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.