Many small & medium business owners are entrepreneurial and want to do as much as possible on their own. However, specific tasks require technical expertise that would distract owners from operating their businesses. IT support services are a perfect example of the type of task that small & medium businesses owners would do better to outsource to reasonably priced local firms. Having a business of any size is tough without proper IT functionality, so it’s well worth the investment overall.
Businesses hire outside firms to take care of their various IT needs because it’s more cost-effective. Hiring in-house IT resources can be prohibitively expensive. Also, you may not require full-time support for most of your IT needs, so it doesn’t make sense to hire two to two dozen people to build out a proper IT team when a local IT firm already has the staff to meet your intermittent needs without breaking the bank. It also saves you the hassle of hiring, managing and processing payroll for these resources.
When you contract with local IT companies, you often have 24/7 access to help during an emergency. If you need the same support for salaried or hourly in-house resources, you can expect to pay for overtime hours or compensate employees with time off for working after hours. Also, a team of experts who deal with a variety of systems and clients is likely to find and resolve your issues more quickly. Most IT firms assign an account manager to each small & medium business so that you can build a relationship and have a single point of contact for emergencies. The expenses of this concierge-style offering are much lower than the cost of paying an entire team of IT employees to work in shifts. This is especially important for businesses with extended hours, who may need regular support after normal business hours.
Small business owners are so busy with day-to-day tasks they often don’t have time to think about data security. Hackers and cybercriminals take advantage of this to hack into networks to steal data or hold your customer database for ransom. Since privacy is becoming a bigger issue than ever, data security and safety are a huge component of your company’s reputation. Outsourcing firms have security specialists on staff who keep up with the latest advances in the industry. Proactive professionals in the security field are passionate about what they do. They often suggest changes to your network that help protect your employees, customers and the business as a whole. This is crucial because best practices change with the advent of new technologies, so having experts monitoring your systems significantly reduces your overall security risks.
Small companies have a tendency to assign IT responsibilities to employees with any type of IT knowledge. This leads to mixed results. If you hire someone with the capability to learn new technology quickly, they still need time to master the systems in place at your company. Engaging an outside IT firm means that they will assign professionals with the required skill sets to complete the tasks required to run your systems optimally. This lets you concentrate your hiring and mentoring efforts on employees who can help you grow your business. Since IT is outsourced, you can simply call your IT services firm and get back to work while they take care of the issue. This saves time and frustration and increases your productivity.
Technology, by its very nature, is constantly evolving. Hiring in-house staff brings with it some additional expenses to keep them up-to-date. This includes travel and educational expenses for training on existing systems and certification and training on new technology, such as cloud solutions. Disaster recovery strategies, mobility expertise and many other specializations can quickly explode your IT budget. Instead, hire a team of trained specialists with a single phone call to your local IT services provider.
If all the risks associated with data breaches, system outages and other IT problems can keep you awake at night, it stands to reason that an affordable partnership with reliable IT experts can bring you peace of mind. Be clear in your expectations and make sure you understand the contract you sign, so there are no unpleasant surprises down the road. Do your homework and check with other companies that have worked with the firm you want to hire. Knowing that a qualified team of professionals is ready and waiting when you pick up the phone goes beyond giving you peace of mind. It lets you focus on growing your enterprise without worrying about how the technology can stand in your way.
Scott Gallupe of 403Tech Discusses Cybersecurity Threats in Business in Calgary Article
The COVID-19 pandemic sent businesses scrambling to pivot from an office-based environment to a remote workforce. A recent issue of Business in Calgary featured 403Tech President Scott Gallupe, who advised on how local businesses can protect their IT systems from cybersecurity threats. He explained that passwords and video collaboration tools are possible entryways for viruses and malware. The article, Alright, Stop, Collaborate and Listen, features several local IT leaders, describes the issues faced by business owners during the pandemic and provides guidance on ways to protect business data from ransomware and other types of cyberattacks.