I am in IT sales and marketing and I call business owners and decision makers for a living. Really, my goal is to connect the business owner with my CEO for a conversation about their current IT setup. So many times, the urgency of day-to-day business operations keeps the people on the other end of the line too busy to pause and discuss how things are going in their internal IT department. The following are questions business owners should be asking themselves when evaluating their in-house department and when considering hiring a managed service provider, or outsourced IT services.
- Is my IT department keeping my budget in mind?
Outsourcing converts fixed IT costs into variable costs and allows you budget effectively. In other words, only pay for what you use when you need it – by planning ahead for costs that may come up. At Capstone IT, we make it our business to know what you will need to budget for and help guide you in cost-effective planning when replacing hardware or scheduling big projects.
- Do I keep hiring IT staff with low efficiency or higher turn-over?
Hiring and training an IT staff can be very expensive, and temporary employees don't always live up to your expectations. Outsourcing lets you focus your human resources where you need them most. When we hire our engineers, we are looking to provide you with people who will be there 24/7 to address any problem you may call about.
- Have the employees in my IT department had enough experience?
If you’re not IT trained, how do you assure an employee is qualified? Certifications like Microsoft Certified Systems Enginner (MCSE) are important, but so is experience. Few problems are new for leading IT service companies, which see related problems multiple times. An in-house IT employee leads an isolated existence no matter how much they train. Capstone IT’s engineers have experience working to solve IT issues in many different industries and have decades of experience.
- Is my company taking advantage of opportunities to implement new technologies?
A quality outsourced IT service organization will have the resources to start new projects right away. Handling the same project in-house might involve weeks or months to hire the right people, train them, and provide the support they need. An outsourced IT company will bring years of experience in the beginning saving time and money. At Capstone IT, we are always looking for the newest technologies that will protect your business and help your company to grow.
- Am I spending too much of my time putting out fires with my IT team/department?
Businesses have limited resources, and business owners have limited time and attention. Outsourcing can help your business stay focused on your core business and not get distracted by complex IT decisions. It is so easy to have your employees contact us directly with their problem and resolve it without you being the middle person.
- How much risk am I taking on by keeping everything in-house?
Every business investment carries a certain amount of risk. Markets, competition, government regulations, financial conditions, and technologies all change very quickly. Outsourcing providers assume and manage much of this risk for you, with specific industry knowledge, especially security and compliance issues. They generally are much better at deciding how to avoid risk in their areas of expertise. As cyber-security experts, we at Capstone IT speak to business owners and teach employees about risks throughout the year.
- Am I keeping a competitive edge when it comes to technology in my industry?
Most small businesses can't afford to match the in-house support services that larger companies maintain. Outsourcing can help small companies act "big" by giving them access to the similar technology, and expertise that large companies enjoy. An independent third-party managed cost structure and economy of scale can give your company a competitive advantage.
- Is my IT guy in the know when it comes to security?
Is your firewall up to date? Do you monitor your workstations and servers? Has your company implemented PCI security standards and work to maintain those standards? For example, businesses have more ways than ever to bring in the money by taking many forms of payments such as Credit and Debit Cards, Gift Certificates, E-Checks, Wire Transfers to name a few, but with these forms of transacting also comes the need for due diligence. By outsourcing a qualified Manages Services company who is familiar with PCI Compliance standards https://www.pcisecuritystandards.org, you can rest assured that your company is minimizing the risks associated with maintaining client data, credit card numbers, sensitive competitive information and more. At Capstone IT, we are especially concerned with your data and making sure it is backed up and that backups are checked and working throughout the day. Security issues bring down-time and our job is to keep your company up and running.
If you are not sure of the answers to any of these questions, I’d love to have conversation with you. Please call us to schedule your free consult.
Sara Borlaug, Marketing Manager