The ROI of Outsourcing
By the DynaSis Team
If you are a small or midsized (SMB) business owner, how many times have you wondered, “Would it be less expensive to outsource a job rather than to retain staff in house?” For some functions, such as legal advice or trash collection, outsourcing is an obvious choice. For other roles, ranging from accounts receivable to marketing and beyond, the evaluation is more difficult.
A variety of “resource costing” tools, which SMB owners can use to calculate the hard costs of many functions, are available online (see one example, here). To arrive at a figure, most determine the time it takes an employee to perform relevant tasks and then multiply that number by the blended (pay plus benefits) rate for the job. Some include other factors that might be minimized or eliminated by using a professional (or an automated solution) to perform the work. These include the cost of space, supplies, and training, and even the cost of errors or other failures. Once the total cost is determined, SMB owners can compare it against the quote from a third-party provider to determine if there is any savings.
The problem with this approach is that it cannot account for benefits that are not quantifiable, nor can it project the gain or loss from things that do not happen. In our experience, nowhere are these intangibles more prevalent than with outsourced IT.
As a professional cloud and managed services provider, we sometimes hear from SMB decision makers that having in-house IT staff is less expensive than outsourcing IT services and IT support.
Invariably, the business leader is making his or her calculation based on hard costs, alone. They haven’t considered financial impacts that cannot be quantified or predicted. Consider these two examples:
With IT solutions, there are many such variables that firms should consider when determining the ROI of outsourcing. Following are just a few:
Although highly competent, in-house IT professionals can minimize some of these issues, those workers come at a high price. Furthermore, rarely can SMBs afford to keep their IT staffs fully updated on all certifications and training. As a result, most lack the know-how to deploy the automated monitoring and maintenance solutions proven to substantially reduce downtime compared to traditional IT approaches.
For some business functions, keeping the work in-house may be the most cost-effective approach. For many others, and especially for IT, outsourcing provides strategic business advantages that are beyond the reach of SMBs with in-house staffs. Increasingly, progressive SMB owners are recognizing the value of assigning critical functions to the experts.
For small to midsized business owners and executives who are concerned about managed IT support services and network threat protection, DynaSis is one company that has been at the forefront since 1992. In this ever evolving world of cybercrime, crypto virus and network access protection have become critical to every company’s security. DynaSis also provides 24 x 7 x 365 outsourced IT services, with its own trained staff for helpdesk, real-time monitoring and the DynaSis Business Cloud, for highly secure data storage and backup. You can find out more by calling us at 678.218.1769, or checking out our website at www.DynaSis.com.
By the DynaSis Team
Despite mobility being one of the technology cornerstones for small and midsized businesses (SMBs), many organizations still are not making effective, long-term decisions for their firms. In May, we talked about the ongoing challenges of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to the workplace and the importance of having qualified IT support teams or managed IT services providers administer and manage this solution. However, numerous studies indicate that BYOD is not the only component of mobility where SMB owners and decision makers are having a hard time achieving optimal benefit.
Per data from research firm SMB Group, between 55 and 65 percent of SMB owners (depending on organizational size) agree or strongly agree that mobile solutions and services are “critical” to the business. Yet, the researchers also found that many SMB owners do not have a strategic perspective regarding mobile technologies. Following are a few examples:
From these examples (and others), it’s apparent that SMBs lag behind larger competitors in the mobile arena. The development of the “mobile workplace” was supposed to help level the playing field for smaller companies. Yet, for organizational leaders who don’t have the time, expertise or sense of direction to take advantage of mobile opportunities, the reverse could be true.
What many SMBs need most is a cohesive mobile technology strategy, which is a key, not only to effective mobile adoption but also to mobile risk management. As with so many areas of the business, company leaders are often too wrapped up with daily operational issues to make time for strategic planning.
Having the assistance of an outside resource, such as a managed services provider or IT consulting firm, is often the best way to obtain both resource and expertise for objective planning and decision making. With a strategic plan in place, business leaders can make informed, long-term decisions that support both the organization and its personnel.
DynaSis has been providing managed IT support services to Metro Atlanta’s small to midsized businesses since 1992. We provide Availability – making sure your network is up and running; Mobility – allowing your employees world-wide access to your network; and Security – as an Internet security company, we resolve “issues” before they grow into problems. If you want to learn more, please visit www.DynaSis.com, or call us at 678.218.1769.
