IT for Small Business: In-house vs Outsourced IT

IT serves an essential role in your business. Each department, from accounting to marketing and everything in-between, relies on up-to-date software and hardware for their daily functions. But IT isn’t just about keeping your computers and software current.

Network and information security is a crucial part of an IT departments role. With threats evolving fast, having a robust network security structure is an important defense. A well-trained and experienced staff is needed to keep it properly maintained.

So, for a small business, it’s not whether you need to have an IT department or not, it’s whether to hire in-house or outsource IT to a managed service provider. To make the best decision for your business, you’ll need to look at what each option can provide for your organization.

Outsourced IT

Many areas of your business may already benefit from working with an outside vendor or contractor to take care of specialized needs. IT is no different. One of the main benefits of working with an outsourced IT provider is that they come staffed with highly-trained IT specialists. For a fraction of the cost, you’ll have an experienced team working on the most important areas of your network infrastructure.

Along with staff, the outsourced IT service provider has all the necessary equipment and software for the job. This means you won’t have to invest capital in tools that might only be used on one job.

An outsourced IT contractor can provide specialized technicians for the tasks at hand. Where a full-time IT employee would have their hands full with other projects and issues, the contractor can focus on the problem they were hired to fix. The outsourced IT provider can be brought in as needed to make repairs and maintenance, or become your de facto IT department, depending on your business’ needs.

With the staff and equipment comes the cost. An outsourced IT provider can come at a higher per project rate than a full-time employee would be. While it may be more for the project, you’ll need to consider the amount of training and on-hands experience a full-time employee would need to handle the issue at hand.

If you’ve never worked with an outsourced IT contractor before, it might take some time to find the right fit. There are a lot of questions you’ll need to ask to figure out whether the service provider can handle the work you need to be done. Over time contacts and contractor relationships will build, and you’ll have a list of outsourced IT providers to call when you have an issue. But it’s a process of trial and error to find the right fit. This is if you only work with the provider when you want them to fix issues when they come up.

When you work with an outsourced IT provider, you’ll want to take more time and care finding the right fit. Depending on the contractor, you’ll have a contract with them. If they can’t provide the services you’ll need, you’ll be stuck and potentially pay the price for getting out of the contract early.

In-house IT

Another option for your business’ IT needs is to hire an in-house IT staff. An in-house IT staff can be built and trained to your business’ specific needs. The staff will grow accustomed to the requirements to operate your network infrastructure. They will have an interest in making sure everything works correctly.

Along with being trained to your specific needs, an in-house IT staff is available when you need them, not when your business fits into a schedule. This is especially important when you have an issue that needs to be fixed immediately. You don’t have time to wait for a provider to determine when they can come with a solution.

Finally, you’ve invested in a staff that knows the ins and outs of your network infrastructure and security procedures. They know what works and what doesn’t. Having strong network security can be the thing that separates you from a competitor that had a data breach and are struggling to recover. A strong in-house IT department could lead to a competitive advantage that has long been overlooked. And that staff is working for you.

Much like an outsourced IT provider, building a staff comes with a lot of cost and investment. In-House staff and infrastructure can be costly. A lot of small businesses don’t have the capital available to build an IT department from the ground up. So, many go without one entirely, putting their company and information at risk.

To keep a staff, you’ll need to consider the benefits and salaries that are offered. If you take the time to provide the best training and resources, your team will have developed in-demand skills. Skills that other companies are looking for. You’ll need to keep up with the competition to ensure that your staff will want to stay and aren’t tempted to look at other opportunities.

Hybrid IT

A modern way to handle IT is a hybrid approach. This means having an in-house IT staff handle routine IT support, such as network infrastructure maintenance and upgrades, and security improvements, while an outsourced IT provider will take care of desktop support when your employees come across computer or software issues. A hybrid approach allows both parties to tackle a specialized area of your company’s IT for maximum benefit to you.

IT Support Guys is Your Outsourced IT Provider

No matter the option you choose for your business’ IT needs, one things for sure; IT is a central component for keeping your business operational. If you’re looking for an outsourced IT provider to help fill in the gaps of your current staff, or you’re looking for a specialized team to handle your whole IT needs, look no further than IT Support Guys. We have over a decade of experience working with small businesses like yours. We’ve successfully resolved thousands of computer and network issues and that number continues to grow. To see what working with IT Support Guys can do for your business, talk with a specialist today at 855-4IT-GUYS (855-448-4897).

About the Author

Ben Jones

Technical writer Living in Tampa, FL. Originally from Indiana.
In my free time, I cook, play golf, stay active (either outside or at the gym) and patiently waiting for the next Star Wars movie.

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