How Does Outsourcing IT Support Improve the Overall Business Flow?
London-based companies whose business processes depend greatly on IT systems need to have an IT support team (or, for small businesses, a one-man team) that can keep those systems in excellent condition. With the right IT support, London companies can maintain a smooth business flow.
Employing an IT team is one option, but businesses can also hire an IT support company to manage and maintain those IT systems on their behalf. This second option will actually improve overall business flow. Allow us to explain why.
Downtimes can be deadly to your business
In a perfect world, your IT systems — and consequently, your business flow — would run smoothly 24/7. Alas, that doesn’t happen in real life. IT systems can and will fail. In many cases, they fail when your business flow is really hectic. While you can’t prevent those unfortunate events, you can minimise their frequency and length.
Mitigating downtime is crucial in today’s business environments. These downtimes can cause delays in your internal supply chain and, ultimately, product or service delivery. These types of delays in your business flow can lead to customer discontent and even loss. If a competitor can deliver the same product or service in a timely manner, you can bet your discontented customers will turn to them.
Downtimes can also cause lost opportunities. For example, if a defect in your system affects your online store and customers can’t connect to it on a particular day, not all of them will have the time or patience to come back and try again later.
For service providers, lengthy downtimes can result in SLA (Service Level Agreement) violations. In the worst case, those violations can even lead to a breach of contract and result in severe penalties — not to mention possible damage to your reputation.
Why it’s not a good idea to tackle these issues yourself
The best way to minimise these downtimes is to have a good IT support team. Now, you might be thinking — ok, we’ll build that team ourselves. That might not be a good idea. Today’s IT systems are just too complex. There are simply too many components which, even by themselves, can be very sophisticated.
A typical IT infrastructure can consist of servers, network devices, virtual machines, databases, storage systems, cloud solutions, and many others. Because a system failure can originate from any of these components, it’s important to have someone who can expertly troubleshoot the specific issue at hand.
That means you’d need to have a network engineer, server admin, database admin, cloud specialist, and so on, on hand. Even if you can afford all of them, the total cost can put a clamp on your cash flow.
Why outsourcing to an IT support company is the better choice
IT outsourcing is a better choice. A top-notch IT support London-based company would, collectively, have all the skills required to troubleshoot even the most sophisticated IT infrastructure. They’ll have the specialists needed to handle various problems in your databases, virtualisation environments, servers, networks, cloud infrastructures, applications, and so on.
Unlike in-house IT teams, an outsourced IT team will naturally be providing services to multiple clients. This enables the IT support company to leverage economies of scale and offer IT support services at a much lower cost.
What’s more, IT outsourcing companies will likely provide 24/7 support if you need to fix issues outside office hours or during weekends. Support services are typically provided remotely or through an on-site visit if the remote session doesn’t solve the issue. All this flexibility in resolving IT issues can significantly reduce downtimes and, consequently, improve your overall business flow.
The ability to provide 24/7 support alone is already a big plus in improving your business flow. A lot of business-critical IT-related tasks happen outside office hours. Upgrades, patches, major configuration changes, backups, certain data transfers, maintenance — all these are best performed or need to be conducted outside office hours. It won’t be easy to provide full 24/7 coverage if you only rely on your in-house IT team. With IT outsourcing, however, you can do this easily.
You don’t have to worry about scheduling issues or overworking your IT staff. A lot of IT procedures can be unpredictable. A simple upgrade that’s expected to be done in 15 minutes can sometimes take hours if something goes wrong. If that upgrade is carried out by someone from your in-house IT team, that person won’t be fit to work the next day. If you also rely on that person for daily firefighting duties, an IT issue during business hours the next day might not be resolved on time.
You won’t have to face these problems if you outsource IT. If they’re offering 24/7 services, then they likely have multiple teams manning their stations on shifts. That way, their staff will be in tip-top condition at all times.