Small Business Sense: IT Jobs You Should Always Outsource
IT isn’t something most business retain in-house, and for good reason: IT departments are expensive. Here are several tasks that your small business should outsource:
Outsourcing your equipment like hardware, servers, and network systems to an infrastructure provider can save your business thousands of dollars if you’re a small operation. For larger operations, you can expect to save millions. And, that’s just in operational costs and manpower. Ongoing maintenance, upgrades, and building out the infrastructure can add to those costs.
Let someone else absorb that.
Almost no company should self-host. Companies like IBM cloud hosting have already perfected the service. Hosting comes with special risks, especially if the technology is outdated. By outsourcing this critical business function, you can guarantee your company’s safety and focus on what you do best.
Customer Relationship Management
CRM systems are more than just glorified address books. Most businesses try to tackle it in-house, but this is a huge mistake. You should be building your CRM on top of an existing infrastructure. A good CRM lets you acquire and retain customers. And, while CRMs can be done manually, a growing company can handle only so much using the “wet thumb method.”
Ideally, your CRM should automate certain tasks, like followup and certain automated communications, and it should also give you a deeper insight into your clients, allowing you to develop stronger relationships with them.
E-Commerce solutions tend to be complex once you get past the surface layer of the application. Any business that set up shop online needs to seriously consider outsourcing the e-commerce app to a third-party provider. Companies like ZenCart, for example, have already mastered shopping cart software. Plug into their infrastructure (or another company like them), and utilize what’s already there.
IT service providers usually caution businesses that its data is only as safe as its infrastructure. Many experts recommend outsourcing cybersecurity to professional companies that specialize in anticipating and minimizing threats.
Two–factor authentication is a type of security that requires users to have more than one type of identification in order to access protected data. This could be a password and a special one-time code generated by the system and sent to an authorized device.
These systems can be complex and should be outsourced to security professionals.
Web design seems like something you could do yourself, but most homebrew websites look amateurish. Unless you employ in-house web designers, it’s best to outsource the work to a professional who can design the site with speed, simplicity, and with technical proficiency.
Social media is something a lot of companies are getting into these days, but they often make the mistake of taking on the marketing in-house. Social media companies know how to interact with potential clients, and they can anticipate and mitigate problems before they happen. Like other marketing organizations, social media marketing companies know their industry and they’re almost always going to be better at it than you.
Anything Outside Your Area Of Expertise
At the end of the day, you have to know what you’re good at and what you’re not. And, you have to be honest with yourself about it. Can you really design a website and, even if you can, is it worth your time to do so? Chase high-dollar and high-profit activities and pay other people to do what they do best.
Stick to your core competencies and you’ll make more money, have less stress, and be more successful at what you do.
Nicholas Rider is a freelance IT consultant and enjoys being able to share his insights online. His previous thoughts can be found across a variety of relevant websites.