Many businesses are seeing the benefits of switching to IT as a service as an alternative to in-house systems
In the old days, the traditional way of providing IT was to buy the physical hardware and software, and have in-house staff on site to support it. While this system worked in the past, a faster-paced technology market and the need for businesses to keep up has changed everything.
Now, major firms are often wasting money on in-house IT equipment, while simultaneously making their businesses less flexible and unable to deal with change.
The better alternative is moving to IT as a service. With a service, your company can ditch the massive initial outlay and ongoing running costs, as it no longer needs dedicated hardware and software built on site to its own specifications. Instead, the business pays only for the equipment and services that it is using – and often using off-the-shelf options remotely or through the cloud.
This approach dramatically cuts capital outlay and builds in flexibility, as it makes it quicker for a business to expand or even move to an entirely new system, without rebuilding from scratch.
Only paying for what you need
The big problem with in-house IT equipment is that it has to be bought to support both peak usage and future expansion. As a result, it’s estimated that most in-house resources have utilisation rates of less than 20%.
Conversely, if a company rapidly grows, it will soon find that its existing hardware can no longer cope and faces another huge capital outlay to buy more equipment. Moving to an IT service changes everything, as the service provider takes care of the infrastructure headaches. Your company benefits by needing less IT infrastructure, plus it gets bought-in expertise and a simplified cost structure that makes planning easier. Flexibility is hugely increased, too, and it becomes a trivial matter to add extra users.
Buying in expertise
One of the key reasons to move to a service is that you’re buying in proper expertise. The provider you turn to specialises in the service it’s providing, giving you access to skills that an in-house team simply don’t have.
Buying in a service also means buying in expertise, which is proving increasingly difficult to nurture in-house.
The result is that your company gets a proper partnership with a specialist provider. Through this partnership, the service provider can identify your business needs and implement a robust, bespoke solution, catering for your entire workforce, both in-house staff and mobile workers. Through the identification of your pain points, your new service provider will use its expertise to give you systems that truly make your business more flexible and efficient. In-house staff often lack the expertise to deliver such radically different approaches to make your business more efficient.
Not just software
“Software as a service” (SaaS) is a technology model that is familiar to most businesses. Rather than having a dedicated in-house email server, for instance, messaging is provided as a service with a per-user cost. As the company grows, it’s easy to add additional users at a clearly defined price without having to worry about supporting hardware. SaaS has spread to all parts of businesses, with cloud computing letting practically all aspects of a company run without dedicated hardware.
However, the service model doesn’t have to apply to software only, and there’s a growing trend to provide hardware as a service, too. With Miit’s Managed Service, for example, a business rents its company’s IT resources with defined costs per user. Again, your company only has to pay for what it actually uses, with physical equipment matching required resources. Miit’s management team and engineers proactively supports your business requirements.
You also get the benefit of your partner’s specific expertise. So rather than attempting to create your own complicated bespoke computer infrastructure service for on-site and mobile staff, for instance, an organisation such as Miit can leverage years of experience to develop something with proven and resilient technology.
Buying in a service also means buying in expertise, which is proving increasingly difficult to nurture in-house. In particular, it’s practically impossible for internal people to be absolute experts in every IT discipline. Turning to a managed service provider ensures that you’re dealing with experts who can better advise and support your company.
It’s estimated that most in-house resources have utilisation rates of less than 20pc
Turn to Miit for your managed computer hardware service, for example, and you’re paying not only for the service but the expertise that accompanies it. That means your IT infrastructure is planned based on your company’s actual needs, increasing efficiency, redundancy and security.
When hardware breaks inside your company, the problem is yours to deal with, and there’s no guarantee how long an issue will take to fix. The cost to your business can be astronomical, both in loss of earnings and in replacement hardware. This kind of downtime is not acceptable, and we’ve come to a time where no company can stomach the loss of critical services, even for a short period. Switching to a service fixes these issues.
For starters, service providers can afford to invest in robust infrastructure so that you get a guaranteed amount of uptime. Secondly, if you do get a problem, there’s a team of experts ready to help. If hardware is causing a problem, it’s replaced or fixed at no additional cost as part of your plan. In short, it means less downtime and faster resolutions in the event of a problem.
When you buy in a managed service, security is paramount, and the provider will have experts dedicated to keeping your data safe. With a managed hosted IT service, you get the additional benefit of enterprise grade backup and firewalls, so that confidential data is better protected from external sources.
Today’s businesses need flexibility and systems that are reliable. Buying in-house hardware and software no longer guarantees either of these things and is too expensive up-front. Moving to a managed service simplifies and reduces cost, introduces flexibility and increases reliability.