Outsourcing IT support to tackle the recruitment crisis

Mark Williams, Chief Operating Officer, Sharp UK, looks at why firms are so eager to seek outside help
Mark Williams, Chief Operating Officer, Sharp UK
Mark Williams

By Mark Williams, Chief Operating Officer, Sharp UK

It’s no secret that the employment market has suffered over the past few years and a recruitment crisis now looms large. ONS data released earlier this year revealed that from October to December 2023, the estimated number of vacancies in the UK fell by 49,000 to 934,000 - the 18th consecutive period to show a fall in the quarter.

The beginning of a new year often sees a resurgence in recruitment activity, both from businesses looking to hire and prospective employees looking for new opportunities. But when it comes to IT, talent shortages and retention challenges persevere, compounded further by the rapid evolution of technology. With shrinking talent pools and increased competition for available roles, this year, businesses are being forced to rethink their approach to IT talent acquisition.

Re-evaluating resources

Technology has become the cornerstone of business operations across industries. Seamless tech integration, IT talent, robust cyber security, and cutting-edge cloud solutions are strategic organisational assets. But against the backdrop of a challenging economic environment, increasing external pressures, and continually moving technological goalposts, transforming IT infrastructure takes up valuable time.

As a result, outsourcing IT services and decision-making to dedicated specialists is a game-changing strategy for leaders looking to enhance their agility. Sharp’s research of over 500 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the UK found that 67% of business leaders are actively seeking external IT services or resources when looking for talent – and they are prudent in doing so.

Using an outsourced IT provider helps businesses free up internal resources, ultimately enabling leaders to focus on what truly matters – achieving their business objectives. All without the rigmarole of trying to find and recruit the right IT talent.

Enhanced cyber security and monitoring

Time considerations are not the only drivers for outsourcing IT talent. With cyber security threats evolving rapidly, businesses are becoming increasingly concerned they don’t have the knowledge to deal with them effectively. In fact, our research revealed that 24% of UK SMEs believe a lack of knowledge and training for employees is leading them to become increasingly concerned about their businesses’ IT security. 43% also admitted that being poorly advised and not having good enough ongoing advice and support were the biggest barriers to making the most of their IT investments.

Business leaders are well aware that all it takes is one cyber security breach to unravel years of hard work and break down a stellar reputation. However, simply relying on technology is no longer enough. Skilled security experts are now vital to effectively leverage and optimise security systems and practices. Businesses that opt to outsource this responsibility grant themselves access to cutting-edge security measures, guidance on optimising security as well as vigilant detection and response.

Outsourced teams also have the knowledge and expertise to implement sophisticated protocols, ensure full compliance with complicated industry standards, and can help train staff to better safeguard sensitive business data.

Cutting crucial costs

The economic climate we find ourselves in continues to prove challenging for businesses, and leaders are under increasing pressure to better prioritise and utilise funds. Internal IT teams need to be aware of the latest technologies and threat responses, as well as the common tech-related gripes and malfunctions that occur on a day-to-day basis. Unsurprisingly, maintaining a well-staffed and trained in-house IT department can be a costly undertaking.

With an outsourced IT team, overheads can be minimised through cost-effective, tailored solutions that meet the organisation’s needs. In addition, businesses also benefit from flexible pricing models – paying only for the services they need, allowing them to streamline operational costs to help their budget go further.

Staying ahead of the competition

Businesses should utilise the range of benefits outsourced IT support brings to stay ahead of the competition. Organisations with access to cutting-edge technologies, expert insights, and innovative solutions will be able to adapt swiftly to market changes, implement new technologies efficiently, and gain a competitive edge over rivals.

Our research revealed that almost a quarter (23%) of UK SMEs believe finding and retaining talent will be one of the biggest challenges they will face over the next 12 months. Don’t let it be yours.

Written by
Mark Williams, Chief Operating Officer, Sharp UK
March 25, 2024
Written by
March 25, 2024