In-house Vs. Outsourced IT Support: Which Works Better for You?
With the plethora of solutions available in the IT landscape and with more companies finding the need for them, IT support has become an integral part of every business organisation. Enterprise software has become more complex and having reliable technical support is one of the best ways to maximise these applications.
If you’re looking to have a dedicated IT resource team to deploy, secure, and manage your solutions, and generally, maintain a productive work environment for your company, then you’re on the right path. Now the only question that’s left to ask is: Should your organisation go for an in-house team or IT outsourcing? In this blog post, we explore the benefits and drawbacks of both options so you can then make an informed decision.
In-House IT Support
There are numerous benefits to building your own IT team within the organisation. For one, you could really specify the qualifications and skill set of the tech guys that you would prefer to employ. This would ensure that you would have most of your needs covered, especially if you already have a solid setup for your IT environment.
Having your own team would also guarantee that they have a deep understanding of your systems and infrastructure, and how these would integrate into your business objectives. With a tech team on hand, any IT issues that come up could be addressed fairly quickly. An internal team would also be very useful if your organisation has specific IT projects that would require close monitoring and management.
The benefits discussed in the previous section however, do come at a cost—literally. According to Payscale.com, the average salary of an IT manager in the UK is around 40,000 GBP. That’s not counting the costs for benefits, pension contributions, and continuous training needed to keep the IT staff updated on the latest technologies.
Another disadvantage to maintaining your own IT department is that they may lack the range of expertise that you can get from outsourced IT. Sure, they may be very knowledgeable of the systems and solutions that cover your day-to-day operations, but if something comes up that’s not within their area of competence, that would still leave you looking for outside help.
In addition, if your team is quite lean, say one to two persons (which is quite common in smaller businesses), they could easily get overwhelmed with maintenance tasks and resolving software and hardware problems, and bigger, more innovative projects could easily get left behind.
Outsourced IT Support
Even just two full-time members of an IT department would entail significant costs and therefore, few would argue that the biggest advantage of outsourcing IT support is its cost-effectiveness. IT outsourcing gives you the option of paying a fixed monthly fee that’s significantly lower than an employee’s salary, or to spend only for the services you want delivered and the technology you need. All while giving you that broad range of IT expertise you would not have access to with an internal team.
Good outsourced support can assess your infrastructure and take an active role in recognising issues with aging equipment, problematic hardware and devices, and expiring warranties within your IT environment. Plus, most IT support companies have a service level agreement (SLA) in place which helps ensure that they maintain high quality of service. Managed IT support can also offer consultancy services to assist you in choosing solutions that can drive business growth and adapt to changing demands in your market or industry.
One perceived drawback of relying on outsourced IT support is that you have less control over the people working on your systems. While you can agree on a general set of objectives and priorities with your managed services provider, it’s still significantly different than having direct supervision over your own staff.
Another disadvantage with not having your own team is the availability and response time of your IT provider. Since they would have other clients to serve, they might not be able to respond to your issues as quickly as an inhouse staff would. You should also consider concerns on data security and privacy, particularly if you are working with customer data, financial data, and other confidential information. In both these cases, what’s important is to find a solid managed IT support company with a proven track record of reliability and trustworthiness.
Which type works best for whom?
In general, an inhouse IT support team is most ideal for large enterprises who have more employees and more complex technology and solutions to support. They also have the patience and significant resources to build an internal team. On the other hand, small and mid-sized companies fare better by partnering with a managed IT services company for technology support. With this option, they don’t have to employ a full-time IT staff but can still get expert IT support for their various concerns.
Still, there is no one-size fits all answer when it comes to finding the best IT support for your business. Many enterprises find that a hybrid approach—employing an IT go-to guy for routine tasks and outsourcing more specialised needs, is the most ideal for them. Evaluate your strengths, weaknesses, needs, and resources to know what IT support fits your organisation best.