However, having an in-house IT department can be expensive, especially for small to medium-sized businesses and therefore considering outsourcing IT Support Services could be the most efficient option going forward. Outsourced IT covers several disciplines including data security, cloud services, web services, repairs and development meaning it covers all aspects of IT which could be required by your business.
What are the pros of outsourcing IT support?
Deciding to outsource your business’ IT can be difficult and it is therefore important to look at the outsourcing pros and cons. The pros include:
- Cost – By outsourcing IT Support to a third party you can have an entire IT support team covering multiple disciplines at your fingertips at a fraction of the cost it would be to have a comparable in-house team. Outsourcing could also actively save money as IT personnel could be eliminated as well as all the associated costs of recruitment, ongoing training and staff benefits.
- 24/7 services – Managed Service Providers offer an around the clock service, don’t take holidays and are always available when your business needs their input. The third-party providers are also under contractual obligations to reach certain standards meaning the service could be of a higher quality than an in-house team.
- Scalable – Unlike having an in-house IT team, outsourced IT Support is much easier and cost-effective to scale. So, as your business grows the support increases to match it.
- Cutting edge technology – An outsourced IT Support Services’ only role is to provide great IT support and therefore they are up to date on the latest trends, threats, and technologies which are immediately transferred to your business. It is difficult for an in-house team to keep up with all the technological advancements required to be ahead of the game.
What are the benefits of outsourcing IT services?
Outsourcing IT Support has a number of benefits, especially for small to medium enterprises, who may find that hiring a team of IT experts to work in-house may not be practical. The biggest benefit is the combination of lower employee costs and yet a richer pool of knowledge and expertise. Outsourced IT Support provides the skills you require for the support you need, whereas an in-house team is often required to upskill to suit the changing needs. Therefore, it is quite likely that the service quality will be higher with outsourced IT than in-house.
Remote IT Support Services are particularly beneficial to small and medium enterprises who are looking to grow quickly, as their support contract is easier to scale than increasing an in-house team. It is also easier to increase and reduce staff numbers to deal with fluctuations in the business market without disrupting the onsite team.
What are the cons of outsourcing IT support?
Outsourcing any aspect of your business infrastructure can be a difficult decision for any business leader to make and it is therefore important to look at both the pros and cons of outsourcing. Some of the cons include:
- Remote team – Some management teams are uncomfortable if they are unable to ‘see’ what their money is paying for. Much IT support is done in the background and doesn’t always necessitate an engineer onsite. Additionally, if the IT is always working they can’t see what the role of the outsourced IT team is, even though their remote work and monitoring is probably the reason everything is running smoothly.
- Changeover – If your business already has an in-house IT team, changing to outsourced can be a difficult decision to make, as it may mean redundancies but also changing the way your business and your employees work.
- Loss of control – Having a remote team in control of the IT for your business may seem like relinquishing control. It can also be difficult to go back to an in-house team without substantial outlay, as well as having to educate the new team on how everything is done when it may not be clear to anyone but the IT Support Services supplier.
- Unexpected costs – If the initial agreement is not set up well, in order to offer the support that your business actually requires it could end up costing more than anticipated.
It’s important to be aware of what is required for your business and make this clear in the initial discussions.
- Slow response times – Not all IT Support Services have quick response times, meaning a business could experience downtime whilst waiting for the resolution to a problem. Before outsourcing the work, check response times are within an acceptable time frame.
- Security risks – Enabling a third-party organisation access to your computer networks and your company data does hold some security risks if due diligence is not carried out.
What are the challenges of outsourcing IT support?
Nothing is challenge free in this world, and often outsourcing can be viewed within the organisation as a negative thing, especially if in-house personnel are made redundant.
Culturally, there also has to be a change of behaviour – no longer can a user pop to the IT office if there is a problem. Instead they have to raise a ticket and wait for the IT support team to resolve it. This can cause extra friction if the response times appear to be slower than the in-house team.
With this, also comes a perceived loss of control. It’s not always possible to see the work that is being done in the background and some management teams may feel they are unable to track progress. However, most remote IT support services can produce reports from their helpdesk software outlining number of tickets and response times.
Not every business is suitable for outsourced IT support, which is why it is essential to weigh up outsourcing advantages and disadvantages. But the majority of the time such challenges can be overcome through education and training on behavioural changes and therefore for many it is the best solution to an important aspect of the business.
If you think your business could benefit from IT support outsourcing contact the team at CiS today to see how we can help and what the best options would be for you and your business.