Managing an in-house IT support department can be an expensive and complicated affair. For this reason, many companies choose to outsource their IT support needs. But is this a good idea?
Today, we take a look at the pros and cons of hiring an outsourced IT support department.
What are the benefits of an outsourced IT support department?
Here are the six main benefits of outsourcing your IT support requirements, as opposed to managing a fully-fledged in-house IT department.
- Lower running costs. On average, it will cost you between £30k and £40k a year to employ an in-house IT manager. And this is only taking salary into account. There are other costs associated with hiring in-house, such as the price of recruitment, company benefits, insurance, training, and taxes. Most small businesses cannot afford this luxury, but can usually afford to outsource their IT support needs, as all costs are packaged into one affordable monthly payment with no hidden costs.
- More time to run your business. If you’re struggling to manage your IT infrastructure yourself because you can’t afford to hire an in-house IT support team, then you are probably losing valuable time that could be spent implementing more meaningful business strategies. When you outsource your IT support, you are freeing up this time, and leaving the complicated work in the hands of a professional team you can trust.
- Take advantage of the latest technology. You might know a thing or two about computers, but do you really know about the latest and greatest developments in the world of IT? An outsourced IT provider is on the front line of the industry, meaning they get all the latest news and updates so that they can help your business take advantage of new advances and trends in real-time.
- Better productivity. If you distribute IT tasks between existing staff, it might feel like you’re saving money. But you’re actually just reducing productivity, and you probably aren’t getting very much done. Instead of hoping your existing staff can help you navigate IT issues, it can help your business if you let them focus on their roles, while an outsourced IT support team gives you the on-demand expertise to get problems fixed quickly.
- It can help you during restructures. IT support is a core function that your business needs in order to operate at full capacity. During restructures, you shouldn’t neglect this important need – an outsourced IT support team can help you navigate transition periods smoothly without compromising critical functions.
- Gain the experience of a team working with multiple clients. Unlike an in-house team who are focused only on your business, an outsourced IT support team have a very wide range of experience that is gained from helping multiple clients solve a diverse range of problems. This can be very helpful when your business has a new challenge it needs to solve because an outsourced IT team can bring new ideas and solutions to the table that an in-house team might not be able to.
What are the risks associated with outsourcing your IT support?
Before you decide to outsource your IT support requirements, you should consider some of the possible risks associated.
- Less control of your data. You can’t always guarantee what will happen with your sensitive information when you entrust it to a third party. When information is kept internal, you have a better chance of knowing where and how it is being handled. To mitigate this risk, make sure you select an outsourced IT provider who can deliver to good industry standards and data protection best practices.
- Complex IT functions can be difficult to outsource. If your company’s IT infrastructure is unusually complex, it might be challenging to get up and running with an outsourced IT provider. With a little time and patience, this challenge can be overcome – as long as you select a competent provider. But just be aware that for very complex functions, you may have a slightly slower start.
- You could lose ownership of your infrastructure. This is a fairly rare problem and one that can be avoided by choosing an outsourced IT provider who acts with integrity. Be cautious of providers who might introduce their own proprietary software into your infrastructure, and then demand it back when your contract ends.
Conclusion: The rewards outweigh the risks
Outsourcing your IT support requirements can save your business money, free up more of your time, improve productivity, and bring a diverse skillset to your organisation with unique problem-solving abilities. Be aware that there are certain risks you need to look out for, but as long as you choose a reputable provider who can demonstrate a history of a good quality of service, outsourcing your IT support is a very smart choice.