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5 Reasons Why Your Business Should Outsource IT

By | Insight

Most businesses have growth strategies that will lead to the need for core competencies that don’t reside within the business, and new tactics are required to maintain or further their growth initiatives. Requiring new expertise does not indicate that a company didn’t plan appropriately. It simply means that it has grown beyond its resident skill sets.

This is especially true in the case of small businesses. Founders build companies based on their passions, and invariably grow to require skills and new tactics that are outside their wheelhouse, oftentimes including IT. Fortunately, IT can be readily outsourced, minimizing the financial and workforce investment necessary to strategically grow the business.

Knowing when to outsource IT operations can be a challenge but we’ve identified 5 of the top reasons why your small business should outsource IT and share them with you here.

1. Minimize the risks. No doubt, your goal is to focus on the parts of the business where you can have the most impact. Areas of sales, marketing, customer experience and more need visionary input. Fortunately, IT solutions providers can provide the tech support necessary to grow the business. They can also provide specialized services for short-term plans.

When you outsource to professional IT solutions providers, you get a trusted partner with the expertise to provide secure services while you manage other aspects of the business. You’ll be able to relax, knowing that cybersecurity issues are being managed with in-depth expertise, minimizing your company’s digital risk exposure.

You’ll also get best-in-class technology solutions to prevent unauthorized access and data vulnerability. Your specialized security team will be able to respond in real-time to minimize data breaches and hacking. With qualified IT partnerships, you don’t have to worry about surprise downtimes, unexpected costs or personnel issues. You do what you do best and your IT solutions provider will do the rest.

2. Enterprise-level IT at lower costs. When you want a fully functioning IT initiative, outsourcing is the way to go. The rest will follow. And even if you’re not quite enterprise-level, act as if you are. A large enterprise typically has a full-time IT staff and can invest in tools and systems to manage all parts of their network. Small businesses usually can’t afford those luxuries but outsourcing offers all the enterprise benefits of expertise and insight as they scale.

3. Immediate value. When small businesses take the IT outsourcing step, they not only get access to the skills and expertise of the IT solutions provider, but also the financial economies that accompany the partnership. IT solutions providers give access to lower software and hardware pricing so companies don’t have to invest on their own. Your human resources can be more effective in building your business instead of working to keep systems running, updated and secure. Cost efficiencies can be channeled into other areas of the business when IT is outsourced properly.

4. Focus on core areas of the business. If IT isn’t your strong suit, don’t try to force the issue. You started your business because you wanted to provide a product or solution. Your passion lies in the development and creating new business strategies so don’t try to become an IT expert. There are things that only you can do such as provide strategic insight and business-building initiatives. Leave the IT issues to IT experts. While you should never outsource your core competencies, certainly consider outsourcing your IT to a trusted IT solutions provider, and relax knowing that details are being managed while you take care of what you do best.

5. Experienced IT support. Managing IT costs is huge for small businesses but sometimes cost-saving efforts result in inexperienced IT staffers who can’t work proactively to keep your technology running smoothly. When you outsource to an IT solutions provider, you’ll get skilled professionals who know how to mitigate risk before problems occur. Let trusted experts take over and ease your mind from any technology issues.

Overall, when you partner with an IT solutions provider like Calyx, you’ll see reduced security risks, lower total cost of ownership, business scalability, streamlined processes, better continuity, and more productivity for your small business.

The Real Cost of Business Interruption

By | Insight

Technology can be seen in the smallest details of day-to-day business operations, from increasing productivity to creating significant competitive advantage. However, most businesses have become so reliant that downtime associated with an outage, security breach, or catastrophic event can be detrimental to the bottom line.

Have you ever experienced a technology outage? If so, what did the outage cost you? According to Gartner, the average cost for one minute of downtime is $5,600, while 98% of organizations claim that a single hour of downtime costs over $100,000.

Interruptions consume, on average, 238 minutes per day and an additional 84 minutes to get back up and running. This equates to an estimated cost of $588 billion a year in the U.S.

60% of small businesses that experience catastrophic events like hacking and ransomware shut down within 6 months of the attack. Other lesser events can cause significant downtime, loss of productivity and costs.

And while revenue is the main factor affected by an IT disruption, it is not the only. Below are the three main ways an outage will disrupt your business:

Loss of Revenue

Have you calculated what one hour of downtime would cost your business? According to Gartner, downtime, at the low end, can be as much as $140,000 per hour, $300,000 per hour on average, and as much as $540,000 per hour at the higher end. Back in 2017, Delta airlines had to cancel 280 flights due to an outage. This single outage incident cost the airline over $150 million dollars. How would a single IT interruption impact your bottom line?

Productivity

On average, businesses lose 14.1 hours per year to IT downtime, equating to 545 hours of staff productivity. More so, the average company spends over 200 minutes to resolve a single incident of IT downtime. How much time have you spent dealing with IT interruptions in the past year?

Brand and Reputation

How your organization is perceived by your customers and stakeholders is pivotal to your success. Downtime not only can jeopardize customer relationships, it can also impact sales and brand equity. An outage or breach, especially one that is not handled expeditiously, can have a long-term impact on your brand reputation and negatively impact revenue and profitability.

