Pros and Cons Of In House IT Over Outsourced IT
Modern IT operates under several models. Most of these fall under one of two main categories: in-house or outsourced IT. Both hold noteworthy benefits and downsides worth considering. With so many factors at play, making a decision can be difficult.
Below, we outline several specific elements of in-house and outsourced IT that can make a difference when choosing between in-house IT departments and outsourced providers:
An in-house IT team is hired directly to the company its members serve. This team is built from the ground up, with each employee recruited and trained according to specific preferences.
- Control. Those eager to oversee every aspect of IT may prefer the greater degree of control offered through in-house teams. Under this approach, it’s possible to hand-pick every employee, while also taking a central role in everything from training to management.
- Intimate understanding. Because in-house IT professionals work closely with the infrastructure for a specific company, they are intimately aware of the needs of that organization. This deep-seated understanding allows IT experts to quickly and accurately address a wide variety of issues, including hardware concerns that may take longer for outsourced teams to handle.
- Niche service. Depending on the industry, in-house IT experts may be required to handle specific functions outside of the purview of most other IT professionals. Specific skills and knowledge can be sought during the hiring process or while training and onboarding new employees. While outsourced providers may possess this knowledge, some are generalists with limited niche experience.
- Limited scalability. In today’s rapidly changing business environment, scalability is increasingly important. IT needs can dramatically increase or decrease at a moment’s notice. In either situation, an in-house IT team may be ill-equipped to handle unexpected changes in demand. Overstaffing leads to considerable waste but understaffing is even worse, as it can destroy productivity and leave organizations vulnerable to a variety of security issues.
- Cost. For many businesses, the chief barrier to in-house IT involves sheer cost. Even a lean IT department can be expensive to maintain. Outsourcing limits the need for a variety of expenditures, including everything from payroll to larger offices. Small businesses, in particular, may simply lack the resources necessary to take on elite IT staff members. Those that attempt to maintain in-house IT on a limited budget may make unacceptable compromises when hiring, bypassing the high-skilled professionals they need in favor of those with limited knowledge or experience.
- Narrow skillset. While many companies favor the niche skills present in many in-house IT departments, this apparent benefit can actually prove a major downside for some small businesses. Several organizations hold simple IT needs that most generalists can handle. Unfortunately, these generalists can sometimes be difficult to find, as in-house employees often concentrate on specific areas. Outsourcing may be a better solution for obtaining a combination of niche services and general IT attention.
Under an outsourced approach, some or all IT services are handled by a separate entity. This provider typically serves a variety of companies. Despite this, outsourced IT providers are able to provide swift service when it’s needed most, while also keeping costs manageable.
- Cost-effective service. The cost of hiring, training, and maintaining an IT department can be considerable. An outsourced approach minimizes these expenses. Instead, businesses pay monthly or annual fees, often bundling services to meet their unique needs at a rate they find reasonable. Typically, a breakdown is provided to deliver full transparency. While in-house IT is technically just as transparent, it can be difficult to accurately track expenditures under this approach.
- Time savings. Those who subscribe to the cliche “time is money” tend to prefer an outsourced approach, which eliminates the need to recruit, interview, and onboard IT professionals. While an initial time investment may be required for researching and communicating with outsourced providers, this approach ultimately saves businesses a considerable amount of time. As with cost savings, this benefit is compounded for small businesses,
- Constant access. While many in-house employees work long hours, they eventually need to head home. An outsourced approach spreads the obligation across more professionals, making it possible for many providers to offer 24/7 support. This is crucial, especially given the increasingly demanding nature of today’s customers and employees, many of whom hate to be left waiting when IT issues are not promptly resolved.
- Less control over specific professionals. With in-house IT, every potential team member is vetted thoroughly to ensure that all will be assets to the company. Under an outsourced approach, however, this level of control may not be available. While it’s possible to research individual team members employed by outsourced IT providers, hiring changes can occur at any time.
- Slower responses to hardware issues. The 24/7 nature of outsourced service makes it ideal for quickly responding to a variety of tech issues. When onsite hardware problems come into play, however, in-house employees may be better equipped to respond swiftly.
Ultimately, no one solution is ideal for every company in need of IT services. Both in-house and outsourced strategies offer a variety of valuable opportunities. For many companies, however, in-house simply isn’t practical. In such situations, the potential downsides of outsourcing can be overcome by selecting a trusted IT provider.
As you continue to weigh your options, don’t hesitate to seek feedback from ECW Computers. Reach out today to learn more about our managed IT services