Lowering the Cost of IT

Ian Ryder, Managing Director of IT outsourcing company appiChar says that as we head further into 2008, it’s becoming clear that the recent years of easy money are coming to a close and that belt-tightening will be a growing theme over the next few years.

“This is likely to have an impact on everyone from the smallest organisation up to government itself. Indeed, for a lot of government-funded organisations this is where the biggest worry may come from – a government that has borrowed heavily during the boom years is likely to have to cut back just as the economic cycle turns down and tax revenues decline.

If this situation does come to pass, organisations will need to look for effective ways to save money without affecting the quality of service. IT outsourcing offers many organisations one of the simplest and productive ways to achieve this.

As an example, an organisation with 100 staff may have two full time IT staff costing over £60,000 per year plus other overheads such as management time, office space and possible recruitment fees. Outsourced help means that you often get access to a team of highly experienced professionals at a fraction of the cost of employing individuals and it also means that you always have back up to cover for sickness and holidays.

To outsource a standard Microsoft-based system will cost a lot less per year and you get an accountable supplier that doesn’t go on holiday, doesn’t have sick days and doesn’t say ‘we’re busy, come back next week’!

On top of this, a good partner is able to retain good staff as they offer a clear career path which most small to medium organisations can not always offer. Often the alternative is to recruit someone really experienced, but you then run the risk that they will leave after 12 months or recruit someone who means well but IT probably wasn’t the career they had in mind…they’re guaranteed to be there for 10 years!

Of course, as with recruitment, the most important thing with outsourcing is to get the right people. It’s no good to outsource your crown jewels to someone that may or may not deliver. Finding a partner that can clearly demonstrate that they have relevant experience, skills and track record is crucial.

As a personal anecdote, several years ago I was the IT manager for a well known not for profit organisation with about 50 staff. I had one full time support person and also a volunteer. I now wonder what we did all day…attend a lot of IIP meetings I seem to recall.

Now as a provider of outsourced IT services we can deliver full support and management services to similar sized organisations with about 3 days per month – somehow it took 45 days plus with an internal team!

In this day and age for many small to medium organisations trying to manage an internal IT department makes very little financial sense and may well not be resulting in the best level of service available to the organisation.”

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