The world is a much smaller place than it was 100, 50 or even 20 years ago.
Thanks in no small part to information technology, individuals and businesses around the world are able to connect effortlessly, regardless of their location. So it’s no surprise that companies are increasingly taking different business functions to places like the Philippines.
Without a doubt, one of the most popular services for businesses to outsource is their IT functions. According to a study by Deloitte, 72% of big businesses currently outsource their IT functions, with that percentage set to grow!
Do you run an IT business?
If so, hiring a virtual assistant might be just what you need to get your IT business running smoothly. Today, VirtualStaff365 will look into how outsourcing your programming and development services can save you a bunch of valuable time, and whether outsourcing your IT functions is the right decision for your business.
Outsourcing your IT business’ development and programming
Lines and lines of code. Constant testing. Poring over blocks of markup text looking for that one tiny error, only to find out the problem is a single missing semicolon.
No doubt this is intensely familiar to anyone running a web development or programming business.
Developing a site, app or program can be a long, drawn-out affair. Depending on the scope, it can take anywhere between a couple of weeks to whole years. If you find yourself in the trenches hashing out code alongside your team of developers, it may be time to take on some additional help.
That’s where virtual assistants come into the picture. From web design to full-stack development, outsourcing the nitty-gritty programming work might be just the ticket for you.
Outsourcing parts of your programming and development doesn’t just make your job easier – it gives you your time back. All of a sudden, you’re free to focus on the things only YOU, the owner, can do. Things like formulating strategy, obtaining more clients and helping your web development business grow.
As owner of an IT business, we don’t need to convince you about the importance of ensuring your virtual staff have the right technical skills.
What is important to understand however is that not all developers and programmers are the same. Remember to look at personal qualities as well:
- If your firm is a smaller operation or even a start-up, you need someone who is flexible and capable of working independently.
- A more mature organisation on the other hand might emphasise technical skills and teamwork skills.
Fortunately, VirtualStaff365 will help you find the perfect candidate in every aspect. We thoroughly vet applicants to your specific requirements and even let you conduct final interviews yourself, ensuring you get the perfect candidate.
What IT functions can I outsource if I’m NOT an IT company?
In theory, anything!
In practice however, we don’t recommend it – not all IT functions can be handed off to a virtual assistant.
We’ve gotten requests for virtual assistants to cover web development from start to finish. And while we could feasibly find someone for that role, what we normally do is forward them on to a dedicated web developer. This is our practice for most IT-related requests when the business here in Australia does not have the core competencies being outsourced.
At VirtualStaff365, we’re big believers in keeping the brains of your operation here, in Australia. We believe in using virtual staff to take the grunt-work out of your day so you can focus on what you do best – running your business. While you can send the busy work overseas, you can’t offshore strategy.
And when you think about it, developing a site, app or program is all about strategy.
We don’t mean this as an insult towards our virtual staff – we hire some of the most capable people to fit your specific needs. But as a business owner, the big ideas like your strategy and direction are your responsibility. Your website, apps or social media needs to reflect those.
That’s why we recommend non-IT businesses go local with web development and programming.
Furthermore, there are just some jobs where you simply need someone on-site. It’s hard to entrust technical support to a virtual assistant when they’re in another country – how are they supposed to troubleshoot your hardware properly?
Of course, that’s not to say that non-IT businesses can’t get their time back by hiring a virtual assistant. In fact, there are a number of unique IT roles any business can outsource!
Data centre operations
Businesses use data. Whether it’s sales data, customer details or online purchases, keeping these databases running is essential for any modern business.
If these databases are stored in the cloud, a virtual assistant can be a huge help. Maintaining data integrity and keeping everything in order can be a slog – why not get someone else to do it?
Another data centre function you can offload to a virtual assistant is data entry. As a business owner, you don’t want to waste hours of your day entering raw data into a spreadsheet or into your back-end systems.
If you thought your business was too small to attract the attention of hackers, think again.
Even small-medium businesses aren’t immune, with up to 44% of small businesses having come under attack from hackers and malware according to a 2013 survey. In fact, small-medium businesses can be even more lucrative to hackers due to their lower security and inability to fight back!
Protecting your vital IT infrastructure from hackers is an ongoing process – putting up a firewall isn’t enough. Business owners need to think about data protection, defences against DDoS attacks, ongoing protection and maintenance… the list goes on!
For many smaller businesses, a dedicated network security specialist might be too dear. Since this role is about network security and not physical security however, it can be performed remotely. We’re sure you can see what we’re getting at here!
Is outsourcing my IT functions the best idea for me?
Talk to VirtualStaff365 to find out!
For any business to succeed in the 21st century, effective IT functions are essential.
Fortunately, outsourcing doesn’t have to be the domain of multi-nationals any more. With VirtualStaff365, bringing in IT specialists is feasible – not to mention, affordable!
Whether you need web design, full-stack development or technical support, talk to a Melbourne virtual staffing agency to solve your IT headaches. Give Neville a call on(03) 8842 4300, or get in touch with us here.