5 Signs You Need Manufacturing IT Support

5 Signs You Need Manufacturing IT Support

Manufacturing is a vital part of the economy, employing over 12 million workers in the United States alone. It’s involved from top to bottom with nearly every market segment and provides an output that benefits most other industries and businesses. Modern manufacturing uses technology in many ways. That includes automation, software integration, cloud computing, cybersecurity, and communication services.

As a result of technology needs, IT support has also become a vital component of the manufacturing process. Since every company is different, the production process can vary greatly. 57.9% of all private-sector research and development coming from manufacturers, making IT expertise and customized solutions a primary need. Finding the right time to hire an IT specialist isn’t always obvious, but there are signs that will help you know when you need manufacturing IT support.

Outdated IT Infrastructure

With many advances in manufacturing technology, it has become easy to lag behind the rest of the industry. If the current IT infrastructure is working fine and has little room for improvement, there’s nothing wrong with using what isn’t broken. However, more complex and patchworked IT systems may become challenging to use, manage, and fix when issues crop up.

Some businesses will continue to tolerate inefficient workflow in exchange for short-term savings. That can impact manufacturing output and lead to lost revenue. Due to those reasons, 47% of IT budget increases are driven by IT infrastructure upgrades. Doing a complete infrastructure overhaul can seem daunting and expensive upfront but will usually pay for itself long-term through higher productivity.

Slow Computer Systems

When computers are running slowly, it can drag down everybody throughout the manufacturing process. Not only is it frustrating for employees, but it is usually costing the company money in lost revenue. Finding the cause isn’t always easy and requires help from an IT technician to troubleshoot.

Many people will assume the computer itself is the source of the issue. If it’s impacting everyone in the facility, the problem may be something else. It could be poorly integrated software, a network issue, or something in the background using up all the bandwidth. Computer systems less than a few years old are less likely to be the cause and are expensive to replace.

Frequent Bugs and Errors

Even if computer systems are seemingly performing well, bugs and errors can disrupt manufacturing. Employees may come up with creative workarounds, but those only work as stopgaps. Not only does that not fix the issue, but they’re also often wasting time and thought to find ways around it.

Small but frequent issues can also weigh down employees. 54% of workers say they don’t perform as well as they should with distractions. 49% of workers also report being happier when distractions are reduced. Not only do bugs and errors reduce productivity, but it also lowers staff morale. While it can seem appealing to save a little money by tolerating those issues, that may cost the business in the long run.

Cybersecurity Concerns

A secure work environment is important to any manufacturing business. That is especially true when working with any proprietary components or schematics. Cutting corners can seem like a short-term solution to save time and reach tight deadlines. However, there can be severe consequences when mishandling software systems and data storage.

A data breach can damage an organization’s reputation, lose trade secrets to a competitor, and leave them vulnerable to legal issues if IT compliance standards are not met. Having an IT assessment done is the quickest way to get a professional opinion on a company’s cybersecurity status. If there’s a lack of compliance or other vulnerabilities, an IT specialist can help develop a solution. Many managed service providers also offer threat monitoring services.

Inflated Budget

While there are many reasons a manufacturer might need IT support, staying profitable is a priority at the end of the day. If a business isn’t making money, then it’s not sustainable. Budget cuts can seem like an easy answer, but that isn’t always the best approach. Usually, it’s a utilization issue where money is wasted on areas providing too low of a return.

Most businesses don’t need an entire in-house IT staff to manage their IT services. Not only is it costly to maintain, but a large portion of their paid time is spent waiting for people to need something. Issues don’t come on a steady basis. Some days they come all at once, while other times, there may be an extended lull where everything operates smoothly.

That is where outsourced IT support comes in. Managed service providers like ITonDemand can provide expert IT assistance on-demand. That means instead of paying a designated IT staff full-time, you’re paying less while still receiving help on those days when it’s needed. When using a local IT company, you’ll have access to remote support for routine problems and on-site assistance for larger issues.

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Is IT Project Outsourcing Worth Using?

Is IT Project Outsourcing Worth Using?

Staffing is vital to the function of any IT project. However, investing in new employees can require more time and costs than businesses can invest. With an increasing need for short-term and experienced IT staff, outsourcing has become a fast-growing market forecasted to reach $425.19 billion by 2026. It fills the gap created by temporary staffing needs that comes with many IT projects.

