The Importance of Outsourced IT Support for SMBs in Oklahoma
With a strong research community, affordable skilled labor, and advanced tech infrastructure, Oklahoma City (OKC) has turned into an entrepreneurial paradise for young business leaders. According to a 2019 study by Arizona State University’s Center for the Study of Economic Liberty, OKC ranked at the top in the ease of doing business.
As an entrepreneur in OKC, you’ll be sharing space with the giants and local businesses in your market. You may find it challenging to expand your startup amidst the intense regional competition.
Technology can help you do so by streamlining business operations and automating repeatable tasks. And, if you can’t afford an internal IT department, hiring a competent Oklahoma IT support agency can help.
Let’s start by discussing why technology is important to small and mid-sized businesses.
Why is Technology Important to Small Businesses?
When it comes to technology, Oklahoma is a force to be reckoned with. Given that OKC has the best market for IT expansion amongst 42 metropolitan cities nationwide, as an SMB, you can benefit from the city’s rapidly evolving tech ecosystem.
Here are a few ways in which technology can help you organize and expand your small business:
- Technology enables businesses to reach out to more customers in less time, thereby increasing their outreach capabilities.
- You can use the latest technology to ensure accurate marketing and financial calculations and forecasts.
- Updated tech equipment helps employees finish tasks faster and ensure better results.
- The technology protects your enterprise against malicious cybersecurity threats and accidental data losses.
- Technology streamlines business operations reduce downtime and increases productivity.
Why You Need Outsourced IT Support for Your Small Business in Oklahoma
As an entrepreneur in Oklahoma, you can choose to set up your own IT department or outsource your IT management to an Oklahoma IT support company. But the question that begs to be answered is- do you really need tech support for your SMB?
The answer is, yes. Unless you run a completely offline business, you can benefit from outsourced IT support. Apart from resolving day-to-day technical glitches, a tech support team can keep your IT network running at full capacity.
Here are a few other advantages of getting outsourced IT support in Oklahoma:
1. Fewer Network Failures and Reduced Downtime
In ITIC’s 11th Annual Hourly Cost of Downtime report, 47% of SMB respondents estimated that an hour of downtime can cost them more than $100,000 in lost revenue, remedial actions, and end-user productivity.
Extended system downtime also leads to:
- Reduced staff productivity and morale
- Employee overtime expenses to recover lost uptime
- Ripple effects on supply chain and widescale disruption
- Customer dissatisfaction
- Tarnished brand image
A reliable and efficient outsourced IT support team will prevent frequent system failures by monitoring your network 24/7/365. The technicians locate and mitigate potential technical glitches before they blow up and interfere with your daily workflow.
2. Low Initial Investment
Hiring an external IT support company can help you keep your initial IT investments in check. These companies usually use the latest tech, meaning you won’t have to spend a fortune trying to acquire them for your business.
Moreover, most IT companies have Service Level Agreements (SLAs) that include repairs and updates. Hence, you will not incur any additional charges for the same.
3. All-Round Network Security
Small businesses are often more vulnerable to cyberattacks, due to their lack of dedicated IT staff and sophisticated network security tools. As per VIPRE’s SMB Security Trends survey, 47% of SMBs struggle with keeping their data secure.
With cybercrime on the rise, you should take active measures to safeguard your network against malicious cybersecurity threats, such as:
- Phishing attacks
- Weak passwords
- Insider threats
An Oklahoma IT support company safeguards your network from all sides. Their skilled cybersecurity analysts continually examine your IT network to detect and patch security gaps effectively.
4. Assured Compliance with Industry Standards
Most new entrepreneurs struggle to align their technological policies with state and federal regulations.
For example, Verizon’s 2020 Payment Security Report suggested that only 27.9% of global corporations maintained full compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).
As per the PCI Compliance Guide, merchants who fail to comply with PCI DSS may be subjected to fines, expensive forensic audits, and card replacement costs in the event of a data security breach.
An IT support company with extensive industry knowledge can bring such compliance exposure to your notice. They can also analyze your tech procedures to mend compliance gaps so you don’t have to shell out for a guideline violation.
