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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Should You Hire an Enterprise IT Architect?

Should You Hire an Enterprise IT Architect?

Information technology (IT) is a crucial component of any enterprise, as it touches every digital aspect of a company ranging from computer systems to payment processing. Various software tools and know-how are needed to keep IT architecture operational, whether using in-house staff or outsourced managed IT services. However, enterprise resource planning software (ERP) is not only expensive to integrate but often has monthly per-user fees attached to them. That can cause expenses to escalate.

Trimming IT costs by just 1-2% can translate to high annual savings. On average, businesses spend around 4-6% of their revenue on IT. The smaller the company, the higher the yearly costs are compared to its revenue. That is further varied by industry, as retail can be as low as 1.2%, while financial services can reach over 11.4%.

With many long-standing businesses having more mature IT architecture, it’s made it challenging to reduce IT costs. Part of that difficulty is finding ways to streamline the workflow and reduce unnecessary monthly-paid services. That has created a need for more experienced specialists, like enterprise IT architects, to provide input into improving established systems and reducing spending wastage.

What Is an Enterprise IT Architect?

An enterprise IT architect supports and guides a business’s most difficult technology systems. They take a high-level view, looking at how everything from hardware to software interacts with each other and the employees using them. Enterprises often have more complicated infrastructure than a standard business structure, requiring a deeper understanding of IT and business strategy. Due to the higher needs and expectations, enterprise architects are more skilled and experienced than typical IT specialists.

What Does an Enterprise IT Architect Do?

An enterprise is built around the products or services they offer, making its IT similarly focused on enhancing its business flow. Enterprise IT architects look at the technical and business elements, allowing them to have a broader insight into the most beneficial changes. That guidance is centered on the needs and goals of the company.

Technology is constantly changing, making IT systems that were once competitive become outdated and burdensome if not properly maintained. Outdated technology alone can cost employers almost $4,000 per year for each full-time employee. Extra productivity can be lost in other areas, too, like poorly implemented or inefficient systems.

An enterprise architect will stay informed about the latest trends and understand what adjustments can benefit each business individually. Since ERP software can be involved with many processes, they also must know how it’s used and what impact any changes might have.

Due to their involvement with the business and IT functions, enterprise architects also participate in technical discussions and IT staff usage. Even when outsourcing, they’re expected to take a leading role on assigned projects. That means understanding the solutions, the implementation, the problems being solved, and clearly communicating that information to anyone who needs it.

How Much Do They Cost to Hire?

The cost can vary depending on various factors, though they’re paid more than most IT specialists due to the higher level of guidance they provide. Below are some of the factors to consider before reaching out to one for a quote.

  • Region or city size
  • Type of industry
  • IT complexity
  • Years of experience
  • Staff required
  • Length of the project
  • Impact on revenue
  • Staff training

With that in mind, the smaller and more manageable the task, the cheaper it will be. With large-scale IT overhauls, they’ll be more expensive and involve more staff, but they can also have more of a positive impact. Higher cost of living areas can also influence the baseline pricing. An experienced IT architect may also charge a higher rate, but they’ll bring a greater level of services and knowledge.

When Is One Worth Using?

Hiring an enterprise IT architect depends primarily on three factors: the size of the business, the industry they’re in, and the status of the IT infrastructure. Hiring a consultant or having an assessment done can help with those determinations. Some IT architects will provide those services as part of the price quoting process.

Different industries rely on IT in varying amounts, with the tech industry itself being the second largest contributor to the US economy at 10.5% of the total GDP. Some enterprises may not have as much flexibility if they have strict internal guidelines, minimal technology usage, or plan to maintain outdated systems. Other industries may get a higher return on investment (ROI) by prioritizing their IT before shifting to other aspects.

The main reason to hire one is when the improvement is greater than the time and cost. A common area of change is cloud services. As recently as 2019, non-cloud & dedicated infrastructure held over 50% of the market share. By 2025 it’s expected to drop to 33.9%, with cloud & dedicated and cloud & shared systems projected to overtake it.

Benefits from changes can come in many forms, whether it’s increasing productivity, reducing costs, overhauling systems, or indirectly supporting other business areas. While most infrastructure can be improved no matter how well established it is, whether the ROI is worth it varies case by case.

How Can You Get the Most Out of Hiring One?

Be prepared before contacting them. It can be helpful to prepare a quick overview of the software installed, staff usage statistics, what issues they run into, areas they would like to see improvement in, and other related topics. Having information gathered ahead of time will save time for both the company and the IT architect, allowing them to move to the next phase quicker and reduce the overall cost of service.

