The real competitive advantage: how to gain an edge with outsourced IT
By strategically investing in outsourced IT support, businesses are both saving money and freeing up time internally. These efficiency gains are great, but they might not be what gives you the competitive edge over your competition. Here are 5 other unforeseen advantages you gain with outsourced IT support:
1) More time to spend on innovation
Why do customers come to you and not your competition? In most cases it is down to value perception. Perhaps your brand is more highly valued, or your products are better quality/cheaper than your competition. However you position your business in the marketplace you need to constantly innovate to keep value perception high.
But if you’re always fighting fires, struggling to keep your basic IT infrastructure working properly, then you are unlikely to be able to innovate to the best of your abilities.
With clever use of outsourced IT support, you can focus on what you do best: Innovating new products and services, trimming down your bottom line, and developing new best practices, creating a heavenly spiral of increased value perception.
2) Get updates and strategic direction from your IT partner
Your outsourced IT support provider should not simply be a business from which you buy a product – they should be a partner who will work with you to improve your day-to-day operations.
The right outsourced IT partner will deliver updates on the latest products and trends, discuss your ongoing IT requirements, and be able to provide strategic direction in the deployment of new technology.
3) Business agility and easy scalability
In this tough economic climate, being an agile business helps protect you from financial shocks, sudden changes in the markets, and new regulation. When it really hits the fan, being agile allows your business to dodge the worst and come through relatively unscathed.
New processes from outsourced IT providers, such as virtualisation software and the Cloud, allow businesses to be much more agile and scalable. If you need to downscale your team due to redundancies, you can also scale down your IT resource provisioning. Need to scale up to include a new office opening 500 miles away? No problem. Your agile outsourced IT means you can adapt to any environment.
4) Making investments for maximum business value
It takes money to keep your IT infrastructure ticking over, but is an in-house team really the best use of your budget? Aside from having a much more narrow range of expertise, an in-house team costs much more than outsourced IT support.
With the money saved through outsourced IT, you can invest in things that will maximise your business value. Whether that means upgrading your technology, reallocating resources to marketing, or choosing some other investment, by outsourcing your IT support you can use your company budget much more effectively.
5) Expertise in every area of the business
An in-house team will, due to their limited size, have a limited range of expertise. They may be experts in virtualisation or CRM software, but know very little about ERP or financial modelling platforms.
With an outsourced IT support team at your beck and call, you can access the very best expertise from a shared pool of resources. That means you get the expert you need for any task for a lower cost than a limited in house team.