When deciding between hiring an outsourced managed IT firm or investing in in-house IT support, it is important to first investigate your business needs. Business size, small, mid-size, or large, budget, and future goals are all important factors. After determining this, you can then start looking into the ways that these two options differ in what they provide and what they can do to leverage your business needs. We hope to help educate you on both outsourced managed IT services and in-house IT support, so that you can be confident in your decision-making process.
What are outsourced managed IT services?
Outsourced managed IT service providers work to keep your network secure and running smoothly. Hiring a managed service provider means you have a specialized team working to improve and monitor your IT infrastructure continuously. Partnering with a managed IT service provider will also help you plan projects and infrastructure upgrades to increase productivity, instead of trying to figure out what to do on your own. This proactive approach is often suited well for organizations that want to invest in their network and pay for peace of mind.
With managed services, the costs are predictable because you are informed of the set price you will pay each month. This cost will be included in a contract that you must sign, ensuring that the costs and fees cannot unexpectedly change. This makes it much easier to budget for. Having managed services also means your network hardware is upgraded to a regular cycle for a predictable refresh of equipment. Software is always checked to make sure that it is up-to-date and running faultlessly. With up-to-date software and constant monitoring, managed service providers can prevent security threats or breaches on your network. The management of your network will be fully taken care of and out of your hands so you can focus on your business.
Although you will receive stability in your budget, your network support comes with something that might scare some businesses, a contract. This can seem too much of a commitment for some people to make, especially if you find yourself with an unqualified managed service provider. For this reason, before committing to these contracts, it is important to make sure you have thoroughly researched your managed service provider before making any long-term commitment to ensure you are fully confident in the decision. Ask for references. Your business is worth the time investment.
What is an in-house IT Provider?
An In-house IT provider typically works for one of your departments inside of your office. When hiring an in-house IT provider, it typically designates one person to be the expert of your network infrastructure. If your business was to grow you would most likely need to hire more in-house IT personnel to keep an eye on everything. You will always have a member of your staff team that is strictly designated to IT. What are the advantages and disadvantages of hiring in-house IT support?
The nice thing about hiring an in-house IT provider is that because they only manage your IT, they should have a good understanding of how everything within your network functions. If an issue arises, they will be under your direct control to navigate the issue and resolve it. This IT person will have full control over your network, so you must choose someone who has aligned goals with your company.
It can take a little bit before you find the right IT support for your business. If you find yourself with someone who is not providing your network infrastructure with security and support, this can add up to be a costly hire, and leave you with considerable downtime finding somebody new. It is also uncommon that one IT expert can be an expert on everything having to do with IT. For this reason, you may find yourself having to bring in an outsourced IT technician to assist with a more specified skill, which can be costly. In-house hires also require more than just payment for the service, it also requires salary, benefits, insurance, vacation time, overtime, training etc. Another downside to hiring in-house IT support is that they are constantly having to focus on small issues that may come up like a broken keyboard, and larger issues in your network may get overlooked.
Is there another option?
The Hybrid Model: When you are deciding on whether to hire a managed service provider or hire in-house IT support, it ultimately depends on what the individual is looking for. For many companies, a hybrid model of both models works very efficiently. This would mean that you have an in-house IT support for any immediate issues such as, a broken keyboard, but when it comes to creating bigger goals or dealing with a major issue, an outsourced managed service provider can step in and use their pool of resources to ensure there is always minimal downtime and all options are vetted out before making any big decisions. This can be a great option for businesses that are growing to ensure that you have a large enough IT support system to sustain operations and an efficient workflow.