By the DynaSis Team
In looking at disaster recovery options, we recently came across an interesting article on “future proofing a colocated data center.” It offers suggestions for how companies can make the right choice when hiring another company to “colocate” their data (replicate it to a second location). It focuses on companies that are moving away from maintaining their own data centers, and it’s an interesting read.
It made us think about the specific questions business leaders should ask an IT service provider regarding off-site data storage, not only for backup but also for disaster recovery. Increasingly, business decision makers are realizing that creating and storing physical backups, whether onsite or offsite, is a tedious task and often not the most practical choice. Especially in the case of a true disaster, like the tornados that swept through the south last week, being able to access business data quickly, if not immediately, rather than going through an arduous restore process with new equipment, can truly be a business lifesaver.
Today, let’s consider three top issues that business leaders should never take for granted when purchasing hosted disaster recovery services—and yet, they often do.
Availability: Does the provider own or lease data center space at a location that is geologically, politically and economically stable? Many business owners know that weather is a consideration, but what about data centers hosted outside the U.S., or even data centers in economically challenged areas within the U.S.? Before you purchase data storage and retrieval services, make sure you are comfortable with the location where your data will be stored.
Resource Continuity: Does the facility have multiple independent power sources, on-site power generation that is reliable and can run for a long time (preferably, a week or more), and redundant Internet connectivity options, such as both Internet service and telecommunications providers? If the data center relies on a local water source for cooling, is the water source stable, year-round? A data center is only as reliable as the resources that service it.
Stability: How about the stability of the company running the data center? Does the firm have a long history of stable operation, or has it recently changed hands? Does the firm that will manage your data stores (whether they own their data center or lease it) have in-house personnel working for you, or do they rely on independent contractors or offshore assistance?
Furthermore, are you comfortable with the escalation process if a disaster occurs, or if you have a question or problem? It does little good to have your data stored in a safe, available facility if you cannot get anyone to help you in the middle of the night. Remember that during a true disaster, the provider’s staff may be the only team that's available to keep your business in operation.
All of these details, and more, should be spelled out in your SLA—Service Level Agreement. Don’t take anyone’s word or assurance that a feature or function is guaranteed. Get it in writing.
Specializing in managed IT services and network security, Atlanta based DynaSis has been supporting small to midsized business for almost a quarter century. Among the services we provide are cloud computing through the DynaSis Business Cloud, 24 x 7 x 365 helpdesk support, and real-time monitoring enabling us to deal with “issues” before they become problems. For more information, please call DynaSis at 678.218.1769 or visit www.DynaSis.com.
By the DynaSis Team
Of the many sources of organizational risk that business leaders envision, printers likely aren’t one of them. Admittedly, one could run out of paper or toner/ink right before printing a major presentation for a customer. But other than that, how much risk can a printer pose? In today’s connected environment, the answer is “a lot.”
If your printers are networked, which means employees can send jobs to them from their desks or devices, then your printer is tied in with your network, and anyone who can access your printer can access your network. If you are thinking, “but my printer isn’t connected to the Internet, so how could someone gain access?” think again.
If your personnel connect to the Internet, and they connect to your printers, then the two are tied together. Furthermore, some printers automatically send and receive information, such as driver updates, across the Internet without anyone’s knowledge. That creates an additional layer of vulnerability.
Another way your printer can expose you to risk is through storage. Do your printers have the ability to store jobs for later printing? If so, they can (and likely do) retain information after the fact. Most printers have a “cache” for storing information, if not a designated hard drive, and unless someone clears it, the information is there for the taking.
Even assuming no one steals data from the printer while it is at your office, what happens when you sell or trade the printer? Even if the drives and caches are wiped, in some cases it is possible to lift data images off drums and other printer components.
Protecting your printing transmissions and data is beyond the scope of this article, but we can refer you to a few good tips. Rather, our objective here is bigger. Your office printer is a concern, but it is just one example of how “risks” are all around business owners today, often in the most unexpected places. Savvy cybercriminals know this, and they are learning how to penetrate companies in odd ways, such as through a printer-driver update link that may not be detected by the “average” firewall.
