Monday, April 11, 2011

Your Business: Manage It or Manage IT

Even the smallest and newest of businesses can benefit from an online presence, and it can be argued that a proper and professional online presence is actually essential to do business in any sustainable capacity. However, as any small business on a budget of finance and manpower can tell you, the management and maintanence of such an endeavor can be overwhelming.

The 64 dollar question is always whether to try to save money by managing the IT efforts in house or to outsource the information technology to a qualified third party and perhaps spend more, but save the manpower to do what you do best - manage the business.

Most businesses interested in longevity and a truly professional look must find a way to bear the initial costs of outsourcing the IT effort. Outsourcing the IT to a qualified third party which specializes in managed services allows the man hours that would be dedicated to its maintenance to be re-appropriated to managing the business. The increased efficiency on both sides pays off in the long run, and it absolutely pays for itself before long.

The advantages of investing in a managed IT service include:
  • Increased uptime. Perhaps the hardest and most time consuming part of information technology management is knowing what to do when something goes wrong. Many functions of IT are simple plug and play operations, but the difference between a businessman trying to save a buck by doing his or her own IT vs. a qualified IT professional is that the qualified IT professional knows how to fix the arbitrary problems that often arise when dealing with computers. Outsourcing to a managed IT solution guarantees that your business website will be up and running when your customers need it, which is quite important, as the customer of today does not stick around if he does not immediately find what he needs or expects from a business.
  • Increased efficiency. Even if a businessman saves money by doing all IT functions himself, he still suffers a large economic opportunity cost of the business he could be doing while he is maintaining the IT functions. A qualified professional is able to more quickly solve these problems, freeing up the time of the businessman to accomplish the functions in which he is most qualified, increasing efficiency all around.
  • Help when needed. Information technology is always changing, and keeping up with updates, new versions, bug fixes, etc. can be a full time job. The job of a managed IT professional is to keep a business up-to-date with the latest in the field, to make sure the business remains seamlessly cutting edge.

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