Closing

With matured IT systems and complex interactions, enterprises have demanding IT needs. An enterprise IT architect can guide companies through most challenges, giving a level of support and leadership not always offered by other IT specialists. They can improve established infrastructure, overhaul old systems, and provide new solutions. That is done with industry experience, knowledge of the latest trends, and client partnerships.

Even with all the benefits of hiring an enterprise IT architect, finding the right person and business to partner with can take time. The longer a business waits to fix its IT issues, the more revenue and productivity can be lost over time. Third-party companies like ITonDemand have specialists who can provide high-level IT guidance, along with the staff and resources to install proven solutions. For enterprises who want to improve their IT from top to bottom, hiring an enterprise IT architect is well worth the cost.

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How to Improve Your Laptop’s Battery Life

How to Improve Your Laptop’s Battery Life

Whether used for work or entertainment, laptops are a great option for combining productivity with portability. That’s expected to continue in the coming years, as more people buy them than desktop computers and tablets combined. They come with one notable drawback though: their battery life.

While they’re usable while plugged in, part of their appeal is not binding you to a power outlet. Compared to a tablet, their functionality requires much higher power usage. As a result, battery life becomes a factor in its usability. Luckily, there are various ways you can improve your laptop’s battery life.

Table of Contents

Use power and battery settings

Most laptops offer several power and battery settings to use. There are multiple modes to pick from, allowing you to prioritize the battery life, performance, or somewhere in the middle. More advanced users can modify the plan settings, allowing you to pick where you want to spend or conserve power.

Check which apps are using the most battery life

If you access your laptop’s battery settings, you can check what percentage of your battery each app is taking up. Some things, such as your internet browser, may use up more power than you realize. Not all apps are equal and may perform worse than others. Consider trying alternative software that fills the same role to see if it offers an improvement.

Turn off unneeded background applications

Look through your background applications in the system settings and turn off any unneeded ones. Many apps will passively draw power even when you’re not using them. Keep in mind disabling their background access will prevent desktop notifications and passive functions. Only do this to non-vital apps. Security-related features should always remain active.

Adjust your brightness settings

Depending on your environment and the time of day, you may not need your screen as bright as you realize. Some laptops have adaptive brightness, allowing them to change themselves based on nearby lighting. If manually adjusting it, make sure the brightness feels comfortable and isn’t straining your eyes.

Make use of sleep and display settings

Laptops have a variety of sleep and display settings that let you cut back on power usage during periods of inactivity. The sleep option will pause most functions while maintaining your work session, making it easy to continue where you left off. There are also options to display a screen saver, turn off the monitor, or both after a set period of idle time.

Keep airflow and heat in mind

Your laptop relies on airflow to keep itself cooled. When it’s running hot the fans will speed up, and as a result, it’ll use more battery life. Soft surfaces that contour to their shape, such as a blanket, are more likely to cover fans and vents. Some materials can also act as an insulator, further increasing the problem. When possible, use your laptop on surfaces that are hard and flat, which will provide the most airflow.

Don’t let your battery fully discharge

Like any lithium-ion battery, it’s recommended not to let it fully discharge. Completely draining it and charging it to full again can put strain that will lower the lifespan of a battery. Most experts recommend keeping it between 25% and 85% to increase its longevity. However, micromanaging your laptop charge may not always be reasonable. If you continuously charge it to full, the general rule is to avoid dropping below 40-50%.

Be watchful of your battery’s health

Laptop batteries slowly lose their capacity with repeat charges, making it essential to monitor your battery’s health. A range of software makes this status easier to view, some of which are free on the Microsoft Store. More advanced users can access powercfg via the command prompt. This setting lets you check your battery’s health and diagnose potential issues.

Batteries can’t escape aging

Like any electronic device, batteries can’t escape aging. One that lasted four hours may only hold half the charge after a few years, especially if you frequently use it. Even with good management, eventually the age of a battery will catch up with it. If the laptop is otherwise running well, you can replace just the battery. Consider keeping an external battery pack for emergencies too.

Closing

There’s a lot of convenience to using laptops, and the battery doesn’t have to hold you back. By taking the time to do quick things such as managing your background apps or adjusting the airflow, you can improve the longevity of your battery. However, age is something that no device can escape, and eventually it’ll need to be replaced.

ITonDemand’s IT Project Services can help you diagnose hardware issues and develop cost-effective solutions. Whether it’s a software fix, a battery replacement, or a hardware upgrade, there are many options to help your laptop last as long as possible.

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