It’s no secret that you need to properly manage your IT obligations in order to establish long-term success for your business. But, it’s not always as simple as many entrepreneurs expect it to be. To clarify, many business owners have trouble deciding whether or not they should leverage in-house IT or outsourced IT. So, we’ve written a comprehensive guide that outlines all of the information you need to keep in mind. Let’s get started.
it’s not uncommon to have an in-house IT team. This is especially true for small businesses, as they might leverage their existing employees to help handle IT-related obligations.
Listed below are some of the most notable pros and cons of this method.
In-house IT comes with plenty of positives. In fact, the benefits it can provide are often sufficient enough for many entrepreneurs.
Take a moment to consider the following.
Familiarity With Your Company
One of the most significant attributes of managing an in-house IT team is the level of familiarity they have with your company. This scenario is particularly prevalent for businesses that delegate IT responsibilities to employees within other roles.
Regardless of whether or not your in-house worker is strictly responsible for IT, they know exactly how your company works and what its goals are.
Although this might not seem overly significant at first, it can help you stay on track it comes to IT management. For this reason, it’s not uncommon for business owners to prefer this option.
This allows them to circumvent the ‘getting to know each other’ period associated with working with an outsourced IT professional. Additionally, the owners of some companies may not trust other people with the knowledge they will accrue of the company’s data.
Little Training Required
Since your IT employees are already familiar with your network setup, equipment, etc., they won’t require any training in order to continue doing their jobs. The only time this would come into effect is if you hired an additional in-house member for this obligation.
In this scenario, however, you would have a team of dedicated employees who would be able to quickly get them up to speed. Since even a day of training a new employee can cost a significant amount of money, it’s in your best interest to minimize training duration as much as you can.
So, an in-house IT team could help your company save money as your business begins to expand.
As you might expect, you will be able to maintain direct involvement with your in-house IT team. This directly translates into a reduction in the amount of time it takes for you to communicate with them.
So, you’ll have no issue learning about any problems, important updates, etc. that need your attention. This level of direct involvement will also make your IT management more efficient.
It’s much easier to convey your needs and track progress when working directly with them.
Of course, in-house IT management doesn’t come without its drawbacks. Whether or not these significantly impact your organization will depend on the scenario.
But, they are worth keeping in mind.
Employees Might Be Stretched Thin
As previously mentioned, it’s not uncommon for in-house IT workers to have other responsibilities in different roles.
A common scenario could involve a group of 10 people working at a startup firm. Although each person has their own roles, IT obligations may be allocated amongst them.
Unfortunately, this could easily create a situation where they are not able to perform optimally. If your team neglects its IT responsibilities, this puts you at risk of data loss, security concerns, etc.
Difficult to Replace
Interestingly, many business owners don’t consider the possibility of a key employee leaving. The truth is, however, that skilled professionals will often follow the path that comes with the most money.
So, if you have an efficient, reliable member of your in-house IT team, you need to consider what could happen to your organization if the individual were to leave.
You may be able to come to an agreement with them that involves getting other team members up to speed before they transition to their new job. But, it is still highly likely that you will encounter difficulty replacing them.
To make matters even more complicated, there’s no guarantee that the new individual you hire will be an appropriate fit for your organization. Additionally, there is a risk that they will also leave in pursuit of another job.
Less Knowledge Than a Dedicated Professional
In most scenarios, an IT professional who works in-house at an organization will have less knowledge than a dedicated outsourced IT professional. This is simply due to the fact that the in-house employee works at a single organization and deals with a limited set of software, equipment, etc.
On the other hand, a professional who handles outsourced work will manage a wide variety of IT responsibilities. Over time, this results in them establishing a much more thorough foundation of knowledge, something that often translates into more reliability as a worker.
If you’re concerned about achieving maximum performance, keep this in mind.
Since so many businesses operate entirely online these days, outsourcing IT has become more commonplace than ever. In fact, there are plenty of companies that have never even had an in-house IT employee.
Let’s explore what you should know about this option.
It’s no secret that outsourced IT comes with plenty of positive attributes. After all, it allows you to delegate a notoriously complicated role to people who have a strong understanding of it.
Listed below are notable positives of outsourcing your IT obligations.
