Circle Insights

7 signs that your company needs to outsource IT

Brian Robertson

From reducing costs to meeting tight project deadlines and accessing specialist expertise, there are many advantages that come with outsourcing IT, but when does outsourcing offer the most benefit to businesses? We asked Brian Robertson, Resource Manager at CACI, to reveal the common signs that indicate a business would be better with an outsourced IT solution.

1. Your IT costs are high

Are budget worries keeping you up at night? Cost control is the most obvious reasons for businesses outsourcing IT. Indeed, a 2020 study by Whitelane Research found that 71% of UK businesses said that cost reduction was the main driver for outsourcing IT. But, is outsourcing really cost-effective?

“Just having a couple of IT specialists on your payroll can really rack up costs,” says Brian. It’s not just high salaries and the cost of employee benefits that are a concern. Companies that opt to run in-house IT departments also face the costs of purchasing, maintaining, and upgrading hardware as well as purchasing the software they need. “With outsourcing, these fixed costs become flexible, allowing you greater control of your budget,” says Brian.

2. You have skills gaps

The severe shortage in tech skills has long been a challenge for businesses, but as Brian explains, “The pandemic put organisations across every industry on a fast-speed trajectory to digitalisation.” He adds, “now, the focus is to keep that momentum going, but we’re seeing that many of our clients are looking for very specific expertise in a fiercely competitive and increasingly expensive marketplace.”

With recent research by ManpowerGroup finding that 69%, of employers globally are struggling to find workers with the right blend of technical and interpersonal skills, it’s clear that many businesses are fighting a losing battle. “This is where working with a trusted IT outsourcing partner can prove to be a strategic move,” says Brian. “A good outsourcer will always assess their client’s requirements holistically – matching skills and experience as well as cultural fit with end goals.”

3. Your IT infrastructure is outdated

“IT infrastructure is a vital component in every business, but it can become a huge drain on productivity, not to mention a growing security risk if not invested in,” warns Brian. He adds, “However, upgrading an outdated infrastructure is a resource investment that many lean I.T departments can ill-afford, creating a stalemate situation that prevents a business from maintaining competitive advantage.”

Therefore, if a business is struggling to maintain and manage its day-to-day IT operations,  outsourcing may provide a practical solution. In addition to unlocking access to the latest and greatest tech, working with a reliable IT outsourcing partner will ensure your IT operations are optimised for enhanced performance, releasing your in-house staff to focus their efforts on achieving your business objectives.

4. Your business is vulnerable to security threats

Cyber security breaches are increasing. According to a survey released by GOV.UK last year, 46% of UK businesses and charities reported a cyber attack during the year, with 33% of those claiming they experienced a cyber breach at least once a week in 2020 – up from 22% in 2017.

The growing sophistication of cybercrime puts immense pressure on in-house teams as they struggle to stay on top of critical security practices such as 24/7 networking whilst also maintaining the myriad security systems they have in place. As Brian warns, “When it comes to cyber security, it’s not just a case of having the right technology in place, you need round-the-clock specialists that have the experience and expertise to utilise those tools and prevent potential threats before they become a problem.”

The global shortage in professionals with the right security skill sets are an additional challenge for businesses as they struggle to recruit and retain the specialists they need. Partnering with a trusted IT outsourcer can provide a cost-effective and reliable solution, as outsourcing removes vulnerabilities by ensuring a business’s security defences are ‘always on’.

5. Compliance is a concern

While cyber security is one concern, ensuring regulatory compliance is another, particularly in heavily regulated industries such as financial services. Failure to comply can lead to reputational damage and hefty fines, but to ensure compliance, organisations must have the capability to implement, maintain, monitor, and accurately report on IT infrastructure and security processes. As Brian explains, a partnership with a reliable IT outsourcer can offer significant value to a business that is under pressure to maintain compliance, “As well as providing the necessary resources and expertise to ensure compliance, an outsourcing partner will keep abreast of regulation changes, so your business is always one step ahead.”

6. You need flexibility

When you’re embarking on a new project, getting the right people with the right skill sets in place can be a difficult task. While upskilling your existing team members can be beneficial, inexperience coupled with a limited bandwidth can pose major risks to your project delivery as well as have a negative impact on your day-to-day operations. These problems are more acute if your delivery deadline is tight.

“Hiring new talent in-house is an option, but often it’s not the best one if a project is short-term or requires a range of specialist skill sets,” explains Brian. In these instances, partnering with an IT outsourcer can provide the most strategic, timely and cost-effective route forward because solutions are tailored to your specific needs. “Clients also gain from the insights and expertise of an experienced team – with the added benefit of elasticity to adapt if requirements change,” says Brian.

7. You need niche expertise

More budget-friendly than hiring a team of in-house specialists, and more reliable than challenging your existing team, outsourcing IT is often the most effective option when it comes to delivering projects that require niche expertise such as cyber security. Brian also highlights the benefit of introducing an outside perspective, “One of the most overlooked benefits of outsourcing is that businesses don’t just get access to specific skills and knowledge, they get to tap into a whole wealth of experience.”

“That’s why it’s so important to look for an IT outsourcing partner that has a proven record of proficiency and delivering results. Knowing what’s worked before, how to handle specific challenges, and what pitfalls to avoid –is truly invaluable to finding the solution that’s really going to work for your business.”

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Brian Robertson