Ultimate Guide to Choose IT Services For Small Business

09.22,2022

Start-up, small businesses, and solopreneurs are facing a tremendous amount of pressure not only from the competitive market but also from limited in-house talent resources. Technology solutions for businesses are constantly updated every year, and small business owners can gain an advantage if suitable IT solutions are applied.

Here is all you need to know when considering IT Services for small businesses.

Why A Small Business Needs IT Consulting Services?

Focus on business goals

“Do something you’re very passionate about, and don’t try to chase what is kind of the hot passion of the day”

– Jeff Bezos

Each company has its own way of doing their business that creates value for customers. That is why more effort should be put into meeting organizational goals – not tackling technology problems. In small businesses, these technological problems can slow down the whole process and hamper creativity. 

The role of the IT department in many companies is to maintain the flow of information throughout the organization and ensure data security. The contribution of IT to the advancement of small business management systems is to accommodate the rapid change in the industry. 

Lower effort & higher impact

When it comes to applying a technology solution, it is important to consider building an in-house solution or simply buying a market-ready solution. Each option has its pros and cons; the decision-making process shall include a strategic assessment of technical expertise, requirements, cost, resources, and data security. 

IT companies spent years of trial and error optimizing their professions and procedures to specify the exact solution for a problem. However, the pre-built product they have created might not be the best option for small businesses. Within a small company, the product features could be more than its need, and the cost would exceed the budget. 

Why relying on an IT service provider is the best of both worlds?

  • Control the product architect
  • Bespoke solutions that best fit the needs
  • Available engineering resources
  • Faster time to market
  • QA & Testing handled by experts

Build or Buy?

  • Buy consulting service: Consultancy tends to deliver a bigger picture of the industry and help businesses sort out the best solutions. While solution implementation is not implemented directly by the consultant, this can cause problems in the long run.
  • Buy Market-ready Solutions: These solutions are usually built for as many users as possible. Thus, it can bring great impact if businesses have a clear development strategy.
  • Build Solutions from Scratch: Businesses with a large in-house team and resources are opt-in for this solution. It brings the benefit of flexibility, customization, and controllability.
  • Outsource Building Work: All part of the work is handled by the expert with an industry-standardized framework.
Effort And Impact Of It Outsourcing
Effort And Impact Of It Outsourcing

How Much Do IT Outsource Services for Small Business Cost?

The best practice to save money for small businesses is outsourcing their IT needs. In general, IT service providers will offer their services in a per-user per-month format. However, the cost of outsourcing IT services for small business will vary depending on the business model and the number of active users. 

So, what does outsourcing mean and how does it work?

Offshore Development Center (ODC) vs Outsourcing, which is better?

Here are the main factors that determine the price for IT services that you may consider:

Headcount

Break down your business into directories to determine which one needs the most IT support. The cost may vary depending on the number of users, amount of data, and servers needed.

Existing it infrastructure

If your business already has an in-house IT team, the integration with outsourcing personnel would significantly cut down the consulting cost and make the outsourcing process deliver faster results. Otherwise, knowing your business problems is essential when working with an IT consultant.

Scalability

Project-based outsourcing could be a suitable solution for ad-hoc problems – especially for small businesses on a tight budget. 

Meanwhile, managed IT services are more costly, but they can help businesses with digital transformation successfully. If you want to scale your business quickly, managed services will be a more suitable solution.

Expertise

Nowadays, technology changes fast – employees need to keep up with the latest technology. IT professionals are also required to keep their skills sharp with certifications like CMMi, AWS, CISM, CCSP CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, etc. These certifications are earned with a lot of effort by individuals from IT service providers; it may raise the cost significantly but also ensure the profession and service deployment. 

How to Choose the Best IT Support Services For Small Businesses?

Scaling up a business put stress on every aspect of its operation. Lack of strategy anticipation may lead to risks of security, data losses or hacker, etc. With IT consulting for small businesses, you can ensure the following factors: 

Experience in the industry

As with any service, you will need to look for experience. A professional IT support service for small business should be capable of identifying core problem & solve it with suitable technology. 

By asking providers questions such as: “Why did you use this technology to solve the problems?”, “How did it help your customer save time and cost?”, “What is the best technology practice in this industry?” you can grasp the most important factors for your decision. 

On the other hand, an IT consulting for small businesses would observe your operation as a whole and how their available solutions can benefit the business in the long run.

Responsiveness

In the services industry, speed and responsiveness make a lot of value, contributing to customer experience. IT services are the same, no matter how good the product or service is, issues with software or hardware may happen unpredictably. That’s how it works when integrating technology into your business operation. Managed IT services for small business provide wide range of certified solutions. Before signing in the contract, make sure you confirm:

  • Does IT service support during the downtime?
  • Response time for onsite support. (less than 24hr is recommended)
  • Minimum response time for emergency cases. (less than 12hr is recommended)

Credentials

Certifications prove the professional and deployment capabilities of an IT service provider. IT consultants’ expertise is to understand the foundation of your business. They answer why a specific technology is the most suitable for your business. To execute a solution, certified professionals with specific skill sets are required to deliver the expected outcome.

