Digital technology is essential to the operation of your business and so it’s crucial to ensure that you have measures in place to support the functioning of your IT systems.
With internal IT systems and equipment such as computers, servers, software, and applications becoming more and more critical, many businesses choose to outsource to a professional IT company that can manage their ongoing needs externally.
When deciding whether you should outsource your IT support or recruit someone in-house, it is important to consider the needs of your business. Your goal is to ensure the smooth running of your company and therefore, factors such as cost, flexibility and potential risks must be taken into consideration.
Read our latest blog post to discover the benefits both outsourcing and in-house support have to offer and decide which is best for your business.
Managing Your IT In-House
After establishing, it is common for small business owners to take on the task of managing their own IT systems, which is usually limited to maintaining a small amount of hardware and software through updates.
However, as they grow and expand, some will choose to keep their IT systems in-house rather than engaging a professional provider. This is either achieved through hiring a dedicated internal resource, but in many cases is delegated to an administrator or other resource that doesn’t necessarily have the correct skills.
There are some benefits to building your own in-house teams, such as having more control over your support team and the individuals that are responsible for your IT.
In-house staff are also more likely to be on-site and therefore immediately available should there be an issue with your systems.
Drawbacks of In-House IT Support
However, depending on the scale of your IT operations, an in-house team may not be the most effective way of managing your IT services. Some of the key drawbacks of relying on an In-house IT team include:
- Cost – Recruiting and training IT professionals in-house can be very expensive. For example, a £25,000 salary might get your business a basic in-house engineer. If your business needs server management, this could rise to £40,000 per year for an experienced engineer. Comparatively, a typical outsourced IT company could offer on-site support for up to 50 PCs and 3 servers for a similar cost as the basic engineer’s salary; this is before holiday pay or absence is taken into consideration.
- Staff Retention – If your core business is not IT, it can be difficult to keep your IT staff motivated. They may prefer to move on to a role at a dedicated IT company or you may find that their knowledge quickly becomes out of date without investing in regular training.
- Knowledge Gaps – With a smaller IT team and fewer resources, your IT department is less likely to have the knowledge to deal with every problem that arises. Additionally, whilst delegating IT responsibility to an accounts person or administrator may have worked in the past, as IT systems become more complex and threats of breaches rise, expertise is needed now more than ever before.
- Absences – With teams likely smaller and more dependent on a few individuals, sick days and holidays can have a significant impact on your business. Additionally, there is a much larger impact if a member of staff leaves the company.
Outsourcing Your Business IT
Another way in which businesses may manage their IT services is by outsourcing to a professional IT company. This can result in the immediate benefits of ensuring you have fully qualified, trained professionals with experience in managing IT systems at your disposal. Other benefits include:
- Flexibility – Many smaller organisations may not have enough consistent work to justify the employment of a dedicated in-house team. Outsourcing can solve this problem by offering variable costs which allow you to budget effectively and only pay for what you use when you need it.
- Lowered costs – According to a 2018 survey, 69% of UK companies outsource as a way of reducing costs. By outsourcing your IT services, you will save on the training and wages of an in-house team as well as the cost of purchasing any hardware, equipment or storage needed to maintain your own IT.
- Reduces risk – An outsourcing team can monitor your IT network and prevent problems before they emerge, meaning you are less likely to encounter issues which result in downtime and unproductivity.
- Technology – Using a dedicated IT provider gives your business access to cutting edge IT systems and platforms without the need for significant investment. For example, monitoring systems and equipment in realtime using advanced tools would require significant investment from a business managing their own IT, but is usually included as part of a managed IT service from a dedicated provider.
Drawbacks of Outsourcing Your IT
Critics of outsourcing will suggest that outsourcing IT can result in longer response times and limited control vs. utilising an in-house resource.
However, this generally stems from choosing a poor provider. When selecting a trusted and highly rated IT provider, it is unlikely that you will experience any downsides to outsourcing your IT.
Before selecting an IT provider, it is recommended that you read their reviews and case studies to see how they work with businesses like yours, assess any accreditations they have and have an initial consultation to ensure they understand your businesses needs.
Why Outsource your IT?
A recent study by YouGov researched how UK businesses use external suppliers. The study found that the most common type of outsourced work was IT support at 34% and so outsourcing remains the most popular option in terms of managing IT services among businesses.
There are many reasons for this including those already mentioned. Outsourcing gives you the security of knowing that your business is in the hands of experienced professionals who have access to expensive software and systems that you may not otherwise be able to utilise.
Outsourcing can also:
- Offer enhanced cyber security to protect against cyber security threats
- Offer growing businesses the same level of performance as established companies without significant investment
- Be used in conjunction with in-house expertise if required
- Ensure your IT operations are up to date with the latest technology
Looking to Outsource your Business IT?
Are you a growing business that is still trying to manage your IT in-house? If so, you could be wasting time, money, and resources that could be invested back into the business,
Outsourcing your IT to a managed IT provider offers several benefits and allows you to focus on running and growing your business without needing to worry about your IT.
To find out more about outsourcing your IT to an expert team you can trust, why not give us a call today on 0117 975 9523 or schedule a consultation to discuss your requirements.