The world of IT outsourcing feels both like it has been around for years and, at the same time like it’s brand new. The IT industry as it is only about 30 years old. Prior to the 90s and the widespread use of the internet, IT was much more focused. Everything was internal, and there were no threats like malware or cyber-terrorists.
Today, though, cyber-security and other IT concerns are paramount. Billions of dollars are spent every year on IT outsourcing. This is due to the numerous benefits for businesses of all sizes and industries. Small businesses benefit from having a staff of experts without hiring them all as employees. At the same time, larger companies can make use of outsourced experts to coordinate with their in-house teams to handle day-to-day and routine tasks.
Regardless of how you make use of outsourcing, it’s important to know how the industry is evolving. Here are some ways experts anticipate the IT outsourcing industry to change. We will also touch on how it will impact you and your company.
Use of the Cloud Will Expand
Reliance on cloud computing is only going to increase in the coming months and years, experts predict. Managed IT services, in fact, are really only possible due to the cloud. By moving online, these IT experts are able to manage your data, personnel, and other IT needs remotely. If this wasn’t an option, you would be severely limited in your IT outsourcing options. You would have to work with a local company, and in some areas, there may be very few outsourcing partners.
As more and more tasks move online, cloud data management will become even more vital to your business. By 2023, the cloud services industry is expected to grow to almost $250 billion. If you haven’t started migrating to the cloud yet, you need to begin having serious discussions with your company leadership team about doing so. The benefits could save your company a lot of money and make your workflow more efficient.
Outsourcing Will Make More Use of Automation and Robotics
While your business may not use robotics or even have the need for them, outsourcing is likely to continue making use of advanced machines and other AI to handle repetitive, simple tasks. After all, what is outsourcing if not finding some way to pass on basic tasks? By programming AI to deal with transcription, data entry, and other basic tasks, everyone can focus on work that only humans can do. Automation will also help decrease some of the costs of outsourcing. You won’t have to pay someone to carefully listen to audio and transcribe it—the program will do it for you.
While it may need to be trained on specific accents or certain terms, AI is becoming more and more effective. It can learn patterns and habits, which can come into play in IT security. An AI can monitor user accounts and learn when those accounts are typically active, what files they access, and more. If the user begins acting out of their normal patterns, the AI will flag this activity. It can even lock the account or immediately alert an IT manager to review the logs and determine if the account has been compromised.
AI Will Begin Interacting with Customers on Your Behalf
When we think of AI in customer service, many people think of working their way through a basic telephone AI. Today, though, the AI does more than tell us to press 1 for a specific department. You can employ AI to outsource routine customer service in the form of a digital personal assistant. As outsourcing begins using AI in more unique ways, you may find that you can’t always tell the difference between a machine and a real person.
Many chatbots, for example, can converse with a person in a very natural way. They can help deal with basic needs such as returns and refunds. If there’s a problem, the AI can pass the customer to a representative who can help them. AI won’t be limited to repetitive tasks—they will be able to handle routine work so your staff can focus on higher-level things.
What this means for you depends on your industry. In some cases, this type of automation can significantly impact how you operate. If you run an eCommerce business, for example, having a chatbot handle the first level of customer service can revolutionize that area of the business. On the other hand, if you primarily handle business-to-business accounts where your clients are spending thousands of dollars, using AI may be a turn-off to those customers.
IT Outsourcing Will Expand to More Devices
When people think of IT outsourcing, they typically think of computers, laptops, and servers. In recent years, this has expanded to tablets and smartphones. However, as more and more devices become internet-capable, IT outsourcing is expected to evolve to provide support and management for these devices. Smart appliances, cars, wearables, and other devices need to be secured and maintained just like traditional IT devices. Outsourcing teams already have experts on hand who can help you with this. It’s anticipated that this is one area outsourcing services will grow in the next few years.
This means you’ll be able to find an outsourcing partner who can do more than help with cloud-managed services. They will be able to provide support for any device you may use. You can work with one IT partner who can handle all of your devices, creating a comprehensive plan that encompasses everything.
More Businesses Will Want Cybersecurity Experts
As cyber threats continue to change and evolve, your security procedures and capabilities also need to go. This means you’ll need a cybersecurity expert on your side. However, with the need for these experts far outweighing the number of professionals out there, smaller businesses are often unable to attract them. Large companies can offer salaries and benefits that SMB simply can’t compete with.
Unless you’re one of these large companies, you may not need a full-time cybersecurity expert. You need one to consult with, and you will likely need their input early on when you’re putting your system together. However, even finding someone to consult with for a few hours here and there may become difficult as the demand for specialists increases.
Most IT outsourcing services aim to have at one cybersecurity expert on their staff, and that greatly benefits all of their clients. By working with one of these outsourcing teams, you get access to everyone on their staff. You can consult with this security expert when necessary. This is one way IT outsourcing is evolving that you will want to take full advantage of if you don’t have access to your cybersecurity expert.
Everyone Will Become More Comfortable with Remote Work
Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, more people than ever are familiar with working remotely. This trend may slow down as the pandemic becomes more controlled, but some businesses see it as the future of their workforce and have no plans to return to the office. Many employees have found that they are just as productive, if not more so, at home and are now looking for fully remote positions.
The IT industry is one that has seen the value of remote work. With the move to the cloud, employees can access data from anywhere. As software as a service becomes more popular, they no longer need to have specific software installed on their computer—they can access it from the cloud, too. Software and security experts don’t need to be on-site to do their jobs any longer. This means your business only needs to have someone familiar with your hardware. Everything else can be done by a managed IT services team remotely.
What this means for you is that you have more choices. You can work with an IT service on the other side of the country or the world. You’re not limited to partners in your local area. IT outsourcing companies have already created procedures and processes that take into account the larger remote workforce. They’re ready to help businesses that have partly or completely left the physical office behind.
IT Outsourcing is Evolving—and Wooden Spoon Is, Too
When you’re ready to outsource your managed IT services, you want to work with a partner you trust. One who is going to have the resources and experts you need. Wooden Spoon has spent years building our team of professionals. All of which bring unique skills and knowledge to the table. As trends change and the IT industry evolves, we bring in experts who can meet these new challenges and provide our clients with the services they need to grow.
Whether you need an outsourcing partner to help you get your IT infrastructure up and running, someone to manage the day-to-day tasks, or a consultant for scaling as your company expands, we’re here for you. Let us put our years of experience to work for you, no matter where you are in the world. Contact us today to discuss how Wooden Spoon can help you.