CEOs already know that outsourcing IT services saves both time and money. After a tough 2020, outsourcing IT services is expected to rebound and continue to grow in 2021. A survey from outsourcing firm Clutch found eight in 10 small businesses will outsource a business function – number-one being IT services.
“In theory, outsourcing IT services should save companies money,” says Rob Wildman, vice president of professional services at Matrix Integration, an IT solutions and managed service provider for more than 1,000 businesses in Indiana, Kentucky and beyond. “Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. CEOs and company executives need to make sure that if they’re hiring someone to manage their IT, there aren’t any surprises. Their IT should be dependable, and outsourcing should save them time and money.”
As an example, Matrix Integration offers MiAssurance, a managed service package that can take the place of an in-house IT department.
To ensure organizations get the service and the money savings they expect, Wildman suggests CEOs ask five crucial questions of potential IT service partners:
- How flexible is this contract? IT service providers offer similar suites of services, but cookie-cutter contracts rarely offer what companies really need. CEOs should ask potential providers about how they create custom service contracts for their customers as well as whether they have the experience, insight and know-how to draft a contract that aligns with their strategies and helps them achieve their goals.
- Who will work on my business? IT service providers range from individuals to major consulting firms. Regardless, CEOs and their staff members should know exactly who the point person is on their business. This could change over time, but the service provider should always communicate the name, contact information and experience level of a specific person (or team) who is dedicated to the customer’s business.
- What’s your onboarding process? An outsourced IT firm can’t jump in on day one and take over as the IT team. It’s important to know how the IT firm will learn about the company’s needs, its business processes and its people before it takes over the IT function.
- What do you consider emergencies, and how do you handle them? Every business has technology emergencies, ranging from hacking and data breaches to power outages or equipment breakdown. A critical function of an IT service provider is to prepare for and handle adverse events like these. They should be able to easily discuss their emergency process and how they remediate specific issues.
- What’s the bottom line? Ideally, outsourced IT costs should be a line-item in a company’s budget, simplifying what may have been multiple contracts. An IT service provider should be able to provide a concrete monthly cost that CEOs and financial staff members can evaluate against their budgets.