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SMBs and the Outsourcing Decision

Ann All

When CIO Insight asked companies about their IT spending earlier this year, SMBs showed far less interest in outsourcing than their larger competitors, planning to spend less on consulting/outsourcing/training services and managed services than the big guys.

 

While it's obviously a bad idea to adopt a business strategy just because the bigger guys are doing it, outsourcing can obviously help companies save money, as I illustrated by citing an Inc.com article that details the savings SMBs can expect to gain through outsourcing software applications, a phone system and e-mail. In the article's most radical example, the CEO of an 80-person Massachusetts company says he figures he saves $25,000 to $35,000 a year by outsourcing his entire IT operations.

 

While stories like this may be enough to interest SMBs in outsourcing, they may still be too intimidated to give it a try. As a Datamonitor analyst noted last summer, many SMBs just aren't familiar with all of the outsourcing options.

 

This unfamiliarity is why I like to pass along outsourcing advice geared toward SMBs whenever I can. Earlier this year, for instance, I linked to an HR World article titled 100 Small Businesses Tips and Tricks for Effectively Outsourcing to India.

 

A colleague just forwarded me a Processor article that contains some great basic suggestions for SMBs considering outsourcing. For instance, it cautions SMBs performing a cost/benefit analysis to look beyond straight staffing costs to include items like potential equipment costs, software application upgrades and consulting expertise. I especially like the suggestion to look for suppliers that can help SMBs stay on top of tech trends that may not relate directly to the contracted services.


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