As your business grows, your need for IT support and expertise grows. You’ll need to decide if you want an internal IT department or outsourced IT work.
But what exactly does that mean? What are the pros and cons for each, and how do you choose? Let’s find out.
Difference Between Internal and Outsourced IT
An internal IT department is when a company assigns tasks and projects to an in-house department. It can consist of one individual or a team of specialists. However, internal departments are notorious for being overworked, and the move to remote workplaces and the talent shortage in the technology sector have caused businesses to consider outsourcing their IT needs.
Outsourced IT is when a company relies on a third-party expert, called a managed service provider (MSP), to handle its business IT needs. MSPs rely on building a strong relationship with your company to run your IT infrastructure smoothly. They’re dedicated to finding fast, reliable solutions to issues and providing high-grade customer service, as they don’t want to lose you as a client.
MSPs can provide a variety of services, including:
- Remote support and monitoring
- Help desk services
- Security monitoring
- File backups
- Software updates
- Server storage and management
- Cloud services
- IT budgeting
- Virtual CIO services
- Network and server management
What to Consider When Choosing
Both internal and outsourced IT have pros and cons, which we’ll cover below, but neither is a one-size-fits-all option for companies – you should choose one that meets multiple factors, like company budget, deadlines, goals and needs. If you go with an outsourced company, ensure they’re trustworthy and have an excellent reputation. Select an MSP that has services that benefit your company.
MSPs offer a fixed monthly fee-based rate for their services that is almost always cheaper than setting up and maintaining an internal IT department. These service packages can depend on the number of devices, users and hours, as well as your company’s size, the complexity of your current IT system and any specific needs. However, be mindful of ad hoc break-fix contracts that only fix issues when they occur; these reactive services can’t compare against the proactive mindset that most MSPs provide.
5 Benefits of Outsourced IT
1. Cost: The number one reason why a company chooses to outsource its IT needs is cost. Outsourcing can help contain labor costs, as you no longer need to screen, onboard and train employees, as well as pay for their salaries, benefits, raises and taxes – a single IT support staff salary is about $50,000 a year, meaning an internal IT department of several could cost upwards of hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. As mentioned above, a current shortage of talented IT professionals in the tech field is increasing the rate of hiring specialized personnel for niche jobs. Providing an office space with the proper equipment and maintenance can also be expensive. With outsourcing, you have a team of experts working at a set cost – you know what service you’ll receive at what price, so you can guarantee more bang for your buck.
2. Wealth of knowledge, skills and experience: Unless your business is specifically about technology, odds are, you don’t know much about fixing IT issues. With a team of certified, trained IT experts at your fingertips, you can use their collective knowledge, skills and experience to cover a wide array of services, including cybersecurity compliance,industry best practices and disaster recovery. They can notice vulnerabilities you didn’t know existed and offer insights on how to fix them, as well as implement security strategies that minimize risks and mitigate threats against cyber attacks. An outsourced IT team should also have experience working for various industries, meaning they will have developed strong SOPs so they can handle issues efficiently and quickly. They know the best workarounds, solutions and tools, not including their established connections with suppliers, vendors and resources. Meanwhile, if your internal IT department is small or has limited skills, they’ll struggle to address any issues your company faces – if an IT person leaves, they take their knowledge with them. It’s almost impossible for an internal team to understand the ever-changing complex systems and regulations and implement them. In contrast, an outsourced team literally exists to do that – it takes a lot of time, money and effort to stay abreast of the latest IT advancements and trends, so let the MSP do it for you.
3. Scalability: Although outsourcing IT is preferable for startup businesses or companies looking for new IT infrastructures or systems, any organization can utilize it. By outsourcing, you can easily grow your IT with your business – scale up or down, depending on your changing business needs and budget. Outsourcing can also offer more access to resources and staff during a busy season that typically overwhelms an internal IT team.
4. Flexibility: In-house teams are often overburdened with too much work and feel unable to focus on their responsibilities. Outsourced IT can help manage the workload and provide flexible solutions and policies as they adapt to your needs and issues so you can get more tasks done. Your company can then decide if it wants to focus on the day-to-day tasks or big projects and divide the responsibilities with the outsourced IT department. Or you can choose to let your outsourced company handle all IT issues – you can focus solely on what you do best while they manage your IT. This leads to higher productivity and business operation efficiency, and you can reinvest the time and money saved back into your company.
5. Availability: Outsourcing IT also provides a flexible work schedule, especially since 60% of tech professionals work remotely. With an internal team, you must be mindful of employee sick time, vacation time and holiday schedules. If you lose an employee, whether temporary or permanent, it can stall or stop business continuity – a high turnover rate in the IT field means inconsistent work as businesses continuously onboard, hire and train staff before losing them again. Outsourced teams can be available 24/7, on the weekends and during holidays. This constant support also lessens the time between finding and solving issues, which also results in higher productivity – you might not even know an issue existed because the outsourced team will handle it outside normal business hours.
The Obvious Choice? Thriveon
If you think you need an outsourced IT company, look no further than Thriveon.
Thriveon provides outsourced managed IT services to a variety of industries in Minnesota and Florida. Our proactive mindset means we try to fix problems before they occur so you’re not dealing with the same issues again and again. We also provide comprehensive cybersecurity compliance measures and hassle-free professional IT project services. All of your IT needs are handled by our industry experts, who work both remotely and in the field.
Find out how Thriveon can help you today –schedule a consultation now.