In-house vs Outsourced IT Support
Some form of IT support is essential for most organisations regardless of size or business sector but employing IT staff vs engaging external support can be a difficult decision. The option of either in-house or outsourced IT support brings different pros and cons, and it’s worth exploring them carefully before making a choice. There’s also the hybrid solution to consider, where an IT support provider complements the work of your in-house team.
Below we’ve outlined the information you need, the benefits and drawbacks and the ways in-house teams and outsourcing differ.
What is in-house IT support?
In-house IT support are staff employed by your firm. They monitor the IT needs of your business, deal with day-to-day issues and maintain your company’s network.
In-house IT support could be one technician or an entire department, depending on the size and needs of your business. Employing in-house staff is a more traditional way of approaching IT support and can sometimes suit a centralised office set-up.
What are the benefits of in-house IT support?
In-house IT support offers:
- Rapid solutions on-site.
- Support that’s available when you need it.
- Technicians who are familiar with your equipment.
- IT staff who can look at issues in person.
- Staff with a detailed knowledge of your networks.
- Team members who are part of your unique company culture.
Any disadvantages to in-house IT support?
Although there are benefits to having an in-house IT team some disadvantages can include:
- Capacity – a single engineer or team will only have a finite amount of capacity.
- Cost – scaling up the team to meet demand involves hiring more people.
- Cover – arranging for IT work to continue during illness or paid annual leave.
- Replacement – the need to replace IT staff rapidly when they leave.
This last point is particularly important. IT experts are in demand and it can take months to advertise a role, shortlist suitable candidates, interview, hire and train the right technician.
What is outsourced IT support?
Outsourced IT support is the use of a third-party company to manage your IT needs and provide your employees with technical assistance. Companies like this are commonly referred to as managed service providers, or MSPs for short.
- Proactively manages and resolves issues across the IT network of an organisation.
- Offers delivery of their services remotely and/or on-site depending on the needs of the business.
Outsourced IT support is becoming increasingly popular, coinciding with companies relying more heavily on technology and employing newer, hybrid ways of working.
What are the benefits of outsourced IT support?
There are many benefits to outsourcing your IT support, including:
- A team who can operate in-house and/or remotely, offering flexibility.
- Access to more IT staff and a wider range of up-to-date resources.
- Proactive monitoring to reduce the risk of system crashes and downtime.
- Better solutions to identify and resolve problems before they escalate and impact your workflow.
- A cost-effective alternative to hiring in-house IT staff.
For smaller organisations where IT staff can be a large financial commitment, this last point is vital.
Outsourcing your IT support to an MSP offers access to a team of specialists for a fraction of the cost of employed staff.
MSPs usually offer different plans and pricing structures, so you get the support you need at a price that suits your budget.
Are there disadvantages to outsourced IT support?
No service in business is completely perfect and of course, there can be downsides to outsourcing IT support.
IT support engineers are not employees in the way in-house IT staff are. Although learning the needs of a client is part of the service, it remains a supplier-client relationship which is different to an employee-employer dynamic.
Services could be delivered predominantly via remote means, not face-to-face, which can sometimes cause issues.
Workload within the agreed terms is covered but any additional project needs, e.g. installing new services or components can incur further charges.
What services do IT support companies offer?
Most MSPs will offer consultancy services, acting as go-to experts for all your IT questions.
This can be especially helpful if you are:
- Moving offices/locations or offering hybrid working options.
- Expanding and/or employing a large volume of new staff.
- Introducing new workflows or upgrading any systems and IT infrastructure.
- Undertaking a major project that needs specific digital strategies.
IT consultancy can save you time and money by increasing your IT capacity, mitigating risk and ensuring you have the right facilities and knowledge to succeed.
Managing and protecting your data and digital assets is complicated for large and small companies alike. The protection of data, regular backups and secure, consistent access are issues that an MSP can advise on and implement; taking the worry out of the process and leaving you free to focus on your business.
Cloud-centric technology and workflows are becoming the go-to for many organisations.
Used correctly, it can offer your team the flexibility to streamline tasks and data and the chance to work remotely with minimal downtime. Employing an IT company to support your cloud-based infrastructure will ensure your business is using the correct, up-to-date technology to keep systems running smoothly.
Organisations have become increasingly dependent on consistent internet connectivity in recent years.
MSPs understand the complexities of reliable internet connectivity and can advise on solutions that meet the needs of your company.
Solutions can include:
- A backup internet connection ensuring minimal downtime in the event your primary connection fails.
- A leased line for secure, consistent internet connectivity.
- Public Wi-Fi installation giving your guests and visitors secure internet access.
Public internet access is particularly helpful within hospitality and tourism, helping to gather valuable information about customers. An IT support company can create branded sign-in pages and help you to understand user data whilst maintaining all GDPR and privacy compliance.
These are the combined communication methods your business uses to operate, including voice/video calling, email and instant messaging.
Outsourcing your unified communications to an MSP ensures each platform’s functionality is optimised creating streamlined communication between your staff and clients.
Do I need IT support?
IT support is essential for many businesses. In-house or outsourced is a decision that needs to suit your company’s requirements.
If you have invested in advanced technology that needs to be maintained and updated regularly, employing the services of an MSP is a sensible, forward-thinking step.
Tech issues are frustrating at best and catastrophic at worst. Proactive planning and management of your systems and IT needs is the best way to avoid a costly interruption to your business operations.
In-house or outsourced IT support?
The choice is entirely yours and depends on your budget, needs and future plans. Implementing an effective, modern IT infrastructure means looking at what you already have and exploring where you’d like to be in the future.
Systems should support a company as it exists now and give it the tools and room to grow and expand.
Can you combine in-house and outsourced IT support?
You might have an established in-house team who know your company inside out. An experienced IT support company can complement and boost their existing productivity with specialist resources; creating a bespoke plan that introduces new assets as well as updating any existing elements.
No specialist IT staff? Not an issue. A dedicated IT support company can assess your needs and then implement and proactively manage your up-to-date, modern IT infrastructure, resolving any issues before they escalate.
Outsourcing your IT support to Acronyms.
More and more companies are employing IT support companies to manage their technology needs, either to boost their in-house team or as an all-in-one provider.
The goals in every scenario? Productivity, communication and business continuity.
An IT support service can deliver practical solutions to your business, optimise your digital assets and infrastructure and encourage growth within your company.
Acronyms IT support has been providing tailored-made and hassle-free solutions to businesses across the South West since 2003. Our expert team of technicians, engineers and consultants offer a wealth of knowledge and experience and will never bog you down with jargon or tech speak.
If you have any questions about IT support or are ready to speak with a member of our team, contact Acronyms IT Support today.
Alternatively, you might find the following resources useful: