Majority of SMEs to increase level of outsourced IT

Move to outsourced managed services by Irish SMEs motivated by a desire to reduce IT costs and beat IT skills shortage.

83% of SME owners in Ireland plan to increase the level of IT services they outsource in the next year.

A third of respondents said they will put an outsourced managed backup and business continuity service in place within the same timeframe.

“Many SMEs don’t have the in-house IT skills required to meet the growing digital demand, and more organisations are turning to managed service providers to plug this skills gap”

The survey of 150 SME business owners in Ireland was carried out by Censuswide in association with Datapac and cybersecurity and backup specialist, Datto.

The main reason cited by SME business owners for wanting to outsource their organisation’s IT services was a desire to reduce IT spend (39%). Other factors include the challenge of managing remote or hybrid working (36%), the need to access a greater range or more expert level of knowledge and skills (36%) and an IT skills acquisition and/or retention challenge (34%).

To outsource or stay inhouse, that is the question

“Many SMEs don’t have the in-house IT skills required to meet the growing digital demand, and more organisations are turning to managed service providers to plug this skills gap,” said Karen O’Connor, general manager, Datapac.

“The widespread adoption of cloud storage solutions and SaaS business applications give organisations more operational flexibility than ever before. With this flexibility, however, comes added complexity.

“Superior return on investment, easier management of remote or hybrid workers and access to highly skilled experts are just some of the benefits to be expected by enlisting the services of an experienced third-party partner. In order to capitalise on these benefits, organisations need to ensure that the solutions powering these services meet their individual business needs.”

Over half (56%) of SME owners reported at least some degree of reliance on cloud storage technologies. Hybrid data storage, a combination of traditional on-premise and cloud data storage, is also increasing with almost a quarter (24%) of SMEs using this as their primary data storage model.

Additionally, 71% of those surveyed implemented software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications in the last two years. However, of these, a quarter didn’t implement a third-party backup solution. Three quarters of SME owners plan to expand their organisation’s SaaS usage in the next year.

To the best of SME owners’ knowledge, the average time SaaS providers hold backups of data in their applications is one year. While the actual length of time that data is held varies depending on the provider, it is typically 90 days or less, meaning that in the event of data loss and without the support of a third-party backup solution, older data can be permanently lost.

“The adoption of SaaS applications and hybrid storage technology has played a significant role in the widescale and often rapid transformations which many SMEs have undergone over the past two years, and it’s essential to carefully consider how to protect company data as business processes change,” said Nicholas O’ Donovan, sales manager, Datto Ireland

“SaaS platforms don’t come with built-in backups for data, and now is the time for organisations to ensure they have a robust backup solution in place to enable business continuity.”

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