A common musing I hear from business owners is, “How should I structure my IT staff?” Almost always there is a mix of internal and external employees to make up a successful IT department. Consequently, there is no one size fits all approach to answering this question but rather many tenants we can amalgamate which will help you make this decision.

Below are common pain points I have heard from CIOs and business owners. These tend to be the catalyst that encourage a CIO, CEO, business owner, IT manager to look outside of their department. If you begin to feel one or more of these stressors while attempting to conduct daily business, it may be time to assess what is available to augment your internal IT department.

I WANT TO:

SCALE MY BUSINESS UP…

SCALE MY BUSINESS DOWN…

SCALE SOMEDAY IN THE FUTURE…

6687674Chances are your business isn’t going to stay the same size in the next ten, or even two years. Many of our healthcare clients, financial services clients and public-sector folks are all experiencing record growth. Often, without proper planning, you will find yourself with too much work and not enough resources.

To lessen the pain of outgrowth, IT professionals are trending towards the use of automated systems; like automatic scaling of cloud computing based off usage rates. They know that with more work ultimately comes more employees and more bandwidth and security is needed to foundationally support their business needs. External IT support providers employ multiple individuals and can smoothly add more backing to your business as it grows. This alleviates you from shelling out valuable and limited resources on a costly hiring expense.

I AM REQUIRED TO BY:

THE GOVERNMENT…

FINRA…

HIPAA…

2017 saw some major challenges to the governing of healthcare. See my Governance in Healthcare blog here. It’s no surprise that most industries, like the financial and public sectors, are experiencing an increase in regulations. Fines are being levied against entities who fail to comply. Getting out ahead of that risk means ensuring your business is meeting all requirements.  Compliance includes proving to the governing agencies via large amounts of mandatory documentation.

Programs Requiring Log Storage and Proof of Compliance

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Outsourcing your IT will provide your business with a pool of current governing knowledge. It is the job of an experienced MSSP to keep up to date on changes and pass those along to their clients. Newer companies tend to walk a compliance tightrope as they learn about regulations and state/federal requirements for their data. If you need help managing compliance requirements, seek a company that can perform an external audit of your processes and finds out what’s up to code – and what needs to be updated. This is far, far preferable to getting hit with massive fines if something happens and your company is complying with proper regulations.

I WANT TO:

INCREASE SECURITY…

REPLICATE MY DATA…

MOVE MY DATA OFFSITE…

Through continuous network security and monitoring, outsourced security professional serve as a 24/7 watchdog for your data and network. A first enterprise-class cyber security solution, designed specifically for your area of business, manages and monitors anomalous behavior. Virtual replication, advanced anti-virus, malware detection and next-generation firewalls are all imperative to remaining compliant and safe.

Automatic replication and monitoring tools that are typically free of human-error should work seamlessly to decrease vulnerabilities. Managed service providers leverage remote monitoring and management tools that connect to your systems via your internet connection to help improve system reliability and performance. Having the best IT staff is still essential, but improved automation allows managed service providers to offer more efficient support, focus more time proactively planning, and spend less time reacting to items that are broken.

WHOOPS!:

WE HAD A BREACH…

WE NEED A DRBC PLAN…

The steps an organization takes within the first 48 hours of a breach will determine if it takes months or years to recover. Whether the breach involved a single phone or an entire network, every device needs to be taken offline to limit the activity to and from the impacted system. Determining how it happened and what needs to be done next is the focus of a strategic consultant.

31231A recent AT&T Cybersecurity Insights report revealed that only 61% of respondents require cybersecurity awareness training companywide. Therefore, we advise thinking of employees as an extension of the cybersecurity team. Additionally, knowing the gaps in your organization’s security capabilities has become a key leadership responsibility. With their skilled cybersecurity staff and next-generation technology, cybersecurity consultants and managed service providers can help.

The Equifax breach taught us the importance of quickly rolling out security fixes and ensuring all patches are up-to-date. Attacks on healthcare facilities grew 63% last year and will continue to grow as hackers target public and private healthcare firms.

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WHEN MY:

INTERNAL IT DEPARTMENT IS GETTING TOO EXPENSIVE…

IT IS TOO EXPENSIVE TO KEEP UP WITH COSTLY UPGRADES…

Having an entire IT department housed internally at a hospital or financial entity would be cost prohibitive in most businesses. Not only is that option expensive, but outsourced IT, especially cybersecurity is a fraction of the cost when sourced externally. Enterprise IT professionals have deep expertise in designing bulletproof, mission-critical applications that are reliable and secure. They know how to manage complex systems, measure performance, and make improvements over time. And these professionals come at a cost. If your organization can afford this route, please do so! For the vast majority that cannot, know that these professionals are typically staffed at independent IT solutions companies and are ready and willing to help.

Have you found any other reasons to outsource your hospital IT department? If so, let us know? We’d love to learn more about the choices your business made which made you more streamlined. Contact us today or anytime on LinkedIn @truenorthitg

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