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Outsourced IT: Addition by Subtraction

Outsourced IT is when you pay another company to handle some aspect of your IT for you. IT operations that you can outsource include hosting, IT management, IT security, disaster recovery, and technical support. (Outsourced IT might be an especially good idea for you if you're not sure what these things are and you're in charge of your company's IT.)

Benefits of outsourcing your IT include lower costs, improved performance, security, and reliability, and not having to deal with the hassles, headaches, and hard work of IT operations.

Outsourcing, of course, is when you pay another company to take care of some aspect of your business, such as customer services. Generally, outsourcing is a long term arrangement, and usually involves some aspect of your business that you are capable of handling internally but that is simply more efficient or cost-effective to outsource.

Many people don’t associate outsourcing with IT, except maybe technical support, perhaps because they view IT as such an integral part of their business that they don’t think they can outsource it, or perhaps because they view IT support as something that’s needed only occasionally, not on a consistent, around-the-clock basis. While such thinking may have had made sense 20 or so years ago, these days there are technologies that allow outsourced IT service providers to monitor, manage, and host your IT assets as effectively as in-house, onsite IT employees, and that have lowered the costs of outsourced IT services so much that even businesses with relatively small or simple IT systems can afford them.

The main outsourced IT service that Iron Orbit offers is hosted IT solutions. By signing up for our hosted servers, hosted applications, or hosted desktops, businesses essentially outsource the hosting and maintenance of these IT assets. With hosted servers, for example, Iron Orbit buys, sets up, and maintains physical servers for you for a monthly fee that you access via the internet, and as a result you don’t have to buy, set up, and maintain the servers yourself. Likewise, with hosted applications, Iron Orbit sets up and maintains the application server and the server-based application itself for a monthly fee, and as a result you don’t have to set up or maintain the server or the application.

Hosted desktops, meanwhile, are a somewhat different form of outsourcing, since many companies that sign up for hosted desktops don’t host their own virtual desktops—instead, they usually just have a bunch of individual desktop PCs. Similarly, there are some companies that install their applications onto users’ devices, instead of hosting them in a centralized way on servers. Even though you’re not getting rid of any onsite IT hardware in these scenarios (as you do when you switch from onsite to hosted servers), though, you’re still outsourcing the maintenance of these IT assets to Iron Orbit by switching from onsite, locally-installed desktop operating systems and applications to hosted desktops and applications.

Furthermore, when you outsource the hosting of your IT assets to Iron Orbit by signing up for our hosted solutions, you also outsource the management and support of these IT assets. That’s because all Iron Orbit solutions come with managed IT services including security and performance monitoring, IT security, patch management, automated data backups, and 24x7x365 technical support (which includes support for your onsite IT hardware and software, not just your Iron Orbit hosted solutions). As a result, if you switch all of your IT assets from onsite to Iron Orbit hosted solutions (i.e., if you have 50 desktop PCs and a few application servers and then migrate to 50 Iron Orbit hosted desktops), you can potentially outsource all of your IT operations to Iron Orbit.

The main benefit of outsourced IT are:

Lower costs. With Iron Orbit solutions, for example, you don’t have to buy any servers or hire any additional IT employees, as you would with in-house IT; and Iron Orbit can host, manage, and support your IT assets more cost-efficiently than an in-house IT department because of our economies of scale, our singular focus on IT hosting and support, and because we have thousands of clients, so each client only has to pay a very small percentage of our operating costs.

Better performance, security, and reliability. Outsourced IT services providers may be able to host, manage, or support your IT assets better than an in-house IT department—resulting in faster and more secure and reliable IT assets—since their scale allows them to afford the most effective technologies and personnel, and all of their experience, skill, and focus are concentrated on hosting, managing, and supporting IT assets (in-house IT personnel may have a number of other priorities and responsibilities, in comparison).

Less hassles. Not having to deal with certain aspects of IT is enough of a benefit in itself for business owners or managers that have limited IT knowledge and interest, or IT employees that would prefer to focus on more valuable projects and tasks than basic IT management and support.

Also, it should be noted that all Iron Orbit engineers and technicians work and live in the United States, are native speakers of English, and have extensive training and experience, since many people associate IT outsourcing with offshore firms and lower quality service and support.