The choice between outsourcing IT support or retaining an in-house IT team is a hard one, with both options offering advantages. The advantages are different however and which one better reflects your ambition and chosen strategy will help you decide which is right for your organisation.
And of course, it’s not a straight forward either/or choice, with a hybrid model often proving the best of both worlds for organisations with an eye on future growth. To help answer the questions for yourself, here are a few points worth considering:
The importance of cost will vary depending on the size of the business. For smaller organisations, any problems with the IT will generally become the responsibility of the ‘accidental techie’, a knowledgeable member of staff who ends up becoming the go-to IT engineer.
Unfortunately, they end up being bombarded with support requests and their primary role starts to take a back seat. This reduces their personal productivity and leads to longer resolution times for issues that are already affecting the work of others.
Creating an in-house support team will typically require at least two salaried staff, which will add significantly to your wage bill, to say nothing of the associated costs of recruitment and on-going training to keep their skills up to date.
Growth will require the recruitment of additional staff and the implementation of a management structure, which ensures large ongoing costs that are not easy to justify or scale up or down accordingly.
Using outsourced IT support will reduce costs and consolidate them into a fixed monthly cost, based on the number of users being supported. It mitigates up-front capital expenditure and allows for accurate budgeting, with a typical contract being anywhere from three to six years.
Despite the best efforts of Microsoft to rationalise applications, technology is all-pervading and more complicated than ever. The external threat landscape is changing continuously and poses new challenges to those tasked with keeping systems secure.
The issue for most SMEs when recruiting their own IT support staff is ensuring they have a broad general skill-set, able to solve simple problems quickly and efficiently. Few organisations will have the ongoing need or work to warrant employment of IT staff with specialised skills.
Employing those with niche skills, to be used only occasionally would prove cost-prohibitive. So, you either go without and face greater risk of a cyber-attack or reduced productivity or access these special skills only when you need them, by outsourcing.
The best outsourced service providers, like Quiss Technology, will give you access to a growing team of knowledgeable IT professionals with a range of specialist skills that are constantly updated and extended.
When shaping your contract, you can choose to have their services on tap to match your ambitious growth plans, or include their occasional use as an added cost if you are not likely to call on them too often.
Linked to the skills question, is one of resources. Firstly, this is not just a matter of enough people to cope with a problem, but enough to cope with multiple problems occurring at the same time, more quickly and efficiently than in-house teams can.
A large team of IT professionals available remotely to support your staff working in the office, at a client’s office or even from home, will make a huge difference to the day-to-day productivity of your organisation and the people within it.
They can also help you develop and incorporate ideas that may be beyond the abilities of your in-house IT team. Access to professionals only when you need them is cost-effective and allows you to deploy the latest technologies and software applications, to compete with larger enterprises.
Choosing to outsource your IT support, does not mean losing your existing in-house team, or the time and money you have invested to this point.
With a hybrid model, you maintain existing expertise on-premise, but have access to additional resources to cope with a problem beyond your team’s capability or bring in specialised skills to help complete a project more quickly.
More next time…
There are more reasons to consider outsourcing some or all of the IT support you and your organisation need to operate optimally in today’s challenging commercial environment, which we will look at next time.
We will cover the benefits of comprehensive reporting and the ongoing cost of ensuring the skills of IT staff remain current and relevant. Other considerations will include, extending support cover to 24/7/365, re-focussing on core activities, benefits of sector best practice and access to informal support and training for third-party applications.
The flexibility and scalability inherent in typical support contracts, like those offered by us here at Quiss Technology are the primary reason why more organisations are choosing to outsource their IT support.
If you still need convincing or have decided now is the time to see how the costs stack up, please get in touch and we’ll explain in detail the pros and cons of managed IT outsourcing for your organisation.
Clive Taylor, Operations Director, Quiss Technology plc