An IT support outsourcing agreement may cost several thousand pounds each year from a good quality provider, leaving many businesses wondering how the service can be cheaper than their current provisions. Here are five ways in which outsourced IT support really can be cheaper than maintaining systems in-house.

1. Lower employment costs

No matter which way you look at it, outsourced IT support reduces the number of people you need to employ to keep your business systems running. To ensure every aspect of your IT system is managed properly would require a team of experts, with one dedicated to each function.

Maintaining data security solutions for instance, requires the skills of a dedicated expert. The average annual salary for a data security specialist is now £50,000 – a not insignificant sum. But factor in the staff required for PC support, network services support, server support, application support and the bill is even higher. Especially when you consider National Insurance contributions and pension payments.

Outsourcing these roles gives you access to the required skills without the associated wage bill.

“The average cost of hiring employees is estimated at £1800 per head” – Hayes Resourcing and Talent Planning 2013 Report.

2. Lower secondary costs

Lower headcount also translates directly into reduced spend elsewhere in your organisation. Simple cost savings such as the need to purchase one less computer and associated software licenses for each team member are easily missed. Similarly training bills and other secondary costs are reduced, keeping business running costs low.

“The smartest small businesses farm out the functions that aren’t their core expertise, which adds value and saves money.” – Outsourcing: Not Just Cheaper – Entrepreneur Magazine.

3. Improved data security

For many businesses understanding data security remains extremely complex, and therefore much easier to ignore. As a result their company data is at risk of loss, theft or damage.

Unfortunately this approach could end up costing the company in terms of data protection fines, lost customers, reputational damage and it could even jeopardise the future of the company. Paying for an IT support services provider to maintain data security solutions becomes an insurance policy against much greater costs in the event of a breach or loss.

“The average cost of a data breach for a UK organisation has risen to over £2m, with human error responsible for the vast majority of cases.” – 2013 Cost of Data Breach Study – Symantec.

4. Access to more skills, knowledge and experience

An outsourced IT support provider maintains their own team of dedicated technical experts to assist with customer issues. The supplier is responsible for training their team and ensuring they are competent in dealing with the technical issues that you, their customer, may face.

In this way, your business benefits from a reduced wage bill without compromising on skills, knowledge or experience.

5.  Increased flexibility

As your IT strategy changes, so too do the staffing requirements to support it. Where your business is adopting new technologies, or software, this would have meant hiring new staff, or retraining existing team members to ensure that those skills exist. But under the terms of an outsourced IT support agreement, such training or staffing issues are now the concern of the supplier.

Your business can now call upon experience and expertise at will, increasing flexibility and business efficiency without increasing staffing costs.

“The five- or ten-year fixed, “black-box” contract will become an artifact of the past. Contract language will shift from “no” to “now” as CIOs reject inflexible providers and monolithic contracts in favor of partners willing and able to respond to new situations on the fly.” – Tearing Up the Traditional Outsourcing Contract – CIO Insight.

Remember, there are many ways in which outsourced IT support can be cheaper than maintaining systems in house, the top five being:

·       Lower staffing costs.

·       Lower secondary costs.

·       Improved data security and protection against associated fines and costs.

·       Access to up-to-date skills and experience.

·       A flexible workforce to meet your changing IT priorities.

For more information on IT Outsourcing read this eGuide: Detective work: Calculate The True Cost of Bad IT Service