The Pros and Cons of In-House IT vs. Outsourcing for Business IT Support
We’re a Midlands IT support company so we MAY be a little biased here, but we’d be happy to introduce you to any of our IT support clients so that you can get their opinion. That said, the issue of hiring an internal team over hiring an external support company isn’t as straight forward and black and white as it first seems. Let’s look at the advantages of each.
Using an external IT support service.
Outsourcing IT support or other services can offer some real business benefits.
There are some serious money-saving advantages to outsourcing parts of your business’s IT requirements. A specialist is expensive, and we should know, we have several, and a dedicated team can be a salaried overhead that most SMEs can do without. For most businesses, it is best to know exactly what your fixed costs are going to be each month and not have to find additional finances and cover for when your IT specialist takes their statutory holidays. It also eliminates the possible expense of training (IT innovation moves pretty fast) and additional recruitment costs, if and when they get another job elsewhere.
Many IT support companies, like ourselves, have constant development and training programmes in place that let our clients take advantage of those additional skills they don’t have internally – not having to pay for this in-house, but still having access to that knowledge, is a major boon to most businesses.
Expandability and Scale.
We live in times that need business systems to be able to change quickly and efficiently. From infectious diseases to the political landscape, business’ must be ready to be adaptable – no one knows what next challenge is just around the corner. It may be that a company needs to scale its IT function up quickly, or to scale it down, or to suddenly switch to a new way of operating. Having external IT support and guidance can offer tried-and-tested best practice solutions quickly and with minimal fuss – the solution is just a phone call away and can be sourced from a pool of external systems experts and from their combined professional experience.
While all firms try to recruit the most capable of staff, using an external service provider can give a company access to a team of talented people, chosen by experts for their individual expertise, who can offer a total solution or specialised knowledge – obviously, we’re pretty proud of our team.
Staying Agile in an Evolving IT Landscape.
Staying ahead isn’t just about the right people, it’s also about the right hardware and software. Outsourcing business IT can give a company access to the best in fully-supported technology and resources, plus in-depth software knowledge from people who live business IT systems.
Need someone to do that reinstall of a hundred machines over the weekend without having to pay through the nose? Need to replace or add to your servers during a quiet period? Professional IT services and support are a robust and knowledgeable choice that affords businesses the reassurance that they are utilising the very latest and safest version of any software, which is the best and most cost-effective approach given how quickly software and the likes of malware evolves.
Minimise and Share any Risks.
When an external company provides IT support and monitoring, businesses share any risk of service interruption, outage, downtime, security incidents and data breaches with someone else.
A solid disaster recovery strategy and a robust IT backup contingency make sure that a business can guarantee continuity in the advent of an emergency. Professional IT support services mean that a business can concentrate on delivering the best service or product possible to their customers in the knowledge that their back is covered and can afford them more flexibility and freedom to concentrate on their specialism without having to worry about things outside their area of speciality.
365 and 24/7.
As we mentioned above, staff who work for companies need holidays. A business may have an internal team who can cover this, but it is doubtful they will be able to cover these three hundred and sixty-five days a year or twenty-four hours a day.
Having the reassurance that systems are being constantly monitored and supported can be priceless, but add to that the peace of mind that the machinery, experts and approved systems are in place to make sure your business won’t be affected by downtime or potential problems.
Using an internal IT support team.
We appreciate that outsourcing, even if it is a custom and tailor-made solution, isn’t always right for everyone. We provide IT support across many business sectors and disciplines, but there are times when external service providers might not be the right solution, and that is something we sometimes need to consider on behalf of our future clients.
If you use custom, legacy or specialist systems, you may not be able to find an external team who can manage them. If, for example, software has been created to manage an extremely specific piece of business functionality by a third party, or by your own team, it may not be possible to sustain it effectively – no matter how comprehensive your IT support service – or may necessitate unduly expensive further training to understand the systems.
While we visit our clients regularly and are often embedded inside a company for periods of time, some customers would rather have someone there in a face-to-face capacity during business hours. Since the advent of remote working – with people far more accustomed to using software like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Cisco Web Meetings or Cisco Jabber – this has become much less common, but it can still be a factor where some companies would rather communicate in person rather than by the likes of phone or email.
If a company prefers constant face-to-face communication or wants immediate access to its IT team, in-house may be the preferred option.
Unusual Levels of Security.
We pride ourselves on our IT security solutions and data handling protocols, however, sometimes even our high standards aren’t a substitute for a tight and immediately accountable personal team – even though our IT security solutions provide the very highest and most robust data protection.
Unavoidably, outsourcing means that a wider pool of people have access to your data and, while we’re happy to undergo any security screen scrutinisation, some companies just prefer to keep access to their information to a few select individuals within their business. For some companies, often dependent on the nature of the business, this is a preferable solution.
Some companies just like to have an IT team who are dedicated exclusively to them.
As mentioned above there is a downside to this, but having an in-house IT department does mean that you have a group of individuals who have a private interest, such as a business cooperative or long-standing staff, in the success of a company.
Such people may better understand any unusual complexities or nuances within business operations and may have a vested interest in the firm that guarantees they will provide a level of dedication and service that the business can truly rely on. If you can keep such people current and well-trained, abreast of all the latest IT support protocols and updates, they can offer the dedicated service you are looking for.
A little bit of both?
Some companies might prefer a hybrid approach, which can often work really well.
Getting the best of both worlds for your business IT support is, quite often, the best approach. It may be that keeping some services in-house while having the reassurance of a team of external 24/7 experts on speed dial is the right service for you. Imagine, for example, if your internal team covers those individual IT duties during working hours, but the likes of deeserve are your IT support desk in the evening or weekends when the in-house team is taking a well-deserved break.
If you’d like to find out more we can give you an honest and accurate assessment of your IT infrastructure and staffing requirements, and work with you to find the perfect cover and the right business fit – just let us know if you’d like to find out more.