Deciding on whether to use outsourcing services sometimes is difficult for veterinary practice owners. Practice owners, who sometimes have no information technology (IT) background, face another dilemma on whether to use an internal IT department or use consulting services for their IT needs. This section explores outsourcing IT services and how it can reduce the cost for practice owners.
What is outsourcing IT services?
Outsourcing IT services means a practice owner intends to use external IT service providers for their IT infrastructure, software, security strategies and running the service desk for its IT support.
Practice owners using outsourced IT services have to decide on whether they want the fully managed services or the co-sourced services.
Difference between managed and co-sourced services
Practice owners who have no internal IT support team go for firms that provide fully managed IT services. Once hired, these firms are involved in every IT task in the company, including software installations and updates, setting up IT infrastructure, troubleshooting network problems, and running the entire IT department.
However, practice owners can also opt for co-sourced services, which allows them to have an internal IT contact and only outsource services that are not available to internal employee. Co-sourced support teams work together with the internal contact to provide IT support and services to their clients. This is Lucca’s favorite model. Find out why below.
Different types of outsourcing
After deciding to use outsourced services for their IT department, practice owners should also determine the type of outsourcing services they will use for legal and safety purposes. There are three types of outsourcing services that practice owners should be aware of:
Offshore outsourcing involves a veterinary practice outsourcing their IT services from foreign countries outside their trading blocks or those they don’t share a common border. Veterinary practitioners must know the legal requirements of doing business with offshore consultants to avoid getting into problems with the government due to evasion or aiding hostile groups from hostile countries.
Nearshore outsourcing involves getting services from IT consultants that live in countries that border where a veterinary practice is located. In most instances, this process does not involve complex legal requirements compared to offshore outsourcing, especially if the countries involved enjoy a cordial relationship.
This type of outsourcing is also called domestic outsourcing and involves getting external IT services from companies located within the same country as the veterinary practice. This is the most common and the most highly recommended type of outsourcing because both the company and the veterinary practice operate within the same legal frameworks and time zone.
Types of services that a veterinary practice can outsource
Practice owners may decide to go for outsourced services to get various services depending on their needs. Some of the services these services include:
Software related: veterinary practice owners may outsource services such as software development for their practice, software troubleshooting, software updating and technical support for software used by the veterinary practice.
Web development related: services outsourced in this category include web development, database management, server setups, website maintenance and troubleshooting of internet-related content.
Disaster recovery: services such as creating backups, using backups, setting up disaster-resistant infrastructure and creating remote data centers that are safe.
Email services: setting up corporate emails for a veterinary practice may also require outsourcing of IT services.
Data storage: This involves server management, managing storage infrastructure and setting up networks that can access data used in veterinary practice.
Why outsourcing IT services makes sense
Whether to go with outsourcing or to have an in-house IT department depends on the size of a veterinary practice, how much money they are willing to spend, the nature of IT support they require and their long-term goals.
Unfortunately for most practice owners, the choice is based on long-held misconceptions about the industry that has always been tilted towards an in-house working environment. Ideas such as outsourcing services is unsafe, response time for outsourced services is disappointing, internal teams are more reliable and giving IT access to consultant firms is unsafe and puts your business at risk are still prevalent in the industry.
However, looking at the field from another perspective that relies on data and decades of testimonials, here are the reasons why outsourcing services makes sense.
Access global talent pool
An in-house team sometimes may have a knowledge gap between the services they are required to do and what they can currently do. This poses a problem for practice owners looking for fast IT solutions.
Outsourced IT services, however, are precise on what they offer and they are able to give practice owners all the information they may need before the hiring process begins. This makes them more effective in delivering more technical tasks. Especially when you choose a veterinary specific IT team.
In the current digital world, where the economy is 24/7, practice owners also need to access their IT support team to ensure that the practice is running uninterrupted.
Most IT consultant firms now offer 24/7 services for all their products, making it the perfect solution for practice owners.
Hybrid Model – and why we Love it!
For a lot of practices it makes sense to use a hybrid approach to outsourcing your IT needs. For example a lot of practices have a practice manager, veterinary technician or CSR that is very computer savvy. This person is the go to for a lot of the basic day to day issues that arrive. But what do you do when that person runs into an issue that is above their skill set? That’s when having an outsourced IT professional makes a lot of sense. It costs you less than an FTE and can resolve more technically complex issues with ease.
At Lucca we love this model. It gives you the opportunity to have that onsite person as the quick go to. But provides you added security knowing that your practice management, x-ray, dental x-ray and accounting data is protected. Your cyber security needs are covered and you have a team of IT professionals to lean on should you get in over your head. It also helps you to save money over the costs of traditional MSP (managed service provider) models while achieving the same goal. If you are a practice that’s doing really well you likely have a 20% profit margin. Does it make sense to spend 4% of that on traditional MSP services? Not if you can achieve the same goal at a lower cost!
Ready to leverage the hybrid model in your hospital?
If you want to learn more about how to leverage a hybrid IT model in your practice go to www.Lucca.vet and fill out our contact form to set up a free consultation call today.