Even the CIA Outsources IT Functions: Why Private Businesses Should Too

Most businesses have a hard enough time staffing up for core functions, never mind trying to find qualified professionals to run IT operations. Technicians are expensive, and as the technology constantly evolves, recruiting individuals with the right set of skills and experience becomes a bigger challenge.

That’s why outsourcing some IT functions to a third-party service provider is so attractive. If businesses can hand network management and security to a company that specializes in doing just that, why wouldn’t they? They get an expert to run some functions of their IT environment – usually at a lower cost – and their staff gets to focus on their core business.

Cutting costs and focusing on the core business are the two primary reasons organizations hire IT service providers, according to Deloitte. No wonder the idea of hiring an IT services firm, managed services provider or cloud services provider has gotten so popular.

This trend isn’t just happening in the private sector. Federal, state and local agencies also are handing over critical IT functions to service providers. Even agencies with highly sensitive information are doing it. This speaks to the trust that government agencies have placed in third-party providers’ competence and capabilities.

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Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Taps Cloud Provider

Even the CIA is placing its trust in a service provider. In a recent NPR interview, James Lewis, a senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the agency is using cloud services for some IT functions. “The CIA uses a cloud service provided by a commercial provider. They don’t do it themselves.”

The whole government, he said, would benefit from shifting more IT functions to service providers. “One thing that would help a lot would be moving to managed services, moving to things people use in their daily lives like Gmail rather than trying to do your own email,” Lewis said.

That’s a strong endorsement for IT service providers. Like private businesses, government agencies are better served by leaving some IT responsibilities to the experts, something that more and more of them are recognizing.

All About Uptime

Uptime is another big reason organizations turn to IT service providers. Providers improve an organization’s uptime in multiple ways, including:

  • 24/7 systems monitoring to head off downtime-causing issues
  • Automated management of security patches, software updates and data backup
  • Improved security through monitoring and immediate remediation
  • Remote power management to ensure business continuity in a power outage

Providers can perform these functions remotely which help keep systems running at their best and minimize downtime potential. Of course, the prevention of unplanned downtime results in improved productivity and profitability. As a result, businesses save not only on reducing internal IT costs but also on safeguarding against business interruptions.

Any organization would be hard-pressed to replicate the level of expertise and skill that a service provider brings to the table. This is something the CIA and myriad other government agencies recognize. If you haven’t already, now is the time to consider working with a service provider to manage and secure your IT environment.

To learn more about how an IT solution provider can prevent unplanned downtime, check out this blog titled How a UPS Monitoring Service Can Help Prevent Costly IT Downtime.

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