We are not suggesting that business owners be cognizant of all these risks, themselves. We’re not even suggesting that they should take action to avoid all of them. Rather, business owners must be keenly aware that business risks can be anywhere and everywhere, and they must take prudent, considered action as risk relates to technology. That means:
To do anything less is to admit defeat. In that case, we recommend the business owner start planning an exit strategy, because that’s what he or she will need, next.
DynaSis has been Atlanta’s premier IT support services provider for more than 23 years. As an IT company working with small to midsized businesses (10 to 150+ users), DynaSis has developed a unique 12-layer approach to network threat protection, ransomware prevention and crypto virus threat elimination. The DynaSis Business Cloud functions through a highly secure environment with full real-time data backup. Please contact us at 678.218.1769 or visit our website at www.DynaSis.com.
By Dave Moorman, DynaSis
Earlier this year, talent solutions firm Glassdoor ran an article about how companies can avoid scaring away top talent. In the article, the company pointed out that the job market has improved considerably, and companies are again competing for the most talented workers, especially in high-skill positions.
This particular article focused on avoiding mistakes in the interview process, but there are other steps companies can take to ensure they lure the “best and brightest” candidates in today’s market. When those candidates are promising college graduates or young workers, the answer lies in technology.
According to a report released by networking giant Cisco Systems, young professionals under 30 and college students place a high value on unrestricted technology access―specifically freedom in choosing their mobile devices and using the Internet and social media. Rather than keeping their work and personal lives separate, or focusing on work-life balance (a term that is now nearly three decades old), they yearn for a blended approach.
For example, a separate study found that most young workers prefer to check corporate email in the morning before heading into the office―and many say they want access to email and corporate resources at night and even on vacation. Rather than viewing this access as an intrusion into their private time, they see it as an opportunity to stay caught up and begin their workdays without a log-jam of messages to process.
This generation also wants working flexibility, with 69% and 70% of workers and college students in the Cisco survey, respectively, reporting it is unnecessary to be physically in the office regularly with the exception of important meetings. Access to corporate information is also a top perk―approximately 64% of respondents want access to corporate data on their home computers; 51% want it on their personal mobile devices.
Additionally, this technology-centric group wants to be trusted to use social media in the workplace. They view social media as a cornerstone of communication and collaboration, not a toy. In fact, 56% of those surveyed indicated they would either not accept a job offer from a company that banned access to social media―or they would find a way to circumvent the rule.
More importantly for companies with tight budgets, more than 40% of college students and young employees under the age of 30 said they would accept a lower-paying job that had more flexibility of device choice, social media access and mobility than a higher-paying job with less flexibility.
Admittedly, these statistics are for college students and young workers in general, as it is impossible to predict and interview only future stars. Nevertheless, with these preferences being so broadly applicable, it is highly likely that talented individuals share these views. SMBs who embrace these approaches have the best chance of winning top talent at a lower salary level than those who continue to follow outdated technology models.
DynaSis can perform business and technology assessments and develop recommendations for moving your firm in this direction securely and with minimal disruption. To learn more, I invite you to call me.
DynaSis, Atlanta’s premier provider of IT services and support for small and medium businesses (SMBs), today announced it is has begun accepting resumes for a number of IT positions within its company.
“As a firm whose mission is to help businesses develop, implement and maintain cutting-edge technology platforms and solutions, DynaSis seeks staff that is the best and brightest,” said DynaSis President and Founder Dave Moorman. “We encourage our employees to grow their talents and challenge them to sharpen their creative problem-solving skills.”
Company team members enjoy big-company benefits in a small, entrepreneurial environment, including employer-reimbursed training and certifications, telecommuting options and flexible schedules, and company-paid health and dental benefits.
“DynaSis enjoys a long track record of hiring top talent, who are drawn to our work environment and corporate culture as well as the opportunities we offer for professional growth,” said Moorman. “The IT world is incredibly exciting right now, with new technologies debuting almost daily. DynaSis stays on the leading edge of IT, and that is exactly where we and our employees want to be.”
Individuals interested in exploring DynaSis’ current openings or applying for a position are invited to visit www.dynasis.com/about-us/careers/ or send their professional resumes to careers@DynaSis.com.