You simply cannot argue against the fact that outsourced IT employees have a breadth of knowledge in this area. More often than not, they will be able to recognize issues before they arise and take care of them without your business ever feeling the consequences.
Additionally, they will be able to provide you with comprehensive answers to any questions or concerns you may have.
Although it is not impossible for an in-house IT employee to exhibit the same level of performance, these scenarios are few and far between. In-house employees with this level of expertise are also often far more expensive long term.
Achieving peak performance requires a team with a diverse level of knowledge. The same can be said about overcoming obstacles that arise.
More specifically, outsourcing to an IT service provider gives you immediate access to developers, software engineers, and other professionals who can help you meet your goals. Since outsourced teams are so diverse, they also don’t have a single key member like an in-house team would.
More often than not, your outsourced IT team could change drastically without you ever experiencing different results.
Contemporary Equipment and Software
It’s no secret that many small businesses are well behind when it comes using to the most contemporary equipment and software. This is often due to budget restrictions, but it can also stem from a lack of awareness.
Outsourcing your IT allows you to take advantage of the most current programs and hardware without having to purchase them for yourself. For companies that have fallen behind in this regard, the difference in performance is often night and day when they make the transition.
Conventional scaling typically requires an exorbitant amount of money. Even purchasing a few more pieces of equipment could cost tens of thousands of dollars.
As a result, many businesses are stuck in a position where they would like to scale but simply can’t afford to do so. Outsourced IT services, however, are highly scalable no matter what your needs are.
In fact, you can work with your provider to ensure that you are only paying for the level of service that you desire. As your needs grow in the future, you can then increase your level of service as required.
The increase in security that you experience through outsourcing can’t be ignored. This is particularly true considering the fact that the cybercrime industry is estimated to be worth over $10 trillion by 2025.
Not only do IT service providers prioritize network security for their clients, but they also implement active monitoring. This means that they are able to immediately detect any issues or anomalies that occur.
More often than not, they will be able to quickly resolve these problems without any further complications occurring. If necessary, your service provider can also advise your organization on how to circumvent particular issues.
Even though outsourcing your IT comes with plenty of positive attributes, there are still cons associated with it. Fortunately, there are relatively few.
Let’s get started.
Not as Accessible As an in-House Team
Reputable managed IT services are surprisingly accessible. In fact, some may even have a 24/7 support team that can help you with minor or moderate issues.
But, no level of communication could replace the way you can interact with an in-house team. Not only do you see them on a frequent basis, but you are able to take a firsthand look at issues, progress, etc.
In most cases, the difference in accessibility isn’t an overt issue. When you are struggling to meet a deadline or need comprehensive insight, however, your outsourced provider may not be able to satisfy these obligations as efficiently.
Difficulty in Finding the Right Service Provider
When looking to outsource your IT, some entrepreneurs have difficulty finding the right provider. This issue is further complicated by the fact that there is a large number of different managed IT firms to choose from.
So, you’ll need to extensively research the professional that you wish to work with before coming to any sort of agreement. To elaborate, be sure to inquire about the terms of your service, any fees that aren’t directly outlined, etc. Otherwise, you might find yourself overpaying for a service that doesn’t sufficiently meet your requirements.
Some Businesses Have Difficulty Transitioning
A commonly overlooked fact about outsourcing your IT management is the associated difficulty with doing so. Your organization will have to quickly get used to an entirely new system, and you will find that you have less flexibility than you previously did with your in-house team.
Fortunately, many of these problems can be circumvented by working with a reputable service provider. Many managed IT services prioritize making this transition as smooth as possible.
Taking a bit of extra time to look for a provider that is able to accommodate you can go a long way when it comes to optimizing your experience.
Occasionally, outsourcing IT means that you will need to eliminate jobs within your company. When other employees learn that your in-house team has been let go, they may begin to fear for their own job security.
Depending on the situation, this could result in them looking for another job before they lose their position they have at your company. Consider this factor when making the change, as this can be a difficult situation to recover from.
In-House vs. Outsourced IT: Which Is Best?
Although there is no definitive answer for every scenario, most businesses can benefit more from leveraging outsourced IT. Keep the above information in mind in order to help you make your decision and ensure that you continue down the right path.
Want to learn more about what we at Be Structured have to offer? Feel free to reach out to us today and see how we can help.