Computers have become an indispensable
part of any office space. Whether it is billing,
accounting or more industry-related software,
it is uncommon to find a business that does not
rely on computers for at least some portion of
their daily operations. While computers can make
many tasks much easier and more straightforward,
when they stop working properly it can add frustration
and can make it much more difficult for you to accomplish
any required tasks.
While a larger company may be able to afford a dedicated IT department, small to medium sized businesses may be unsure if this is the right solution for them. Here is what you need to know in order to choose the right information technology solution for your company regardless of its size.
Hiring an internal IT specialist or forming an IT department
Many companies would like to be able to hire an IT support specialist or form an IT department that would be kept on staff on a full-time continual basis. This may be workable for some larger companies but smaller businesses may not be able to justify the expense. Depending on where you are located and which skills you would need your IT department to possess, this is a solution that can cost tens of thousands of dollars in salaries alone and does not include benefits or other expenses that come with hiring full-time staff.
However, there are some benefits to this solution if you can afford a full time IT department. You are much more likely to be able to find someone that has the skills you need rather than settling for someone who may not have the exact skill set that you need. You also have the expertise of someone who will become very familiar with the set up and programs you have and can react to problems much more efficiently than someone who is not familiar with your system.
Independent or freelance IT consultants
Another option is to hire someone on a freelance basis to work as your IT consultant. This can be helpful and may seem appealing to many companies simply because the cost is generally much lower than employing someone full time would be. It is not the best choice for many companies however. Here are a few reasons why this may be the case.
The first is that you may require specific skills that can be difficult to find in a freelancer. Many are familiar with more generally used programs but may not be familiar with some industry specific software or hardware. If you do need someone with specialized skills you may find that they are difficult to locate especially if you are not located in a large city.
They may also not always be available when you need them. If you are working in an
industry where any delay can be costly, you may not be able to afford to wait for
their services to become available.
Outsourcing IT work
A third option is to outsource your IT needs. This can work well for some companies.
A third-party provider is contracted for your IT needs and can make technicians available when you need them.
If you are choosing an outsource IT provider, be sure that they have the skills you need and
that the contract you sign will give you the level of support you need.
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