By Steve Weinstein
Mar. 30, 2012
B. Robinson makes and licenses eyewear out of its offices in New York’s midtown Manhattan office.
Though it has more than 50 employees, it uses the Lloyd Group, a New York-based information technology firm, for tech support, rather than an on-staff IT professional.
“We could have brought in a generalist,” says co-president Cliff Robinson. “Instead, we hired a firm that has a number of experts for essentially the same price and got a whole team that works 24/7.”
As technology needs keep increasing, even the most low-tech businesses may find themselves in need of IT advice. And, like B. Robinson, more and more small firms are contracting with outside companies to help them with everything from rebooting a desktop to integrating software applications.
Is outsourcing your IT upkeep right for your company—and if so, how can you find the right consultant? Here are some key questions to consider.
“A person on staff can probably take care of the server and provide desktop support,” notes Jim Avazpour, a 20-year veteran of IT outsourcing now heading Infrastructure Services at New York-based OS33. “But can that one person provide applications, say, integrated into a cloud? Inevitably, you’re going to have problems.”
If your company does need a team approach, make sure you choose a consulting firm with the bench strength to handle your specific needs. Some firms provide a level of service similar to a corporate IT group.
For instance, the 60 employees of Lloyd Group are divided into teams that take responsibility for day-to-day technology operations, do preventative maintenance on equipment, and offer advice on purchases—looking ahead to the needs they may have in the next year or two.
“We sit in on all strategic meetings, track all tech and mobile devices, and manage software,” says CEO Adam Eiseman.
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