The effect that the Covid-19 pandemic will have on our economy is not yet entirely clear. What is fairly inevitable, however, is that the economy will take a huge hit, and we will likely enter into a period of recession. Whilst many of us remember the crash of 2008 like it was yesterday, the one small advantage we have today is that we can see a recession coming and we can prepare accordingly. Of course, there’s no way to guarantee that a business will continue to make a profit, or even survive, during a recession, but it is important to prepare your business in the best way you can. Now is the optimal time to evaluate your business practices and ensure that your business is running as efficiently as possible.
One of the areas to consider is IT support. Ultimately, you want to choose the most effective way to support your systems and your people to ensure your business can continue running as usual. For many businesses, particularly those in hospitality, outsourcing your IT support has many benefits.
Here are some benefits of outsourcing your IT support.
In both times of recession and times of prosperity, cost and budgeting will always be one of a business owner’s top priorities. Now is therefore an appropriate time to consider outsourcing your IT for the cost benefits.
With an in-house IT team there are many expenses. You have to:
- Ensure they are sufficiently trained
- Make sure they are well managed
- Provide cover for holidays and sick days
- Ensure career progression and growth
- Make equipment purchases and pay for maintenance and upgrades
There may also be a number of unpredictable expenses which makes it difficult for you to allocate an IT budget.
In contrast, with outsourced IT support, you do not have to worry about any of the above. Rather, you will have a consistent expense which you will be able to budget for. Furthermore, you will be able to plan for flexible IT support as your business changes. Therefore, outsourced IT is almost always more efficient for your business.
Experience and Skill
Second to cost is experience and skill. When you have an IT problem, you want to ensure that your IT support team are able to resole the issue as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Outsourcing your IT allows you to take advantage of the greater knowledge base that comes with a larger team. An experienced IT company will have dealt with a wide range of issues just like yours. Consequently, they will be able to pinpoint issues faster and solve them quicker.
Additionally, IT companies have access to continuous training and development which an in-house team wouldn’t have. This means they are constantly developing skills and building experience.
Security is a huge focus in IT, and for a good reason. A single virus can bring down an entire business within minutes. A hacker who breaks into a business system could have access to valuable information and data, a business-threatening situation. It is therefore imperative that your IT support team are able to protect your software.
An outsourced IT company, with their wealth of experience, will be lower risk because they know what they’re doing and they’ve dealt with businesses like yours before. They will be able to better understand where the threat comes from and will be more well-equipped to deal with it. They will also be able to more effectively maintain your antivirus software, run necessary updates and generally protect your business from IT security threats.
When it comes to data protection, there are laws that you must ensure you are compliant with, PCI and GDPR being two of them. With an in-house IT team, there is a risk that they are unfamiliar with rules and regulations surrounding data and security, which could be a costly mistake for you.
An outsourced IT company, on the other hand, will be well versed in compliancy and will ensure that you meet all regulations, meaning that you can have peace of mind.
When something does go wrong, you want to ensure that the problem is resolved as quickly and efficiently as possible. Most businesses are ill-equipped to deal with large-scale disasters. Whether it’s a flood, fire or virus, a specialist IT company will have the resources and experience needed to help you recover from any potential disaster quickly, helping to protect your brand reputation and your revenue.
Focus on Business
Outsourcing your IT support to a specialist gives you time to focus on the smooth running of your business without having to worry about complex IT decisions. This allows you to focus on the unique selling point of your business to ensure that you stay relevant and competitive, without having to allocate precious resources and time to IT problems.
The risk of unpredictable incurred costs which comes with an in-house IT support team is much lower with an outsourced IT company, meaning that your limited resources can be concentrated on the successful running of your business.
Reduced Managerial Input
Following on, outsourcing your IT support would free up your managerial time and allow your upper level managers to focus on other aspects of your business operations. When IT support is delegated to a specialist technology company, managers tend to be more productive; their time can be spent developing ideas and focusing on customer service rather than overseeing the IT department.
In order for an in-house IT support team to keep up with current technology, you would have to spend a lot of time and money in researching the right solutions and then arranging the purchasing of new technology infrastructure.
A specialist IT company, however, would have access to expensive, cutting-edge technology which they will then employ in your business. Moreover, they will spend the money on constant training and education in order to keep up with the current hotel trends and what is available on the market.
At the speed that technology is moving nowadays, keeping an in-house team at that level is far too expensive to be sustainable.
Improved IT Performance
Together with the better technology and resources that comes with outsourced IT support comes improved IT performance. Your network will be of higher quality and will be readily available with minimal downtime. The expertise of an outsourced company, together with their total focus on your IT systems, means that your overall hotel IT performance will be enhanced and as a result, you can confidently focus on running your business without worrying about your network.
Increased IT Coverage
When employing an in-house IT support team, you may only be able to afford to hire one person, or perhaps only junior people without much experience. Relying on a single person or juniors can be risky, especially as an IT problem could arise at any time of day or night. An outsourced IT team will have more people who understand your hotel business. Given the size of the team, you then don’t have to worry about people taking holidays or sick days, nor do you need to worry about an issue occurring in the middle of the night.
Finally, outsourcing your IT support will level the playing field. You can now enjoy the resilient technology infrastructure and support that previously was the preserve of only the big, multinational businesses.
Good technology is the foundation of every business today, so if your IT is handled by an expert company with the knowledge, resources and experience, you will not be at a disadvantage, no matter how small your operation.
In summary, a specialist IT company will have the knowledge, experience, resources, training and technology to ensure that your network runs as smoothly as possible and they will be able to fix any issues when they arise. This will free up your resources and allow you to focus on developing your business.
Cardonet have been working with businesses for the past twenty years to help them overcome their technological challenges. Our group of highly experienced engineers are available 24/7 to assist and ensure that your IT infrastructure is running seamlessly.
If you are spending too much time dealing with technology issues and if those issues are affecting your team and customer experience, call us on +44 203 034 2244 or +1 323 984 8908. Alternately, you can contact us online. We will be happy to help you overcome your IT challenges so that you can focus on what you do best during the downturn.