3 Ways Outsourced IT Helps You Avoid Tech Outages

5/20/15 9:24 AM iCorps Technologies

An IT Manager once said that: “Technology isn’t merely a means to help us do our jobs faster. It is the means by which most of us do our jobs.”
True.
But, when we cannot summon the technology superpowers that give us the ability to do our jobs, things can go downhill pretty quickly, can’t they?

System outages and unplanned downtime are challenges that loom over just about any business utilizing technology (i.e. all businesses). Regardless of whether the outage affects an email system, website or a registration system – OR is caused by human error (48%), equipment failure (33%), cyberattack (34%), or other issue1 – the impacts can be profound, costly and highly visible if a business’s customers are impacted.

A study conducted by Dimensional Research2 found that 91% of businesses surveyed felt the pain and negative repercussions of an IT outage in an hour or less after the service disruption.

Our extreme dependence on technology calls for a proactive plan to prevent outages in the first place, as well as the establishment of an alternate plan – particularly for an extended outage.

Here are 3 ways IT outsourcing helps you plan ahead.

1. Outsourcing is Proactive. Organizations – especially SMBs with smaller IT departments – have enough difficulty keeping up with day-to-day fire drills and responses to end user issues, leaving little opportunity to be proactive about maintaining an increasingly complex technology infrastructure. With software and hardware configuration errors high on the chart of causes for system outages, the limited skill sets and stretched resources of smaller IT teams may contribute to additional risk of system outages.

The problem is that most companies can’t afford to staff up on resources or skills – and it’s rarely efficient to do so. Instead, outsourcing your data center maintenance and monitoring tasks to a managed services provider ensures that your IT maintenance and system monitoring will be performed regularly – and proactively – which ultimately translates to fewer outages caused by system issues. Typically, managed services offer a fixed-cost solution that provides another benefit, too – predictable IT spending that often saves money by helping to avoid emergency or reactive fixes.

Can IT outsourcing work for your business? Learn more here.

2. Outsourcing Speeds Response Time. A study conducted by Dimensional Research3 found that stakeholders in more than 75% of the businesses surveyed had voiced concerns that their IT departments take too long to resolve key issues. Nearly half of the IT professionals surveyed indicated that identifying the right person to fix the problem takes longer than it does to actually fix the problem. In addition, 90% of IT professionals reported that poor incident communication within their organizations caused more downtime than necessary.

Response speed can be addressed by expert IT support and remote monitoring available through an experienced IT services provider. Advantages include the establishment of basic processes, such as incident reporting which can be streamlined, centralized, and tracked. Analysis of this information for patterns and trends can lead to vital early issue detection and fixes. Problem-resolution activities can be documented so that they can be repeated – or ruled out – should an issue recur. Remote network monitoring tools and capabilities paired with broad expertise and around-the-clock IT support can address known issues immediately, as well as identify and resolve potential problems – sometimes automatically – even before they become bigger issues.

3. Outsourcing Broadens Skills and Support. The same Dimensional Research study indicates that organizations today are relying on IT staffs to manage more than just the data center operations. More than 90% of the respondents said they believe the role of the IT department should continue to broaden beyond the traditional support of infrastructure and applications. The added responsibility and pressure of providing even more IT solutions may stretch some teams thin. IT Outsourcing can relieve this burden and eliminate the need for and costs of additional full-time internal staff. The combination of internal staff with external IT consultants is known as a Hybrid IT approach. Your internal staff can leverage the expertise of outside IT consultants that possess diverse industry experience and competencies – and ultimately decrease downtime and emergencies overall.

The bottom line? An outsourced IT strategy gives you access to capabilities, manpower and technologies that otherwise may be out of reach but that can provide the significant advantages of keeping your systems performing at their peak – and supplying your business users with cutting-edge technologies and services.

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1[Source: CloudTweaks. Cloud Infographic: Disaster Recovery http://cloudtweaks.com/2014/03/cloud-disaster-recovery/ March 9, 2014]
2[Source: CRN. Survey: IT Outages Causing Alarming Impact On Businesses http://www.crn.com/slide-shows/cloud/300076438/survey-it-outages-causing-alarming-impact-on-businesses.htm?itc=refresh April 8, 2015]

With more than two decades of experience, the iCorps IT consulting team is dedicated to delivering excellence to our customers by staying ahead of market trends and understanding new technologies that could impact their business. iCorps delivers superior IT outsourcing, IT support and technology solutions implemented by the best consultants in the BostonPhiladelphia and New York (NY) areas.