While no business is immune to IT interruptions there are numerous ways that you can prepare yourself for such an event. By putting a P.I.E. strategy in place you can prevent an outage and drastically reduce the costs associated with downtime.

Plan

IT outages are often avoidable with strong technology strategies and systems in place. Run regular threat and vulnerability assessments and configuration reviews. This will help your business prevent many of the system failures that can occur. More so, conduct drills and tests to ensure you’re are prepared for worst case scenarios to reduce downtime.

Next, make sure you have an effective disaster recovery plan in place. The plan should include the technology and processes required to get your business back up and running as quickly as possible. Prepare for an outage but take every precaution to prevent as much downtime as possible.

Improve Training Process

75% of all downtime is not related to a failure of technology, but rather, is caused by configuration, administration and human error. In fact, 22% of all IT outages are a direct result of human error. The majority of outages could be prevented by improved training and/or planning. Instruct employees on the proper way to report issues, how to prevent outages and breaches, what to do during an outage.

Engage a Qualified Service Provider

According to a survey in USA today, one in every 10 companies stated that they need their uptime to be greater than 99.999%. And while it is impossible for a company to achieve zero downtime, there are service providers that can come close to obtaining the goal. For instance, Calyx IT has reported 99.997% uptimes on network service — among the best in the industry. Calyx also reduces IT ticket incidents by 75%, minimizing downtime and increasing productivity.

By taking the time to understand the cost of a technology outage and putting a plan in place to address inevitable downtime, your organization stands to save thousands or even millions of dollars, as well as protect brand reputation and customer loyalty.

How to Accurately Assess Your IT Spend

How to Accurately Assess Your IT Spend

By | Insight

How do you know if you are spending the right percentage of your budget on IT? It can be a tricky and deceiving line item to manage. Many companies don’t consider the risks associated with not having a comprehensive IT infrastructure in place. But how do you know what you need? Your company’s IT budget is affected by multiple variables, including protocols, compliance, current technology, and business needs. Having a complete understanding of your industry standards, current IT requirements and spend is a great place to start.

When allocating the IT budget, business leaders need to balance the requirements along with the overall needs of the business to evaluate the opportunities for digital transformation for both long term results and spend.

Today, technology is not just a business enabler. It’s a competitive differentiator. It’s important to make sure you’re at least keeping up with peers in terms of IT spending, if not seeking ways to gain an advantage through technology.

A study by Deloitte Insights found that companies spend on average 3.28% of their revenue on IT. The study also found that of high-performing companies (those that consistently outperformed the S&P), 57% increased their IT budgets from 2016 to 2017.

Benchmarking your IT spend relative to peers is a valuable exercise to make sure you’re not falling behind. A Deloitte study illustrates IT spending as a percent of revenue, by industry.

Enterprise IT has been highly resistant to change and thus forces companies to decide between acting quickly to deal with elevated risk or moving slowly to mitigate risk. But when the cost of a security breach can cost more than the value of your company, there is simply no choice but to evolve. But where do you start?

We’ll help answer some common IT budgeting questions and share insight on how to approach your IT budget.

What are you currently spending on IT?

To first understand what you need to spend you must know what you are currently spending. Many companies to do not have an exact figure on the true cost of their IT. To begin, do a thorough analysis of your IT expenses.

Your IT budget should include everything from computers and servers to software, apps, cloud services, cybersecurity web hosting, maintenance, telecommunications, audiovisual equipment, outsourcing, consulting, travel, and of course, your IT staff.

Need help evaluating the total cost of IT to your business? Contact us here for more information and a free diagnostic evaluation for qualified businesses.

Where should you focus your IT spend?

The focus on your IT spend will depend on your industry. In years past, businesses primary spend was on automating back-end systems and maintenance and upkeep of infrastructure. Today, technology investments need to align with your business goals. Your IT is entwined with every business function and has the potential to increase revenue, performance, and competitive advantage. And while there is no right place to spend your IT budget, the most common spend is on data center systems, enterprise software, devices, and communication services.

Are you comfortable with your level of IT risk?

Cybersecurity is a significant and growing IT issue. Just look at the news. Every day you can find a large company that has experienced a security breach. Most executives have a poor understanding of the risks. Do you know all of your risks?

You need a comprehensive system for managing IT risk that assesses not only the threat and cost of an attack but an understanding of how you will restore your data and get your business up and running again with minimal downtime.

Does your IT roadmap reflect the full potential of technology to improve your business?

Technology can increase revenues, reduce costs, and lower risk. By updating and staying abreast of technology advancements and mitigating threats, companies can dramatically improve their overall business outcomes.

Ultimately, the strategy that emerges from a thorough IT assessment and integrated plan should place your business goals at the forefront. An intensive, well thought out IT plan is not merely a revised annual IT budget, but a tactical plan that should provide a competitive advantage for years to come.

Spending your IT budget wisely entails IT not only provide an infrastructure to serve data but also improving your overall business. Understanding your current IT spend and how best to leverage IT for business success is key. If your company doesn’t have internal IT staff or a CIO that can evaluate solutions, consider hiring an IT Solutions Provider.