As a business owner, you’re likely to face this question at some point: in-house IT support or outsourced IT support?
You might think that hiring an in-house IT staff would be the best way to go since it would give you direct access to the technology that your business relies on.
But when you consider how much time and resources can go into training, hiring, and retaining employees, along with the risk of mismanaged technology and lost productivity, you may want to consider whether outsourcing is a better option for your business.
Outsourced IT Support
Outsourced IT support means using an outside contractor to handle all aspects of your business’s technical systems. While you still own the equipment, software, and intellectual property, an outside company manages these on your behalf.
Outsourced IT contractors usually offer a broad range of services that include troubleshooting hardware and software problems; setting up security measures; installing new software; troubleshooting computer network issues; performing maintenance tasks; and updating operating systems.
Cost-effective. Outsourcing IT comes with a fixed monthly fee (which may be based on the number of users), so there’s no need to worry about unexpected costs. This makes it easier to budget for your IT expenses.
No hiring or training costs. Hiring in-house employees requires that you pay for their salary, benefits, and other perks. With outsourcing, you don’t have to worry about those things – because you aren’t hiring them as employees directly. You’re simply paying someone else to manage their employees for you!
Scaling your business is easy. With outsourcing, you can scale up or down instantly, without having to hire more staff or lay off existing employees during periods of slow business growth or decline which leads us to our next point.
The loss of control over your IT management. This can be a major concern for some companies, especially those that have in-house IT staff who prefer to manage their own systems.
Difficult to find a reliable IT support firm. You will want to choose an organization like Troinet that has a proven track record in your industry and with systems similar to yours. The firm you select should be able to show you examples of past projects and provide references from past clients.
Longer time to resolve problems. Usual complaints about IT companies is that they can get bogged down with other clients. The company you choose will be able to respond as quickly to problems or provide attention as necessary. At Troinet, we make sure our commitments match our current resources so we can ensure good response times.
As the name suggests, in-house support means hiring one or more employees to handle all of your IT needs. The person or team will be onsite at your office most (if not all) of the time. They will also be under your direct supervision and management.
Accessibility: You can turn to the same people whenever you have questions or face problems. There’s no need for them to familiarize themselves with your systems because they’ll always be available for troubleshooting and training.
Direct control. You have direct control of your IT staff and what they are doing with your systems. Employees are on hand at all times to answer questions, fix issues, and make modifications as needed. If you need something done quickly, you can get it done without having to wait for someone from an outside firm to come in and take care of it for you.
Expertise buildup. Your internal employees know your systems better than anyone else because they use them every day, which means that they can troubleshoot problems more quickly than someone who isn’t familiar with them. Having an internal team also allows you to build up expertise over time so that future issues can be handled even faster through time.
More expensive. It can be quite expensive and time-consuming when compared to outsourcing as it includes spending on training the team and purchasing necessary hardware and software. Managing an internal IT staff requires considerable time and effort. You also need to cover their pension, holidays, and sick pay.
Less technical knowledge. It can be difficult to manage a team due to their overload or lack of technical knowledge making delegation less effective. Lack of expertise may cause prolonged halts of operations because your company will need someone that can put out the fire.
Less flexible and scalable. Your business may need to hire additional staff members if it is unable to provide adequate levels of service with its current resources as the demand grows or diminishes.
The answer to the in-house IT support vs. outsourced IT support question really boils down to what you’re looking for from your IT service provider, and how much of that support you need in your business.
In short, if you’re just looking for basic help with technology and phone systems, you may be well served by an in-house support specialist. But if the scope of your IT services extends beyond basic help desk needs, an outsourced company might offer better value for your money.