5. Readily Available Expertise
An internal IT team will require constant training to stay on top of IT advancements. However, arranging these training programs can send your overheads through the roof.
Outsourced IT support and Business IT services companies employ expert technicians who are well invested in upgrading their existing skillset. With a reputable IT services provider, you get ready access to a team of competent professionals with the skill and knowledge to maintain enterprise-grade IT networks.
Data Backup and Disaster Recovery
When you’re trying to build a business, the last thing you need is a widescale data loss incident. Effective data backup strategies can help you avoid expensive ramifications, such as reduced productivity and expensive lawsuits. However, developing and implementing a Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) plan requires significant time, money, and labor.
That is why many businesses outsource their data backup and recovery practices to a third-party IT support company. IT agencies craft data backup plans according to your specific needs.
When Should You Consider Hiring Outsourced IT Support in Oklahoma?
Despite the benefits of outsourced IT support, many business owners shy away from it due to:
- Concerns about technology integration
- Limited exposure to new tech
- Fear of becoming too dependent on technology
- Lack of finances
However, if your business is exhibiting the following tell-tale signs, it may be in your best interest to leave IT management to the business IT services pros:
- You are experiencing frequent network downtime.
- Your growing IT needs are overwhelming your internal IT team.
- You have faced multiple cybersecurity incidents recently.
- You do not have a foolproof BDR plan.
- Your IT expenses are unpredictable.
Any of these reasons should be enough for you to join forces with an IT support provider. That said, you can also hire outsourced IT services anytime you need additional help with managing your IT infrastructure.
Busting Common Myths About Outsourced IT Support
As IT outsourcing evolves, so do the myths surrounding it. Although an increasing number of business owners are opting for third-party IT support, many still have their concerns.
To ease your mind, we’ll debunk a few of the most common misconceptions about external business IT services:
1. An External IT Team Will Not Care About Your IT Needs
A common myth about IT outsourcing is that an outsourced IT company may not be as passionate about your needs as your in-house employees. Consequently, they are more likely to deliver half-baked results.
Logically speaking, an outsourced IT support company will be more involved in IT management than salaried internal staff. This is because their market reputation is on the line. If they do not deliver the promised results, it can ruin their brand name forever.
2. Outsourced IT Teams are Difficult to Communicate With
It is easy to see where this misconception stems from. Since a hired IT team is located outside the business’s premises, owners feel that they will not be available to address glitches quickly. On the other hand, IT employees present at the scene can immediately respond to network crises.
Truth be told, outsourced IT support companies provide remote IT support for all of their client’s employees. They can assess and resolve most IT issues from afar, without stepping foot inside the building. However, if a network emergency does require onsite support, they will send technicians to your office.
3. Outsourcing Puts Sensitive Information at Risk
It is difficult to trust a third party with sensitive business data. But if you leave a complicated cybersecurity plan to your internal employees, it can take them away from their core responsibilities. More importantly, it may lead to missing details and process gaps.
In contrast, an outsourced IT support team can bolster your network security and minimize incidents.
Outsourced IT support companies secure your network by offering:
- Immediate threat response
- Quick remediation
- Proactive network monitoring
- Periodic security consultations
- Implementing the latest cybersecurity tools and services
4. Outsourcing Results in a Complete Loss of Control
New business owners are often wary of outsourcing their IT needs, believing that they will lose control over their IT infrastructure.
The reality is, even when you partner with an IT support company, you exercise as much control over them as you would on an internal team. You can monitor their performance, provide feedback, and set timelines for their progress. In other words, you can treat them as an extension of your internal IT team and continue calling the shots.
With technology evolving at a rapid rate, small business owners need to adopt the latest tech trends to stay relevant. In this regard, an external IT services agency can provide SMBs with comprehensive tech support at a reasonable price. Outsourced tech support often strikes an effective balance between service quality and affordability, making them an ideal choice for small to mid-sized companies.
Are you ready to team up with an expert IT support provider in Oklahoma? Get in touch with us to discuss your IT support needs today!