Change has numerous definitions, but when it comes to technology, it has more to do with shifting towards a new direction and less to do with nickels and dimes. It’s natural for business owners to adopt the next best thing; after all, why would you stick with the same resource when there’s a better one capable of doing more for less? Normally, you wouldn’t, but that’s not always the case.
At some point, businesses will face some kind of IT challenge, especially when it comes to meeting tech demands and requirements through adequate staffing. Depending on the size of your business, you might ask yourself one or more questions. When should I hire an in-house team? Do I outsource certain IT requirements, or all of them? And before deciding on a plan of action, several key factors need to be considered.
Looking beyond just cost-efficiency, here are the pros and cons of both hiring an internal IT staff and outsourcing your tech to a third-party:
In-house IT staff
The first advantage of working with in-house IT staff is their proximity. If something went wrong, it’d be easy to go over to their desk and ask them to take a quick look. So being available on-site means considerably faster reaction times, thereby resolving first-level support issues almost immediately. On top of that, in-house IT departments have the luxury of spending more time working on a single issue. This allows for more in-depth research and documentation on various processes and solutions -- all valuable information that can help numerous departments better understand possible complications in their own IT environments.
Because small, in-house teams are responsible for the work needed to keep your IT infrastructure in tip-top shape. The need for such a broad range of expertise might require several employees who have different skill sets and certifications, therefore leading to large staffing costs. Expense of in-house hires aside, companies must then deal with benefits, allowances and leaves. Also, when it comes to smaller businesses, you don’t want to give away the keys to your IT kingdom to only a couple of staff members; doing so would leave your intellectual property vulnerable. Lastly, in-house engineers are often inundated with urgent issues, making it difficult to prioritize tasks and leaving everyone overwhelmed and very frustrated.
Outsourcing your IT
Employing in-house IT staff leads to an increase in fixed overheads, and with outsourcing, it’s a much more flexible operational expense (OpEx). Hiring internal staff members is a long-term investment, but business demands shift frequently. Outsourcing is more cost-effective and makes it easier to scale up or down as required. Most MSPs employ an extensive team of experts to cover the full IT spectrum, meaning that they’ll be able to solve almost any problem they face. These experts are normally certified with suppliers to ensure their knowledge about the IT world is always current. With outsourced IT, you are paying for a team that monitors your IT 24/7. Unlike in-house employees, outsourced IT don’t take sick leaves, go on holidays, or reserve their Sundays for brunches. The most important pro of outsourcing IT is that it’s generally more proactive; instead of waiting for something to break, your infrastructure is constantly monitored and analyzed for potential issues.
As for the cons, MSPs normally provide support remotely and through a ticketing system. With virtual monitoring and management tools, the majority of issues can be resolved online -- unless we’re talking about physical hardware failures that require on-site replacements. This means there is less day-to-day interaction with IT, and some people just prefer face-to-face support. Also, working with an MSP means there are people outside your company who have access to your data and networks. If your business deals with highly sensitive information, having this level of third-party access poses too much risk, outweighing the benefits of outsourcing.
Pros and cons aside, it all boils down to you. There will always be certain aspects that might not apply or some that you don’t agree with, and that’s okay. No one knows your business better than you do, and you want to ensure that IT staff (whether in-house or outsourced) are going to have your best interests at heart. If you are still unsure as to which model is right for your business, feel free to give us a call. We can help fill in the gaps.