For software development, look for

  • Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI);
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD);
  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM).

For IT help desk and networking, look for

  • Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP)
  • CompTIA Network+
  • Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
  • VMWare Certified Technical Associate – Network Virtualization (VCTA-NV)
It Certification
Technology Certification

Re-consulting capability

IT consulting service providers for small business often operate at reactive levels to save cost. That means when a piece of software or hardware break, they will try to fix it ASAP. 

When small business scale up, they may shift to proactive service when the IT service provider is capable of anticipating issues and getting a solution ready. Small businesses can start with reactive IT service, then get prepared for proactive managed IT service in the future. Re-consulting will enable professionals to tailor solutions that best suit your business needs.

Reactive Vs Proactive

Popular Outsourced IT Services for Small Businesses

Emerging technology enables small businesses to grow in a super-competitive market. There is a wide range of solutions available designed to solve business problems quickly and economically.

1. Software Development 

In the Post-COVID-19 era, large enterprises and small businesses are shifting to hybrid working that demands software being created to fit the new working culture.

“Perhaps the most obvious impact of COVID-19 on the labor force is the dramatic increase in employees working remotely.”

Lund, & Madgavkar. (n.d.). The future of work after COVID-19. mckinsey.com.

Software companies are switching to the Software as a service (SaaS) model to adapt to the market demand quickly. Small businesses can benefit from software not only tailored to their needs but also maintained and updated constantly. As the tools and software are fully managed and refined by IT service providers, small businesses can lower their costs and put more effort into their business goals.

Get custom software development services for your Business & Statups.

2. Mobile App Development

In the digital age, the number of mobile users worldwide is increasing faster than ever. It is expected that in 2025, the number of mobile users will reach 7.49 billion (S. O’Dea, 2021)

For this reason, every small business is required to build their apps faster so their products & service can reach their target customers in the world of mobile users. 

It’s more challenging for an app to find its intended audience in a marketplace where 20,000 mobile apps are added to the app store on a monthly basis.

Develop your mobile applications now using comprehensive mobile app development services.
Mobile User

3. Business Website

Having a well-established website is crucial for any business as it enables businesses to accomplish multiple digital marketing strategies. To stand out from the competition, having an attractive website on the front end is not enough. For small businesses, a practical website should build a strong online presence and support a wide range of optimization methods in the background to keep improving sales & advertising activities. 

Here are five questions to consult a professional before start building your website.

  • How can we optimize the website on back-end SEO?
  • Which user experience (UX) framework is applied?
  • How to streamline mobile and desktop UX?
  • Method to audit and analyze the website without using a third-party tool?

4. Managed IT Services

In layman’s terms, managed IT service is outsourcing every IT task to a third-party contractor and delivering to a business. Managed IT services for small businesses is a cost-effective solution instead of in-house IT infrastructure management and operation.

Get comprehensive managed IT services for your entire IT ecosystem, including infrastructure, cybersecurity and software.
Managed It Service

5. Data Analytics

The practice of data analytics in business is supporting decision-making process by carrying out insights from a data pool. The amount of data generated is growing exponentially. That’s how we are now familiar with the term “big data”. 

For a small business, setting up an environment to collect, store and analyze data from scratch is needed to make data-driven decisions and risk management.

6. Digital Transformation Consulting

Generally, a completed digital transformation framework includes:

  • Mindset: Business owners shall be capable of outlooking their business to firmly grasp the idea of how technology can leverage the business operation as a whole.
  • Toolset: A platform of software & hardware that enables everyone in the business to execute the defined mindset.
  • Skillset: The level of digital maturity of a business.

There are two ways of implementing digital transformation for a business: 

  • Bottom-up: From skillset to mindset
  • Top-down: From mindset to skillset

7. Cloud Solution

Modern businesses are constantly searching for new ways to cut costs and optimize their business operations. The cloud-based solution is the next generation of delivering services over the internet. 

Generally, cloud services fall into two categories: infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and software as a service (SaaS). From a small business viewpoint, cloud computing can greatly reduce the burden of storing and managing data. As a result:

  • Reduced IT costs
  • Unlimited scalability
  • Flexibility in terms of customization
  • Improved Collaboration

Although there are many advantages, the operation requires a team of experts who are knowledgeable in cloud computing and consulting ability to optimize costs.

8. Blockchain Solutions

Blockchain has the potential to help businesses build new solutions for difficult problems. Cryptocurrency is just exploiting 1% of blockchain’s capability. Beside cryptocurrency, blockchain technology has also been applied in several industries:

  • Financial: Improve liquidity, transparency and free up capital.
  • Health Care: Remove third-party verification for health information exchanges by directly linking patient records to clinical and financial stakeholders. Enable fast and secure access to personal medical records across health care system.
  • Government: Increase the transparency and traceability of public spending. Track asset registration. Reduce fraud and operational costs.
  • Retail and Manufacturing: Improve supply chain management, cyber security and deploy smart contract platform.

