It is here that IT outsourcing services come into play.

This article provides a comprehensive guide to IT outsourcing in 2024. We will discuss what IT outsourcing is, what kind of operations or IT solutions you can outsource, and the pros and cons of IT outsourcing.

What are Outsourced IT Services?

Outsourced IT support services, also known simply as IT outsourcing, are when a company hires another company to perform its IT operations. It involves using the services of a third-party managed service provider (MSP) to handle the company’s IT requirements. Such service providers typically cover a host of services, such as network security configuration, operating system implementation, software installation, security backups, and more.

It is important to mention here that outsourced IT support is not an ad-hoc or break/fix service. It is not done when one of your systems malfunctions and you call in a technical expert from outside to fix it, paying an hourly rate as remuneration. Such ad-hoc fixes are surely more economical in the short run, but they are bound to cost more in the long run as these technicians lack the motivation to deliver lasting tech solutions.

As opposed to ad-hoc or break/fix services mentioned above, IT staff augmentation companies build a partnership with your business and deliver long-term solutions. Their job is to essentially keep your IT operations running smoothly and consistently rather than fixing one issue at a time. Managed IT service providers charge a monthly fee to ensure that no IT issues arise and to fix them when they do, using a proactive approach to IT management.

Although companies of all sizes can benefit from IT outsourcing, it is typically the small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that gain the most. That is because large companies can afford to build expensive in-house IT teams; small businesses don’t have the financial space to do the same. These companies are better off directing their limited resources to business growth while leaving out the technical complexities to be handled by an expert IT services provider.

The Difference Between Outsourced IT Services & Staff Augmentation 

You should also know that IT staff augmentation, also known as resource augmentation or human resource outsourcing, is the process of hiring outside talent temporarily. And it is different from IT outsourcing. Here’s a comprehensive comparison of IT staff augmentation vs. Project outsourcing.

Which IT Needs Can You Outsource?

By choosing the right IT outsourcing vendor, you can focus on your brand growth and let the technical guys do the heavy lifting for you. You can categorize outsourceable IT solutions into the following two broad categories:

IT Infrastructure Outsourcing Solutions

IT infrastructure management is one of the most complex and costly aspects of modern-day enterprise management. A decade ago, small and medium-sized enterprises would scale their IT operations in tandem with business growth. But, as companies scaled their operations, the need for expansive in-house IT teams stocked with high-tech computing hardware also surfaced.

Outsourced IT support services providers sprung up to tackle this need. As a result, today, SMBs have a wide range of managed IT service providers to choose from to manage their technical needs. An expert IT company can now look after your IT infrastructure needs, allowing you to focus on business strategy.

Software Solutions

Many small and medium-sized companies’ IT teams have trouble managing software. It is often an uphill task to update multiple software and synchronize them with different devices and operating systems. Staff augmentation practices help you overcome such obstacles by providing hands-on IT support when needed. They can install, test, manage, and update your software whenever needed.

6 Commonly Outsourced IT Solutions

Here are some of the most common IT needs companies outsource to service providers.

Application Development and Maintenance

Many companies outsource the development and maintenance of software applications to leverage specialized skills and reduce costs. Outsourcing IT firms often excel in coding, testing, and updating applications, allowing businesses to focus on their core operations.

Infrastructure Management

Outsourcing IT infrastructure management involves entrusting the maintenance and support of servers, networks, and storage to external providers. This helps companies optimize their resources, enhance scalability, and ensure reliable performance without the burden of in-house management.

Customer Support and Help Desk

Customer support services, including help desk operations, are commonly outsourced to third-party providers. This allows companies to provide 24/7 support, efficiently handle customer queries, and maintain high service levels while controlling operational costs.

Cybersecurity Services

Cybersecurity is one of the most crucial elements of modern enterprise success. As cybersecurity threats continue to evolve, organizations often outsource security services to experts who specialize in threat detection, prevention, and response. This helps companies stay ahead of potential risks and protect sensitive information.

Data Entry and Processing

Data entry and processing tasks, such as data cleansing, data migration, and data analysis, are frequently outsourced. Outsourcing these functions ensures accuracy, efficiency, and compliance with data regulations, helping you save valuable time and resources.

Quality Assurance and Testing

To ensure the reliability and functionality of software products, companies often outsource quality assurance and testing services. External testing teams can provide comprehensive testing strategies, including manual and automated testing, to identify and fix software bugs. Again, as with outsourcing other IT needs, outsourcing QA and testing requirements helps you save time and benefit from expert QA resources.

