To meet the challenge of today’s ever-increasing pace of digital change, some companies invest solely in in-house IT resources. Others leverage outsourced IT support options.
Deciding which resource is optimal for your business depends on how you run your business and what you want to gain from your IT support department.
In-house IT support
Maintaining IT support resources in-house gives you the most control over those functions:
- Internal IT staff is not only more familiar with how the company functions, but also with its goals, mission and culture. Any in-house technical support will reflect those values.
- In-house IT staff is also fundamentally familiar with organizational IT systems and programming, so they can be quicker to identify and address problem areas.
- In-house IT support is especially critical for proprietary programming. Insider knowledge about key aspects of the organization may be intrinsic to its market value, and sharing that information with an outsourced contractor may not be worth the risk.
- Cost. The expense of maintaining an in-house IT support team in place can be high. Specialists often expect higher wages, and your company may be expected to pay for their continuing education and training. Further, if their services aren’t needed on a daily basis, the company may be paying for significant amounts of downtime.
- Time delays. Another challenge arises when IT projects arise faster than the IT support personnel address them. In mid- to large-sized companies, different business units may have to compete with each other for IT time to handle their particular crisis.
Outsourced IT support resources
Alternatively, there are many benefits to hiring a specialist to handle those activities that aren’t unique to the enterprise.
- Lower cost—sometimes. IT functions that are common among businesses are often cheaper to access when handled by an outside contractor. These agents have streamlined the processes and practices and can offer their customers reduced prices because of those cost-saving measures. Additionally, outsourcing some of the IT support work also eliminates the expense of hiring, training and paying an IT specialist full time.
- Flexible access. Many of today’s IT support vendors provide 24/7 customer service, so their customers always have access to the IT resources they need.
- Remote support is the norm. Often the outsourced agent performs assessments and repairs remotely, so business owners can’t interact with that person on a face-to-face basis.
- Shared resources may reduce availability. Additionally, the outsourced contractor probably has many customers, all of whom are vying for attention. Depending on the provider, there could lag between seeking support and receiving it.
The best of both worlds
Many companies elect to split their IT support options by creating a hybrid solution that responds to all their needs.
Best in-house services
- Customer service. Maintaining the personal connection with customers is critical.
- Proprietary information handling. Some business data is too important to share with an outsider.
- Anything that can be automated. Email marketing, invoicing and billing, and even accounting can be automated to save time and money.
Best outsourced IT support services
- Anything that will scale. Outsourced IT support vendors have the infrastructure and architecture needed to scale any corporate function.
- Backup and recovery. Having an alternate location for redundant programming ensures that corporate data remains available despite a disaster.
- Colocation options. Outsourced IT support vendors can provide additional corporate data center space cheaper than building new facilities in existing structures.
Today’s marketplace offers more opportunity than ever before. Both in-house and outsourced IT support services can help businesses maximize their resources and maintain their share of that space.