In the last 20 years, contracting with experts has become an important business tactic. Companies large and small are siphoning tasks outside first so that they can focus their attention on where they excel. Specialized tasks within functions such as HR, accounting, legal, market research, R&D, IT support and cybersecurity, are often being taken care of outside of the organization.
There are many reasons why this is happening across different functions, but for IT and cybersecurity it’s a combination of four factors:
- Technology advancement. Technology is changing quickly, and as it changes, it requires us to adapt quickly. Most technology products are released in beta, so they’re updated constantly, adding new features, functionalities, nuances, and potential problems as they interact with other technologies, because they don’t work as seamlessly as we’d like.
- Increased specialization. The amount of specialization today is staggering, and it isn’t just with people: it’s also with technology. Walk into a hospital and count the number of different machines used to diagnose or treat you in distinct ways. Or, look at the types of software used for CRM in your business. There are more people and more things that are specific to a job or task than ever before.
- Regulation changes. Regulations change every year, made by legislators and agencies who don’t always understand the overall impact on businesses or consumers. Oftentimes these regulations become an afterthought to the day-to-day operations, but they can have a lasting effect on your business if you’re audited or encounter issues that bring them to light, such as hackers exposing bad security practices.
- Information overload. 20 years ago it was difficult to find the info you needed to solve a problem. Today, if you have a question you can simply ask Google and you’ll find hundreds of “experts” that can tell you their opinion or go to YouTube and find dozens of videos to walk through solving that problem. However, with so many “experts,” it’s difficult to know who is dealing in facts and who is dishing out opinions..
Alone, any of these elements can be dealt with more easily, but together it can be overwhelming. For many companies, especially small businesses, having someone on staff that has expertise with a special machine or software that can also stay current on regulations and know what technology to introduce or phase out can be difficult. Contracting with a firm that has that expertise and uses it on a daily basis rather than quarterly or yearly is much more economical.
IT experts are just that – they keep up on what is happening specific to technology as well as across industries that they serve. They also have expertise regarding what other companies are doing and how it’s implemented. With this knowledge, they can make recommendations and help you get to a final result quicker than if you had done it yourself. The biggest savings for any business are time and stress: time to learn and understand all you need to know to do it right (at the expense of spending time on your business) and the stress from wondering if what you’ve done will be right at the end of the day.
Wrestling with the decision of getting an expert to look at your technology, assess your cybersecurity, or review your compliance is one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. But the benefits of hiring a professional far outweighs taking it on yourself and dealing with the potential repercussions if it isn’t done right. You’ll sleep more soundly with an expert on your side.