Beside the above-mentioned solutions, blockchain services are predicted to help reduce costs for all businesses size and scales.

10 Fastest Growing Industries in Technology

1. Retails & eCommerce

In this industry, we can immediately see the benefits of technology application. Every small business retailer can perform sales and marketing activities through digital channels without a physical store. Any brand can be born online and build its presence on the backs of social media platforms.

Retailers are focusing on creating better customer experience thanks to the implementation of augmented reality (AR) in their website. Plus, with cloud computing, data analytics, and AI, businesses can personalize the customer experience by intelligently predicting their behavior patterns and delivering recommendations in real-time.

2. Finance (BFSI)

BFSI or Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance industry is getting technological advancement thanks to digitalization in every part of the world. Post-pandemic put BFSI in a crisis of financial loss that requires a revolutionization in the industry. Through the application of technologies like AI and Blockchain in BFSI, the core operational strategy is enhanced in terms of a customer-driven approach and data-driven decision-making.

Trends In BFSI (2)
Trends In BFSI

3. Media & entertainment

Media & entertainment industry is constantly evolving not only on the surface but also in how content is created & distributed. Here are technologies that promote the next generation of media & entertainment industry:

  • NFTs: Non-fungible tokens – blockchain-based certificates used to verify the ownership of digital assets and “unique” digital content. Despite its controversy, the industry has seen the sale of digital artwork skyrocket. NFTs is also integrated into video game such as Titan Hunter, Axie Infinity, etc., which enables players to own, earn and even sell in-game assets. 
  • Over-the-top (OTT) media services: Unlike such traditional social media platforms as Youtube, where consumers browse free content with a personalized ads experience, the OTT platform enables ads-free, high-quality content with synchronized subscription and distribution via multiple hardware platforms.

4. Manufacturing

Throughout history, manufacturing industry has evolved by constantly researching and applying new technologies. Artificial intelligence, the internet of things, and 3-D printing, among other advanced technologies, are shaping the future of manufacturing by lowering production costs, increasing operational speed, and reducing errors.

5. Logistics

Logistics industry is all about the speed of information transmission, product delivery, and resource allocation. Multiple information technology solutions have been applied in this field to solve complex methodological problems. Some applications focus on shortening the time of information exchange & processing, while others enhance tracking and traceability.

  • Bar Code System
  • Decision Support System (DSS)
  • Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
  • Radio frequency identification (RFID)
  • Satellite tracking

6. Automotive

In the recent decade, the world witnessed new trends in electric vehicles (EVs). The number of EVs on the road tripled from 2019 to 2021 (IEA, 2022). This trend drives the automotive industry to apply information technology to develop and deliver smarter and safer vehicles. Technology innovations also push the automotive industry one step closer to the ultimate goal of reducing the number of vehicles on the road and matching the traffic demand simultaneously.

Global Electric Car Stocks

7. Public sector

The world is shifting to the digital economy. Technology is a tool that helps the government deliver better services to citizens. The major focal point of information technology for the public sector is citizenship data management. The foreseeable future of a well-built citizenship data structure is the reduction of administrative costs, better traffic management, crime statistics, and improved transparency of government functions. In the distant future, technological innovation might blur the boundaries between public and private.

8. Healthcare

Modern healthcare industry benefits from a wide range of technological innovations that enables nurse & doctor to do their job more efficiently. The pandemic motivates technological advancement and its adoption into the healthcare operations system. 

Open-source AI tools are being developed to empower researchers and doctors to enhance diagnosis & drug development speed and accuracy dramatically. Telehealth has made significant progress since the pandemic began in 2020. Care providers now regularly hold teleconference sessions with patients over the Internet to discuss concerns and offer advice.

9. Education

In the past few years, technological innovation in education has vastly changed the way people learn and share knowledge. Institutions and educators are forcing themselves to deliver knowledge to students in different ways. E-learning and online communities platform help students perform real-time peer-to-peer feedback and interactions. Big data and AI present a personalized education curriculum instead of “one size fits all” approach.

10. FnB service

By now, the FnB industry has been revolutionized from farm to fork. With farming data and food origin information stored on the cloud, consumers know more about the foods they eat. Digital menus allow customers to browse online before visiting a restaurant. When a pandemic strikes, super-app are ready to deliver the ‘from app to eat’ experience, which delivery services now deliver fresh-cooked food from restaurants to customers in minutes.

A Trustworthy Vendor Supporting IT Services For Small Businesses

Over the past 10+ years, Rikkeisoft offer reliable IT consulting service for small businesses’ success across APAC. Wherever you are in your digital journey, we always care about your success and your business goals.

Interested in learning which technology solutions could have the greatest impact on your business?  Explore our outsource IT services for your small business’s acceleration. Meet our team to book a consultation.

Conclusion

IT support and maintenance can be costly. IT services for small businesses help reduce costs without sacrificing service or reliability. Operating an internal IT department is typically not an affordable option for small businesses. Partnering with a dedicated business IT service provider will cost money, but the value they provide will vastly exceed it.

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