2023 has been a great year for IT outsourcing as more and more businesses around the world are discovering the value that it can add to their operations. We’ve seen IT outsourcing trends emerging that reflect the digital world we’re living in, and that are changing the way humans do business. They help us to understand what the future of work and the future of technology look like, and while these trends have dominated 2023 so far, we see them extending and intensifying in 2024 and beyond. But which IT outsourcing trends from 2023 should your business be considering putting in place? Let’s dive right in.
What Is IT Outsourcing?
IT outsourcing is the practice of finding external partners and experts to handle your technology needs rather than managing them in-house. Various IT services can be outsourced, from your infrastructure and development, to your support and phone system, to your strategic technology planning, data analysis, security services and more.
Why Are Businesses Outsourcing Their IT Requirements?
Businesses both big and small are reaping the benefits of IT outsourcing by capitalising on expert knowledge and experience, without needing to manage the high salaries that this expertise would come with if you were trying to hire a human (or a team of humans) to manage growing IT demands internally.
In fact, IT outsourcing is budget-friendly in more ways than one. You are able to get more value for your money in terms of the resources outsourcing companies make available to your business and the expert guidance that they offer, but you also get access to software and infrastructure that you may otherwise not have been able to afford. These often come as part and parcel of a technology partner’s offering, or are offered at a low-cost month-to-month rate. If you were to purchase each of these pieces of software for your business individually, they would make up a big portion of your IT spend, but with IT outsourcing, your partners already pay for the software and make it available for your use, allowing you to benefit from world-class solutions without breaking your bank.
And then there’s the fact that infrastructure that you can provision with an IT outsourcing partner is more flexible, adaptable and scalable at an affordable rate. If you were managing the infrastructure in-house and you experienced an increased demand, you would need to permanently upgrade your solutions. But with outsourcing, you can increase your infrastructure for one month and downgrade your package again when the demand on your business lessens.
Essentially, IT outsourcing has proved to be a more effective way of operating, allowing for closer and more effective management of your IT budget, all while allowing your internal humans to focus their efforts on your operations, without needing to worry about the ins and outs of the IT services that they’re using, and with experts on call for when they need support and assistance.
What Are The Key IT Outsourcing Trends We’re Seeing In 2023?
On top of an increased adoption of IT outsourcing for companies around the globe, there are specific IT outsourcing industry trends that we’ve seen coming to light in 2023, and we expect these trends to transition into 2024 and beyond as well. They are being led by advanced technology developments in fields like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning, as well as an increase in cyber attacks and business needs adapting as companies grow and their horizons expand. IT outsourcing trends that are on the rise include:
• Cybersecurity Becoming A Priority
Businesses in South Africa and abroad are battling to meet the growing demand for cyber security internally. Cybercrime is becoming ever more sophisticated as new technologies develop, and companies are simply struggling to keep up on their own. They need expert advice and advanced cybersecurity solutions, both of which come at premiums that SMEs in particular battle to afford on their own. This is leading them to outsource their IT security needs to companies that are better equipped and have the expertise needed to protect their businesses against a growing range of threats.
As cybersecurity needs are changing, we have also seen evolving attitudes towards technology partners that offer cybersecurity services. Countries around the world are considering legislation which will regulate the companies that are able to offer cybersecurity services, ensuring that when you do outsource your security requirements to an external IT company, you can trust that you are partnering with a certified company with the expertise you need, rather than trusting your business to a fly-by-night provider who claims to have your best interests at heart, but is no better qualified to protect your company than a hardware salesman.
• Changing IT Support Needs
In a world where it’s quick and easy to Google solutions to your everyday issues, the support that businesses need from IT companies are evolving. Troubleshooting printer issues and resetting passwords are the least of your IT support needs, and yet there are still plenty of IT companies out there whose support is focussed on these kinds of areas, which aren’t adding real value to your business. Tools like Chat GPT are providing businesses with the troubleshooting support that they need, changing the role that support plays, with many IT companies struggling to reposition their offerings and find new ways of supporting their customers.
More and more, companies are looking for support that goes beyond quick fixes. They want to find better ways of working. They want to optimise productivity and efficiency. And, quite frankly, they often don’t know how to do it. They are dealing with technologies that they don’t understand, and want solutions that they haven’t even considered yet.
This is where human support is becoming a necessity for businesses. It’s about so much more than just giving an answer to a question. It’s about understanding the heart of your business and finding the root cause of the issues that you experience, and providing solutions in a way that you can understand and see the real value behind. Solid Systems has, of course, been offering this kind of exceptionally human support for almost 20 years, but we’ve seen more and more businesses recognising the value behind the human side of support in 2023.
• Maximising The Value Of Artificial Intelligence
AI has been a big talking point throughout the course of 2023, and businesses have been finding new ways of putting artificially intelligent solutions to work. Whether it’s bolstering their support by empowering their humans to solve their own technology issues quicker and without having to call an external provider, or using tools like Chat GPT to quickly develop scripts that make their lives easier, companies are finding internal uses for AI and capitalising on them. But there are also AI solutions that businesses are finding it more valuable to outsource to experts, who have the skills and expertise to use AI to further enhance business operations. A company may not have the time, for example, to create an AI bot that answers their customers’ frequently asked questions, but they can outsource the development of that bot, improving their customer journey without redirecting their efforts or spending the time on development, testing and iterations.
• Strategic Planning Using Machine Learning
Businesses gather so much data during the course of their operations – data about their products, their market, their customer bases – and all of this data often gets collected without being analysed or put to use to further growth and development. Over the past year, we have seen this changing as machine learning is making it easier to gain actionable insights from the data that businesses collect as a matter of course. This is seeing companies focus on strategic planning that is based on real information in real time. And as part of this strategic planning, businesses are approaching IT consultants and advisors to ensure that they are putting the right technologies to use for their businesses, and focusing in the areas that will boost their growth, help them plan for the future, and see their budget being allocated to the areas where it will have the biggest impact.
• Increased Adoption Of Advanced Cloud Services
The rise of cloud services is not 2023 specific – we have seen businesses moving their data and infrastructure to the cloud for years on end. But over the past year, more businesses have been adopting remote and hybrid working models, and this has seen the adoption of advanced cloud services increasing. The cloud is not just being used as a solution of backup and recovery, but is meeting more complex business needs, providing their humans with access to advanced platforms that help them to work more effectively, no matter where they may find themselves in the world, and no matter what devices they may be using. Cloud infrastructure has also seen a boost over the past year, with companies using reliable, flexible cloud environments to develop their offerings and process complex tasks without it impacting their day-to-day operations.
Where Does Solid Systems Fit In?
When you are considering providers and technology partners for your IT outsourcing needs, or are wanting to put IT outsourcing trends to use for your business, Solid Systems should be one of the first names that come to mind. Not only have we spent the past two decades developing our offering to focus in on strategic technology planning and securing businesses against a wide range digital threats, but our purpose in the world is to elevate human connection to make a difference in people’s lives. We want to see the technologies that businesses use having a meaningful impact, not just on their bottom lines, but on their company cultures and the ways that their humans interact with each other and with their businesses, getting more done in less time and in smarter ways.
If you are looking for expert advice, guidance, or a Managed IT Services provider to outsource your IT needs to, then schedule a free consultation with our Sales team, and see the real difference that Solid Systems can make for your business.