There are many reasons to decide to outsource your business’s Web services, or to keep them in-house. When weighing the pros and cons, consider these five services that can be outsourced.
In business, data backup is essential. And with hard drives dropping in price every year, it would seem that outsourcing to a third party would be a waste of time. However, outsourcing your data is a great way to reduce costs and simplify your overall data management. Let’s face it; we want to save everything. If your business is growing, it can become costly to build out a data center. Servers, electricity, and cooling can be very expensive when you put it all together.
Outsourcing your data may be beneficial if your company ever has an audit. Many offsite hosting facilities will save you the time of going through countless records and give you detailed reports and compliance. Also, there are many great hosting facilities that specialize in remote backup and disaster recovery. Just make sure that they aren’t in a disaster zone themselves.
Security is one of the most important factors for any business, especially if you sell products where sensitive customer information is required, deal with personal information, or retain databases with classified company information. Outsourcing your IT security offers benefits but also yields greater underlying threats.
So why give personal company security to an outsider? Outsourcing IT security, in many cases, will save you money over the long haul and eliminate the need for hiring a team of people to manage it in-house. However, outsourcing IT security poses threats such as selecting the wrong company to handle exactly what your company needs. Always keep the following in mind when commissioning the help of an outsider: its track record, what areas it covers, and how it fits in with your company needs. Many security firms offer variable services, some go out of business, and some will cause you more harm than good. Research every aspect and make sure what it offers is exactly what you need.
Web Hosting Services
To host or not to host may be the question you have when your business is just getting started on the Internet or your company’s online presence is expanding. Unless you have a department that can maintain costly servers, fix problems at a moment’s notice, or stay up to speed with changing software and hardware needs, outsourcing your Web site to a managed hosting service will save you time, money, and the hassle of dealing with the unexpected problems yourself.
There are downsides though. Outsourcing managed Web hosting can become costly depending on the complexities of the Web site and your business’s needs. Also, selecting the right host and package is the key to always staying online. Receiving an unexpected influx of traffic could exceed your bandwidth and crash the server. Turning over your site to a third party means when it is down so are you. The simple fact that your site is no longer in your hands can be daunting when you’re calling up the host and looking for answers.
If you’re unsure of whether to go with a managed Web host or do it yourself, one good thing to think about is the ability of your technical staff. If the know-how is there, use it. If not, outsource it.
Having your telephone service outsourced holds many benefits: It’s cheap, customizable, convenient, and reliable if you or your employees are constantly in and out of the office. It’s also nice to know that your voice mail service won’t be calling in sick or taking a day off anytime soon.
Technology in the virtual phone world has made leaps and strides in the past few years, connecting cell phones, business phones, and home phones all to a virtual network. Systems such as Virtual PBX offers both small business and corporate solutions with a number of features such as multiple extensions, customized greetings, and real-time call monitoring. Moreover, more robust systems such as the one offered by M5 Networks provides the ability to be up and running even if disaster strikes the office; all you need to do is move to a new location and have a network connection.
Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, an Internet-based phone system, is becoming the choice of many businesses, as service and connections become more secure and reliable. Outsourcing your telephone is the way of the future for small and large businesses around the world.
Outsourcing day-to-day network management may just be what your company needs in order to focus on more important issues, especially if your company is spread out over a large area. Outsourcing your network and desktop management could equal greater savings and eliminate your company’s manpower shortages in certain areas. Still, other great reasons provide off-hours support, break/fix services, and elimination of a help desk.
As with outsourcing any part of your business, make sure you find a trustworthy and capable vendor that can suit your company’s needs. Make sure it is up-to-date with the proper tools such as Simple Network Management Protocol, which monitors network-attached devices for conditions that may warrant administrative attention.
Handing over network management to a third party doesn’t mean the end of your IT department as a whole. An in-house network manager can still oversee the outsourced work you are dealing out. Also, your in-house manager can track and make sure the outsourcer is current on technologies and is performing to company standards by asking for and reviewing detailed reports.