For some businesses, cost and culture can be factors.
IT support is one of many business-essential services that can be carried out either in-house, using one of your current employees, or outsourced to a vendor. It can be time-consuming to determine which option is best for your company because there are so many factors to consider. If you decide to provide the service in-house, then your company must:
- Locate qualified employees
- Train and certify these employees to ensure they stay up on new trends and processes
- Pay employee a wage that retains them
- Provide ample work space and access to equipment and funds
- Provide the required tools such as computer, phone, Internet access, etc.
- Pay for all the equipment used to do their job
When you outsource this work, someone else has to worry about all this. So, does it make sense to hire a full-time IT professional that works on site or is it better for a business to outsource their IT needs? Weighing the pros and cons of both will make it easier to determine which will best serve your company's unique needs. So here is a breakdown of the pros and cons for each.
In-House IT Support: Pros
Easy access: When you go with someone in-house they are right there in your building and you can go see them or call them to your office anytime. You have easy and convenient access to them just as you would any other employee.
Cost control: As an employee on your business payroll, your IT professional’s salary remains the same, based on what you agree to when you hire them. This means that your costs remain steady and you know what your IT services will cost you each month so there are no nasty surprises.
In-House IT Support: Cons
Costs: Hiring a respected, reliable, experienced full-time IT professional from an outside company to work for you can be an expensive endeavor. A full-time IT specialist is often not a financially responsible option for smaller and medium businesses, and even larger businesses can have trouble affording these employees. Plus, there are costs associated with ongoing training for IT personnel to account for.
Limited technological expertise: It can be hard to find who has the knowledge and expertise needed to fulfill the needs of your business. Your IT specialist might be skilled in some areas and weak in others. This often means an employer will need more than one IT specialist on staff to meet all of your business' technological needs
Outsourcing IT Support: Pros
Less expensive: The cost aspect is one of the biggest factors that makes it so popular for businesses — they can actually save money long term because they are paying for IT services only when they need it, rather than paying for an employee who may or may not be dedicated to IT work at all times while on the clock. All things considered, outsourcing tends to be less expensive than hiring a full-time IT professional in-house.
Anytime service: Most professional IT service companies offer their customers 24/7 access to techs and support staffs. This means that you’ll get access to someone dedicated to helping you resolve your problem, no matter what it is or what time it is. You cannot get this with a regular employee because outside of their scheduled working time you will have to pay overtime costs and after hour rates for their assistance.
Outsourcing IT Support: Cons
Language or cultural differences: The single biggest issue many have with outsourcing is they tend to get overseas IT support and this leads to trouble with understanding people on the phone or customer/tech issues due to cultural differences. An easy way to avoid this is to carefully screen the company you are planning to outsource with and to try and find IT outsourcing support that is still within your own country.
Not part of the team: Because these outsourced staff members are not part of your team other employees can see them as outsiders. It can be hard to build and sustain open lines of communication between your teams and departments. There may also be issues when it comes to training and ensuring everyone stays on the same page.
Ultimately, you and you alone can determine if your business will be better served with an outsourced IT team or an in-house IT department. Weigh the pros and cons and consider your unique needs and requirements. Think of both short term and long term goals, needs and considerations as you make your choice. Choose wisely and you can grow your business and see it take off in ways you never could imagine.
Photo credit: shutterstock.com/g/fotoinfot