In this article I wanted to cover off the pros and cons when looking to Outsource the IT Support role in your business.
It’s an age old discussion – is it better to employ someone, or to look towards a third party IT Company to provide IT support?
There are of course many differences, but below I’ve summarised them in a Pros vs Cons list.
There are many pro’s for outsourcing your IT services. A non-exhaustive list is below.
- Access a wide range of IT skills by utilising the outsource providers vast range of knowledge and skills held by their staff. Everybody has their own specialisms, so you’ll have access to a wider range of those specialisms compared to directly employing staff.
- Industry Knowledge and Experience – Simply put, an Outsource provider will have more knowledge about more products and services than a single employed member of staff. They deal with different customers and different systems every day, compared to a single employee who’s only focus is your own IT system.
- Less expensive – Arguably it can actually be less expensive to outsource, although it may not look it on paper. Once you factor in the hidden costs of employing, (PAYE, holiday, sick, staff training) then Outsourcing can quickly become affordable.
- Absences such as Holiday or Sickness are taken care of by the outsource provider.
- Minimal Human Resources (HR) are required. No time and cost to recruit, train, on-board and maintain that employee, as this is the responsibility of the IT provider.
- Get as little or as much support as you need, and pay as you need.
- Budget Flexibility: Pay-as-you go or pay a fixed monthly fee to cover all of your needs.
- Desk Space can be freed up if you don’t require a permanent on-site IT presence. Instead fee earning staff can take up this space.
- Contracted Service Level Agreements (SLA’s) are offered to ensure response, and sometimes even resolution within a specific timeframe.
- Monitoring systems can ensure Outsource IT providers know what’s going on (in most instances), just as quickly as an employee.
- Centralised Point of Contact for any IT Issue. The outsource IT provider can then contact any of your own third parties for further assistance.
- 24×7 Support, if required, your Outsource provider may offer round-the-clock support.
- Response can be slower, as the outsource providers focus isn’t 100% on your business. They do have to manage and prioritise issues on the basis of its impact throughout all of their customers. It’s also much quicker to walk over to your employees desk to ask them to urgently fix a problem, rather than log the issue with a third party and wait for their response.
- Costs can sometimes seem expensive on the face of things. Look at the bigger picture in terms of employing staff over just their annual salary.
- Language barriers – This only applies if your outsource provider includes offshore staff, and can be very frustrating when struggling to explain an issue.
- Weaker relationship – no matter how good an outsource provider, they are not going to have as close a relationship with you and your business as a full time employee. Regular meetings and calls with your outsource provider are a good way to minimise this, however ultimately you and your staff will still treat it as such. For example: You wouldn’t typically invite your Outsource IT provider to your Christmas party (Which makes the times we are invited that much more special!)
What about Employing?
Take a look at our blog post for Pros vs Cons for Employing IT Support to compare against employing staff directly.
Whilst we can’t make a recommendation for your specific circumstances, the general recommendation is that outsourcing to a local IT Support firm is the best of both worlds.
Choose your provider carefully, and you will have the skills, team, and expertise to provide a top class service at your fingertips, far above and beyond the capabilities and cost of employing your own member of staff.
Outsource IT Firms will generally be ahead of the curve and when consulted, be able to provide you with cutting edge solutions and technology to help grow your business, and allow you to focus on your own business.
Thinking of changing IT Provider? Then check out our IT Support Learning Hub for a wealth of information, including what to look out for when looking for an IT Provider and how much it should all cost.