While outsourcing can be beneficial in many situations, it has gained the most traction with large companies, where 40.7% – 61.1% plan to increase their outsourcing or use it for the first time. Factoring in small businesses, it’s only averaging 24.5%, making some parts of the industry a step behind the rest. Part of the problem isn’t the lack of need but rather less access to resources to make informed decisions and changes in strategy. Not only do large-scale organizations benefit from IT project outsourcing, but businesses of any size can gain a lot from it too.

What Is IT Project Outsourcing?

IT project outsourcing involves hiring a third-party IT company to handle a technology-related project. A set size, period, and end goal are often negotiated as part of the process. The type of project outsourcing support can cover nearly every scale, software, hardware, and industry that may have IT needs. Project services can include IT infrastructure overhauls, hardware upgrades, cloud storage integration, software upgrades, tech stack transitions, and more.

How Can Outsourcing Help a Business?

As of 2021, an average of 13.6% of IT budgets goes toward outsourcing, making it a commonly used service for augmenting IT needs. Since managed service providers handle their staffing internally, outsourcing IT projects is a quick way to access a larger pool of IT staff. They’re fully trained and experienced with a wide array of technology across numerous industries. As a result, businesses can bypass the employee hiring process, along with the time, costs, and risks associated with it.

There are a variety of other benefits to IT project outsourcing too. Around 24% of small businesses use IT outsourcing to increase efficiency. Better resource utilization leads to lower costs, making efficiency a priority for budget-constrained companies. Outsourcing also allows for scaling services, so if the scope of the project changes or the deadline needs to be pushed forward, extra staffing can be assigned to speed up the pace without a disruption in support. If an emergency arises, even during off-hours or weekends, most IT outsourcing companies have a 24/7 line where they can help.

What Parts of an IT Project Can Be Outsourced?

By outsourcing IT projects, third-party companies can handle nearly every aspect from the planning stage until completion. External specialists can fill in to support a business within the project roles they need, whether it’s a specific element or handling the entire project. Some of the services outsourcing can provide are:

IT assessments: Specialists can analyze the current IT infrastructure and generate an evaluation that includes the status, issues, feedback, and suggestions.

Plan development: An outsourced team can help create the IT project plan, coordinating directly with a business to ensure it aligns with their needs and objectives.

IT Consulting: Consultants can provide guidance, input, and a knowledgeable perspective at any project stage.

Troubleshooting: They can handle bug testing and problem-solving of unexpected problems for new and in-progress projects.

Team management: An outsourced manager can lead internal and external IT staff to increase a project’s efficiency and success rate.

Software changes: Outsourcing can handle any software change, whether it’s integrating new software or redesigning a company’s tech stack.

Hardware upgrades: Every part of a hardware upgrade can be done, including analyzing specifications, purchasing strategies, distribution, and installation of new hardware.

Staff augmentation: Some companies may already have a well-built IT team but still need extra support. Outsourced IT staff can augment established teams by integrating into the workflow.

Complete IT project services: Many IT outsourcing companies can handle projects entirely, allowing them to take it from the discovery and developmental phase to completion.

When Should You Outsource an IT Project?

A business should first establish the objectives and budget of its project. 70% of companies listed cost savings as the primary reason for outsourcing, making cost analysis a valuable early step. If a project requires extra staffing, specialized experience, new technology, or a tight deadline, outsourcing IT projects becomes a useful strategy to increase the success rate. Some factors cannot always be planned for, such as an unexpected setback, a change in scale, unforeseen costs, or a due date adjustment.

When that happens, it leaves few options, such as completing the project slower with the current staff, hiring new in-house employees, or using an external IT team on short-notice. The best approach to take depends on the circumstances. Hiring more in-house staff can be expensive and take extra time to train, which is usually only done when the need is long-term and not for a specific project. Working at a slower rate with on-hand staff is sometimes doable for low-priority projects. With more urgent tasks, however, outsourced IT solutions work better since you’ll have access to staff that’s already trained and experienced.

Closing

IT demands are higher than ever, with a talent shortage impacting the adoption of 64% of emerging technologies. That makes it essential to pick a partner that can be trusted. Not only is it beneficial for current projects, but establishing an IT partner is also helpful for long-term needs. Organizations like ITonDemand work closely with companies across many industries, providing guidance and expertise at every step. Is IT project outsourcing worth using then? If you don’t have enough staff on hand, want to increase efficiency, or cut down on your project costs, then it’s well worth it.

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Is IT Help Desk Outsourcing Worth It?

