As the economic climate continues to bite, it comes as no surprise businesses across the UK are looking to reduce the on-going costs to support their IT Infrastructure.

To add weight to this statement Computer Weekly Magazine recently reported that the uptake of outsourced IT support services is increasing by circa 5.9% year on year.

Here are the top 10 reasons why you should consider outsourcing your IT support function.

1. Reduction in the cost of staff

An IT Manager has an average annual salary in the region of £50,000 per annum. In addition to that, throw in the cost of the initial recruitment, associated company benefits and on-going training to ensure they have the latest skills required and the costs start to spiral.

2. Shortfall of in-house expertise and technical skills

With rapidly changing technologies and evolving versions of software it often isn’t viable for a single person or small team to have enough exposure to the products to ensure that tasks and issues can be completed quickly and effectively.

Whilst most companies have a critical reliance on their IT infrastructures to maintain business continuity, it is simply not a realistic option to have a full-time member of staff in-house due to the obvious peaks and troughs of the workflow so there isn’t enough work to keep them fully occupied.

For this reason, it’s a perfect solution to have an unlimited IT support contract enabling you to call in qualified expertise as and when help is needed as if they were a dedicated member of your team.

3. Add to your in-house capabilities

Some companies prefer to have their own dedicated IT engineer in house and typically they are heavily relied upon to ensure the continuity of the IT network. Does consideration need to be given to what would happen if they are already involved in one crisis when another crops up? How does the business manage when they are on holiday or off sick? Or more common for lone in-house IT engineers, what happens when a serious issue arises that they can’t resolve?

Dovetailing the skills of an outsourced IT company to complement the cover provided by an internal engineer can provide the peace of mind that the business can still function regardless of the issue that arise.

4. Skill shortages and recruitment pains

The recruitment of new employees to any business is a time consuming, expensive and challenging process. So it would come as no surprise that according to the Confederation of British Industry Skills Survey in 2010 that 53% of employers admit to a lack of confidence in their ability to find potential employees with the correct mix of skills for their company.

Without a background in IT, how do you know if any potential candidate has the correct mix of skills and knowledge particularly when IT skills are in such high demand?

By selecting a credible outsourced IT support partner you can leave the worry to a team who are qualified to make the correct judgments of what skills are required to efficiently manage your IT network.

5. Staff productivity

Some companies prefer to keep costs low by delegating the responsibility of their IT network to one or more of their staff who have some degree of IT knowledge.

Whilst this sounds attractive, it is worth considering how much time these individuals spend resolving IT issues for the rest of the team. Could their time be better spent on developing your own business? What happens when a major issue occurs that they can’t resolve?

IT outsourcing frees up productivity time within your team allowing you to focus on areas that can help your business grow.

6. Employing the latest technology

Technology is improving and transforming at an alarming rate and IT is no exception.  Many companies rely on taking advantage of the latest products and applications to keep one step ahead of the competition.

In order to keep ahead of the game or just to keep up, it’s worth partnering with an IT consultancy company to gain valuable access to a team of specialists who monitor and advice on the benefits of an ever-changing market.

7. Value added services

Whilst your current IT network may be ticking along causing only the occasional problem, have you considered the range of additional services that could add value to your business?

Mobility is a buzzword in every place of work, so have you considered making you workforce more mobile by providing access to the network from home?

In the event of a disaster at the office, have you a plan in place to ensure the continuity of your business?

Have you considered the benefits of cloud solutions to reduce on-going capital and support costs?

A whole range of affordable solutions are available from an outsourced IT support company that can improve productivity, improve efficiency, reduce costs or reduce risk within your business in times of crisis or on a day to day basis.

8. Pro-active maintenance over break/ fix maintenance

The chances are that your IT support strategy revolves around a break/ fix set up. Essentially this means that you typically address a problem as it arises. By this time it is likely that your business and the staff’s productivity have been affected to some degree.

Pro-active remote monitoring of your IT network on a 24/7 basis as part of an outsourced IT support contract allows issues and problems to be identified and addressed even before they affect the user reducing the downtime they could experience as a result.

9. Risk management

Working in partnership with  IT experts should not only mean that you reduce the number of problems and the affect on your business, but also in the event of a crisis someone else is responsible to get things working correctly and in good time.

With the right agreement in place, this may extend to legal responsibility, which could enable you to seek damages if something goes wrong.

10. Focus on your business

With the current state of the economy it is more important than ever to focus on your business and its clients.

So forget about the worry of your IT network and outsource it to the experts