As technology grows in importance for SMEs, it can be challenging to decide whether to keep IT in-house or opt for outsourced IT support. After all, getting this wrong could impede your business's long-term growth and viability.
To help you decide with clarity and confidence, we've laid out the pros and cons of both in-housing and outsourced IT support.
Outsourced IT Support - Pros
- Skilled experts
Perhaps the most significant benefit of outsourcing is that you can access a team of people with deep expertise in various fields. The best IT providers make sure their staff complete regular training and keep their skills and knowledge up to date as technology innovations come on to the market.
- Fixed, predictable costs
Most IT providers deliver services in exchange for a fixed monthly fee. Often, this is cheaper than the cost of hiring an in-house team.
Most IT providers can scale up support as your business needs change. Rather than having to hire new employees and manage complicated upgrades to hardware and software, you simply request a change to your current provision.
- Access to enterprise-level technology
The best IT providers partner with large technology companies like Microsoft and resell their services to SMBs using a monthly subscription fee model. Because the IT provider is purchasing in large volumes, they benefit from economies of scale and can pass cost savings onto their customers. This gives SMBs access to enterprise-level technology that would otherwise be out of reach.
- Proactive Support
Only the best IT providers, like Onebyte, deliver IT 'Peace of Mind' by being genuinely proactive and using innovative award-winning software to take client success to the next level.
With Onebyte, you get a dedicated virtual IT manager who performs monthly risk reviews, quarterly technology reviews and trend analysis. Plus, our desktop & mobile App will reduce user support calls by 50%, which improves staff productivity and helps push your business to its next level of success.
Outsourced IT Support - Cons
- Bad apples
There are a lot of IT support providers out there, and most make the same promises about value and service standards. But not all of them deliver what they say they do. If you select the wrong partner, they may encourage you to make poor decisions or investments, to benefit their own business.
- Unexpected costs
If your organisation wants to start a project that needs IT support that falls outside of your agreement, you will probably have to pay a surplus to your usual fee.
- Perceived lack of control and trust issues
Naturally, an IT provider will have different workflows, business processes, and overall operational flow than your business. If response times are not contractually specified and agreed upon, you may experience concerns over lack of control. And if your provider does not have transparent reporting processes, you may feel dubious about the actual service levels they deliver. The key here is to understand how to find and select a reliable partner that fits well with your business.
In-house IT - Pros
- Instant, face-to-face access
Typically your IT team will work from an office (at least sometimes), so you have immediate access to them if you're affected by an emergency or disruption.
- Intimate knowledge of your IT system
Because their single focus is your business and IT systems, good in-house teams can anticipate the business' and employees' future needs and tailor solutions appropriately.
In-house IT - Cons
- Higher costs
The cost of salaries, benefits, and pensions usually exceed the cost of outsourcing.
- Staff turnover and leave
When key staff members take annual leave or decide to move to another employer, you risk having insufficient support and can become more susceptible to security breaches. Also, you will probably only have IT support during office hours on weekdays, which is incompatible with modern working patterns.
- Limited capacity
One person or a small team cannot know and do everything. Technology moves at an astonishing pace. If your in-house team is focused solely on “keeping the lights on”, they cannot dedicate time to keeping their knowledge fully updated or delivering success-enabling transformations for your business.
Every business has different needs, so there's no “one size fits all” answer. But if you're interested in learning more about how outsourced IT support could benefit your business, download our guide, "Think Proactive: Redefine your IT Support Expectations."
Onebyte is a managed IT service provider that delivers genuine proactive IT support and services to organisations with 10 to 100 employees in London and the East of England.
Proactivity is the only way to reduce an organisation's IT issues and risks to the absolute minimum, drive innovation, improve security and support its continuous growth.
By being proactive, we make people and technology brilliant together!