Is IT Help Desk Outsourcing Worth It?

Technology is a great tool, allowing people to work, collaborate, communicate, and adapt to day-to-day challenges. However, as device and software capabilities have continued to improve, it’s created more complex problems that people aren’t always equipped to handle. As a result, employees spend an average of 8 hours every week searching for knowledge to fix problems.

Roughly 39% of the time is put towards role-specific tasks. The rest is spent searching and gathering information, communicating, collaborating, and reading and responding to emails. This creates a large chunk of time that is lower efficiency and further burdened by IT questions and issues. With the tech industry taking up 35% of the world market, these demands will only continue to grow. That is where IT help desk outsourcing comes in.

What Does an IT Help Desk Do?

An IT help desk is a point of contact for any IT-related problems. They assist with end-user questions and obstacles as they pop up, acting as a source of information and providing technical solutions. That can include bug fixes, feature requests, network systems, login issues, device compatibility, and other IT needs. Other tools may be included, such as FAQs to answer routine questions and ticket systems to support non-urgent requests.

They also have the flexibility to coordinate with in-house or outsourced IT teams, letting them assist with larger-scale tasks based on their priority. Help desk services are designed to minimize downtime and reduce inconvenience to employees, allowing them to focus on their assigned jobs better.

How Does Help Desk Outsourcing Work?

IT problems can come in many shapes and sizes. Some can be hard to diagnose but can be fixable in minutes. Others might require an entire team for half the day. An outsourced IT help desk acts as the first point of contact for unexpected obstacles and offers many benefits throughout the process.

10 Benefits of IT Help Desk Outsourcing

IT problems can come in many shapes and sizes. Some can be hard to diagnose but can be fixable in minutes. Others might require a full team half the day to assist with. Outsourced IT help desk act as a first point of contact for unexpected obstacles and offer a variety of benefits throughout the process.

Scaling services

Outsourced help desk services can be adjusted to meet individual needs and priorities. Scalable services can match their pace, whether it’s a small start-up company, a mid-sized business, or a large-scale corporation.

Reduced cost

IT help desk outsourcing can reduce costs in several ways. This is done through better usage of resources, experienced IT staff, and building a support plan based on an organization’s needs. That allows them to provide more support and a lower cost than in-house teams.

Larger IT staff

Not only does outsourcing reduce costs, but it gives access to a larger pool of help desk support specialists. Since they’re available on an as-needed basis, there are always experienced staff on call to respond when a significant issue arises.

Trained specialists

Hiring and training internal helpdesk staff can be complex with some cost-related risks. Outsourcing to a third-party company allows them to take on the risk and handle the teaching, letting organizations get better service for their money.

Industry experience

Outsourced services have hands-on experience with a diverse range of industries, giving them above-average knowledge to apply to each situation. Solutions that are created for one client can often help others too.

Centralized IT requests

For employees and management alike, knowing who to ask about a specific IT problem or question can take more time and thought than is practical. With help desk outsourcing, all the requests are centralized in one area, letting them handle contacting the right specialists.

24/7 monitoring

Another advantage to a more extensive staff is broader coverage to monitor IT and cybersecurity issues. That allows obstacles to be addressed during off-hours, helping minimize downtime of critical functions.

Quick response time

Time is critical when reacting to many IT challenges. With multiple IT specialists and the option for 24/7 monitoring, problems can be responded to and solved much more quickly due to on-call availability.

Less wasted resources

Time and productivity are valuable resources for every industry. Employees wasting time on solving minor IT issues is time not spent doing their regular work. Outsourced help desks can answer any questions and fix those routine issues.

Software recommendations

Help desk staff can see what is or is not working when troubleshooting. With that insight, they can make software recommendations that not only reduce the chance of incidents but may also help with worker productivity.

Closing

Technology demands have continued to increase, making minor IT problems common among most industries. With artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and quantum computing on the horizon, it’s become increasingly difficult to anticipate new IT issues that collide unexpectedly. New technology isn’t the only challenge, either. Old hardware and software compatibility issues can be disruptive, being a trigger in 34% of IT purchases.

Since IT challenges can come from any direction, it’s increased the need for third-party services to help adapt and navigate. They can lower IT costs and provide many perks, making them more sustainable and efficient than in-house IT. Help desk outsourcing companies like ITonDemand can custom fit their services to fit the organization. Is IT help desk outsourcing worth it then? If the needs and benefits outweigh what can be done internally, then yes, it is.

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