Nowadays, the vast majority of modern businesses have some kind of IT infrastructure they need to manage. Whether it’s a simple setup of individual desktop computers or a complex map of devices, storage, and networks, every business has technology assets that need to be protected.
When it comes to IT management, it can be difficult to determine what solution is best for your unique business. Here, we’re going to look at two options: hiring IT specialists in-house, and opting for outsourced IT services from a Managed Service Provider. As you look at the cost benefits, support capabilities, and resources of each one, you can determine which option is best for your business.
In-House IT Services
As the name suggests, this option involves hiring one or more IT specialists that work for your business exclusively. While having dedicated specialists to oversee your IT can be beneficial to some businesses, in-house IT support does come with a few caveats that you should be aware of.
If you have the budget to maintain a full team of IT support staff at your business, in-house specialists can be a great option. However, the costs of hiring in-house specialists are expensive and usually only within the budget range of large corporations.
On top of specialists’ salaries, you will have to pay for their hiring costs, any training they may need, and benefits, and that’s not including all the hardware and software costs you will also need to cover separately. Given the high costs, many small businesses opt to hire only one in-house specialist to keep costs affordable, but this means they end up with far less support and resources.
One of the advantages of having one or more in-house specialists is that they are at your beck and call whenever you need them, so they can be very responsive in their support.
However, if you’re a small company that is only able to hire one or two in-house IT specialists, they simply won’t have the bandwidth to stay on top of all your IT needs, including cybersecurity, maintenance, upgrades, 24/7 monitoring, and consulting to meet short-term and long-term business goals.
Depending on your needs, an in-house team may or may not have all the resources your business needs to keep up with maintaining a healthy IT infrastructure.
For small businesses with just one or two specialists, however, it’s highly likely that your team will have fewer resources than you require as well as have less specialty knowledge in the IT areas your business needs. With lacking resources—including time to address IT needs, speciality experience, and access to advanced training—costly downtime and other serious issues can arise and severely impact your business.
Outsourced Managed IT Services
When you outsource your IT needs to a Managed Service Provider (MSP), you’re hiring a third-party company to oversee all of your technology needs and paying them on a monthly service basis. While they don’t work exclusively for your business like in-house specialists do, they do provide an array of other advantages for your business.
With a set monthly service rate, outsourced teams can make it much easier to budget your IT needs than other types of IT support, such as break/fix services. Because they have multiple clients, they are able to offer you an entire team of specialists at the cost of around one salaried employee, meaning you get access to greater resources for a lower cost.
Given how much downtime and data breaches can cost if you’re relying on one overworked IT technician to manage all your IT needs, outsourcing your IT management is quite an investment for many SMBs. Not only can MSPs be more cost-effective per month, but they also offer regular consulting and assessments to determine where you can eliminate underused or inefficient technology driving up your costs.
Unless you’re an enterprise corporation with the budget to hire a full team of IT technicians in-house, you’re going to get more support from a Managed Service Provider simply because they offer full teams rather than a single specialist. They are also likely to have team members that specialize in various areas of IT services, from security and monitoring to business strategy and disaster planning.
Additionally, Managed Service Providers are committed to keeping their teams up-to-date with the latest IT advancements and best practices, so they often provide continual training to their staff. This way, you get access to staff with updated IT knowledge without having to pay for their training yourself.
As a larger team who is being continually trained in various areas of IT, outsourced teams have more resources than their in-house counterparts at a lower cost. This can include regular system monitoring, taking a proactive stance against costly threats instead of simply reacting to them, and understanding new and complex technology solutions.
Outsourced teams are also highly motivated to consult with your business regularly on how to best meet business goals and make your IT as efficient as possible so that you can see measurable results and be more likely to continue paying for their services.
So, Which Should You Choose?
For a lot of growing businesses, they need the expertise and manpower of a whole IT department at their back, but they can’t take the costs of hiring more than a single in-house technician.
If that’s the case for your business, outsourced IT services can be just as great a resource as in-house specialists—and oftentimes even better—at a fraction of the cost. Their business model motivates them to offer the best solutions for your unique company so that they can continue doing business with you, meaning you’ll get customized support without breaking the bank.
Additionally, their knowledge in a wide range of IT specialties makes them equipped to handle any technology need, and their experience working with other clients in your industry can give them insight into compliance and other regulatory needs.
Overall, Managed Service Providers tend to be the best solution for several small and medium-sized businesses looking for comprehensive IT support that still fits within their budget limits.