Pros of Outsourced IT Services

Cost-Efficiency and Business Expansion

Outsourcing IT services can lead to substantial savings for businesses, particularly SMBs. The specialized skills required for IT roles often come with high salary demands, making in-house IT staff financially difficult to sustain for many companies. By opting for IT outsourcing, businesses can redirect funds towards core operations, fostering expansion and innovation. This shift allows companies to invest in their strengths, ultimately allowing them to provide more affordable products and services to customers.

Predictable Budgeting and Scalability

Outsourcing IT needs ensures predictable budgeting as companies know the exact monthly costs associated with maintaining optimal IT functionality and security. This is especially beneficial for SMBs with modest computing needs, allowing them to scale their IT support as their business grows. The flexibility to adjust services based on seasonal trends enhances financial efficiency, ensuring resources are allocated where they are most needed.

Comprehensive Expertise

Unlike in-house IT staff, who may have limitations, IT outsourcing to managed service providers gives businesses a broad spectrum of expertise. These third parties cover all facets of computing, ensuring that even the most complex issues are addressed promptly. This comprehensive approach guarantees that a company’s IT needs are met with a diverse skill set, offering a level of proficiency that transcends the capabilities of a single in-house technician.

Eliminates Training Concerns

Training in-house IT staff can be resource-intensive and challenging, especially with high turnover rates. IT support outsourcing companies offer a pool of pre-trained and qualified technicians, eliminating the need for in-house training and concerns related to personnel changes. This ensures a consistent and reliable level of service without the time and resources spent on internal training programs.

Access to High-Quality IT Talent

SMBs often lack the resources to hire top-level IT talent, placing them at a disadvantage compared to larger corporations. Outsourcing levels the playing field by granting access to MSPs staffed with experts demanded by major companies. This democratization of expertise enables SMBs to benefit from top-tier IT services at affordable rates, fostering competitiveness in the market.

Active IT Experience and Maximizing Productivity

Outsourcing companies, with their diverse clientele, bring a wealth of experience in handling a wide range of computing issues. This active engagement ensures that the service is up to date with the latest developments in the IT landscape. By outsourcing IT responsibilities, your in-house teams can maximize productivity, focusing on core business concerns while service providers handle the intricacies of computing maintenance and support.

Immediate Program Implementation and Enhanced Customer Service

Outsourcing IT tasks facilitates swift program implementation, ensuring minimal disruptions to regular operations. This immediacy is in stark contrast to in-house processes that may lead to prolonged periods of uncertainty during implementation. Improved customer service is an additional benefit, as MSPs work behind the scenes, reducing service interruptions and enhancing customer satisfaction.

Risk Mitigation and Compliance

Outsourcing IT services reduces the risk of downtime and cyber attacks, both of which are critical factors that can impact a company’s reputation. Managed IT service providers specialize in staying ahead of compliance issues and changing regulations, ensuring that their clients are always in line with national and international standards. This proactive approach to risk management contributes to a secure and stable IT environment.

Cons of Outsourced IT Services

Chances of Downtime

While outsourcing provides numerous advantages, one potential drawback is the risk of downtime if immediate technical support is unavailable. However, selecting an established provider with sufficient personnel can mitigate this risk, ensuring prompt issue resolution. This is why it is crucial to vet all your options before hiring an IT support company to do the heavy lifting for you.

Security Concerns

Outsourcing requires entrusting the security of company data to external entities, raising concerns about the adequacy of their security protocols. Businesses must carefully evaluate and choose providers with robust security measures, particularly when dealing with sensitive information.

Misaligned Goals

Collaboration with the wrong IT provider may lead to misaligned goals or objectives, where proposed systems hinder rather than enhance business functionality. Choosing a provider that aligns with the company’s goals is crucial to ensure a productive and mutually beneficial partnership.

Flexibility Issues

Certain IT providers may mandate the use of proprietary software, potentially limiting a company’s flexibility and tying it to a specific service. Thoroughly understanding a provider’s approach and ensuring proper documentation of work on the network can help mitigate this limitation.

Wrap Up

As technology continues to advance rapidly, SMBs will continue to find it challenging to meet all their IT needs with an in-house team. Thus, we can expect IT outsourcing services to grow by leaps and bounds in the coming years. It is going to remain the best option for many businesses to meet the changing market dynamics.

Xavor Corporation is a trusted managed IT services provider with nearly three decades of tech industry experience. Whether it’s IT project outsourcing or staff augmentation services, Xavor promises to deliver reliable and experienced tech resources that will take you closer to achieving your business goals.

Want to explore this opportunity further? Drop us a line at [email protected] to learn more about Xavor’s IT outsourcing services.

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