We already know the benefits of contracting business administration tasks to expert third-party vendors. But how do you identify which areas of the back office to hand over to those expert vendors?
Take a look at these three areas: your biggest time sucks, your biggest risks and your biggest opportunities (currently lost opportunities).
1—Biggest Time Sucks
What takes the most time? If there’s an area of administration that consistently bogs you or your staff down, take a hard look at it and see if you want to have someone else take care of it for you.
Information technology is one area that makes a lot of sense to contract out. Installing, updating and maintaining all the technologies and systems your company uses is a huge task. In fact, it probably takes up the majority of your IT resources (75%, in fact, according to studies).
This is especially true if your company has a mish-mash of technologies and systems instead of a standardized system. How do you efficiently update all of your laptops, desktops and tablets if you’re using a mix of Windows and Mac computers? How do you keep the entire system running smoothly when you’re using a bunch of different software systems and technology platforms that don’t talk to each other well?
In this scenario, your IT folks are spending a whole lot of their time just familiarizing themselves with different technologies. Add that on top of the regular system maintenance, and your IT people don’t have much time for anything else.
One of the biggest reasons companies are contracting back-office functions goes beyond cost savings and is a little CYA. It’s about reducing errors and risk by hiring expertise you don’t have.
If you worry about in-house errors, you’re not alone. According to the Society for Human Resources Management, over 55% of businesses in the U.S. contract out some of their business administration duties.
Why? Because the laws change every year, and it takes a professional or, even better, a team of professionals to stay on top of it all and make sure your company stays compliant.
For example, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) revised some of its rules a few years ago in part at least to align with United Nations standards. Employers must now adopt the United Nations system for classifying hazards and educating employees on the dangers. A dedicated team of risk and safety professionals would know that and pass the information on to you.
Another example is cyber security. A lot of companies think that they’re too small to worry the cybercriminals out there, but the truth is smaller companies are becoming the favorite target for hackers.
Why? Because smaller companies often don’t have the money to handle IT in-house or they assume the risk is low because the company is small. In essence, they’re easy targets for cybercriminals with the know-how and patience to cast a wide net over a school of smaller fish. There’s less risk for the hackers to go after smaller companies with lax network security as well.
To repel whatever virus or tactic is out there right now and all the others around the corner, you need consistently tight network security. Your company needs to stay abreast of and use all the latest preventative tools and measures, just to stay in step with cybercriminals. If you’re not on the cutting edge, you’re already two steps behind the hackers.
One of the things people tend to overlook when it comes to business administration is how strategic it can be.
It’s not just paperwork or busy work or housekeeping. Every single part of your business operation is an area for potential improvement, streamlining and increased efficiency. And the back office has a ton of areas to work with.
For one, you can contract out all of your weaknesses. If your team isn’t strong in certain areas, especially areas that no one wants to do anyway, you can contract those areas out and become a better company overall in the process.
If your IT team is in the weeds just keeping your system up and running (and hopefully protected), they can’t put any effort into strategic efforts. Or even a strategic plan.
An IT strategy helps you align your technology needs with your business goals for years into the future. It should encompass all aspects of IT, including personnel, hardware, software, vendors and costs.
An IT strategy has become a critical element for organizational leadership in recent decades. Its growing importance mirrors the rise of technology itself as a critical element for business success. The importance of an IT strategy has been amplified over the past few years as organizations focus on digital transformation and thriving in the digital age.
Technology is essential for creating new business models, products and services; enhancing customer service as well as customer experiences; increasing sales; enabling workers and improving productivity; and supporting interactions with vendors and other business partners.
Research also shows that high-performing companies with crack IT teams usually spend more money on strategic IT initiatives. Also, companies that spend more on IT strategy have higher business satisfaction ratings.
3 Best Business Administration Areas to Contract Out
What takes the most amount of your time? What worries you the most? What are you not doing that you should be doing to boost your business?
Every single element of your business operation is an area for improvement. And business administration is a beached whale of opportunity, with tons of areas to streamline and improve. If you contract the back office out to experts, you’ll find those areas.