Some SMEs are put off by the idea of outsourcing their IT services, because they think that relying on an external company will use up valuable time and money. They simply can’t understand how outsourcing could be easier, less time consuming and more cost effective. Here are a few common myths about outsourcing IT, and why you should ignore them.
1. Only large companies will benefit from outsourcing
A common misconception is that a company needs to have a large, complex IT infrastructure in order to warrant outsourcing IT services, something a lot of smaller organisations don’t have. Therefore, it’s often believed that having an in-house team would prove more beneficial for an SME.
However, this can be very time consuming, especially for SMEs who are very busy, have limited staff and many other problems they need to solve. They can’t afford to spend valuable business time searching for IT talent, reading countless CVs, interviewing candidates and then waiting while their latest recruit settles into their new role.
In fact, it could be argued that SMEs have more to gain from outsourcing than larger companies. The external team can ensure your IT system is running smoothly at all times, so you can focus on building your client base and dealing with other issues without any interruptions.
2. It isn’t cost effective to outsource
When SMEs have a tight budget, it might appear more cost effective to hire an in-house IT person or team as opposed to outsourcing support. Yet you need to factor in the expense of salaries, and as your business grows you might find your team isn’t large enough to cope with the number of problems arising. Delays of this sort can not only stifle business growth, but you will then have to pay the salary of another new team member or two.
Relying on an outsourced IT team means you have access to an entire roster of experts at all times, who can help to solve any problems you may have whenever they emerge.
3. You receive an impersonal service by outsourcing
Many SMEs think that an external team they have never met speaking to them on the end of a phone can’t possibly provide as personal a service as an in-house IT team, who you share office space with everyday. In actual fact, outsourced IT teams recognise the individual needs of each client, and tailor their services accordingly. Every client has their own requirements and concerns, and as well as providing exceptional IT support, outsourced teams recognise how vital excellent customer service is.
Want to know more have a chat to Nimbus CS.
Here at Nimbus we partnered up with Draytek years ago because our friends at Draytek supply the best network kit in the market segment.
Draytek’s series of routers have allowed Nimbus CS to roll out some winning solutions for our clients. Some of these solutions include:
- Business continuity with backup internet using mobile or secondary internet connections
- Increased bandwidth by utilizing multiple internet connections
- Secure multi office internet feeds from one internet connection
- Interconnectivity of multiple sites via VPN
- VPN connectivity to the company network for mobile users
- Content filtering of web traffic
- Blocking of incoming traffic by country
- Router hardware failover
Today a number of us met up with the guys from Draytek – there was a good exchange of ideas and we look forward to even bigger and better things in the future.
While a cry of “the network is down” could ruin an office’s productivity, many businesses still have ad hoc network infrastructure. This built-up over time network is often slow, unreliable, running on old software that may be insecure and based on ancient hardware. A network upgrade may be just what a small business needs to improve speed, reliability and security.
With the consumerisation of modern networking, costs of hardware and equipment for businesses have come way down since the expensive racks of previous generations. Business-class hardware comes with network health-checking and substantial improvements in automatic firmware and security updates; it is also easier to remotely maintain, allowing you to get on with your business and your IT support will be able to help within seconds, not hours or days.
These improvements mean less downtime, and help build improved services for internet and email access, cutting edge antivirus, malware and firewalls, plus faster wireless networking for those who like to scoot around the office on their notebook, tablet or smartphone. We can also tidy up your office jungle of network leads and provide a properly trunked solution to cut down on the risk of accidents. All of this can be done without impacting on the day to day business of the office, and everyone should benefit from the improvements once the system is up and running.
If your budget is tight, virtual server solutions can help keep costs down, while providing the flexibility of endless storage and the redundancy of a cloud solution or offsite backup. So, if your company is running on a couple of creaky old WiFi routers and some bits of mystery wiring, let us take a look and modernise your network to provide something that is safe, secure and reliable, and right for your organisation. We operate across Ireland and offer a range of tailored support packages for businesses of all sizes.
Any company that is growing fast or experiencing regular network outages, or simply doesn’t know how its network functions (common if the “IT guy” leaves) can benefit from a new network, so get in touch to find out how an upgrade can help.
While the current government has its fair share of critics, it has won over some SMEs in recent months, in no small part thanks to the tax reductions it set out for small businesses in the 2016 budget.
Another area in which the government has moved to be a helping hand for SMEs, rather than a hindrance, is IT security. The Cyber Essentials scheme was set up to back SMEs with a clear agenda for how they can maintain a basic level of “security hygiene”, attempting to safeguard against some of the more common malicious threats that IT infrastructures are faced with.
Under the scheme, companies can apply for two different awards – Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus. Designed to be cost effective, the scheme can benefit SMEs to understand the importance of a solid IT security framework, and how to go about achieving it.
It is expected that the possession of a Cyber Essentials award of some level could soon become mandatory for suppliers in many sectors – companies that service the public sector are already obliged to possess one or more of the certificates.
Getting on track with Cyber Essentials can be seen as a time drain for some SMEs with a limited team that handles their IT on a daily basis, as their core business activities naturally get in the way of readying their firm for the assessment. At Nimbus CS we recognise that time is of the essence, and have developed a solution which allows SMEs to get up to speed with Cyber Essentials as quickly as possible, with minimal disruption to their regular business commitments.
In the long run, a small investment in obtaining a Cyber Essentials certificate could end up saving your business money. According to government statistics, 2015 saw 74% of SMEs suffer a security breach (up from 60% in 2014) with the average cost of a business’s most serious breach ranging from £75,000 to £311,000.
Because of this risk, Cyber Essentials is a no brainer, and we stand ready to help your business attain certification with the minimum of fuss. Call us today
for an informal chat on how we might help your business safeguard itself against the most prevalent IT security threats.
Has your in-house IT representative has it all covered? In an ideal world, the person that you entrust to take care of the IT needs within your SME should be able to juggle the daily demands of servicing your employees’ requests, managing your infrastructure, and keeping abreast of the latest security developments.
In reality, security is often the area that becomes neglected due to time constraints, so as an IT support company which specialises in providing services to SMEs, we wanted to highlight some current security concerns that have the potential to affect your business:
1. Increase in malware sophistication
‘Why me?’ is unfortunately the attitude that many business owners take when it comes to cyber threats, but every day attacks become more cunning, it’s appears that cyber attacks are now big business, with companies being held to ransom for £1000’s
2. Password vulnerability
While it may sound straight forward, managing passwords is a challenge that should be taken seriously by SMEs. The recent Market Pulse Survey (https://www.sailpoint.com/news/marketpulsesurvey-passwords) highlighted that 56% of employees admit to reusing their passwords for different applications. You need a password policy that protects your data.
3. The cloud
Following on from the passwords, if you are wary of which hands your data falls into, you should be careful when considering how your company uses the cloud. It may be worth looking into using a private or hybrid cloud service model, in order to give you more control over who has access.
4. PCI-DSS compliance
If you are an SME that deals with online transactions, and that services large companies including corporations, you may be required to meet compliance with the PCI-DSS guidelines set out by the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council. You can read more about the standards here (https://www.pcisecuritystandards.org/pci_security/maintaining_payment_security).
5. Network exposure
Your network is probably the single most important part of your IT infrastructure, and it could be at risk if you do not carry out the right security updates on a regular basis. If a vulnerability is taken advantage of, it could mean that your data becomes exposed, or that you suffer a period of downtime. Protecting your network should always be a top priority.
We hope this gives you a starting point when assessing your company’s security. Please don’t wait until the horse has bolted, we see it regularly. If you’d like to talk it over just call Nimbus and have a chat.