Information technology, or IT, has become vital in most businesses in recent years. However, emerging technologies have created a complex IT environment, making a full-time, professional IT team necessary. Many companies struggle to manage their IT infrastructure, so they grapple with whether IT should be managed internally or outsourced. Of course, each company has its own set of IT demands; therefore, a one-size-fits-all solution does not exist. Instead, individual businesses must weigh the pros and cons of outsourcing IT and, from there, decide which path to take.
What Is IT Outsourcing?
IT outsourcing is a business strategy in which a company employs an external IT service provider to manage its information technology infrastructure rather than employing an internal team to handle the responsibility. As we will discuss, managed IT services have notable advantages and disadvantages.
Moreover, outsourcing does not have to be an all-or-nothing deal. Many businesses split or share responsibilities between external service providers and internal resources. Working with external providers allows a company more insight into the functioning of the IT system, and it increases control to a certain degree.
Why Outsource Your IT Support Services
Companies often choose to outsource IT, not so much because of the benefits of outsourcing or the potential drawbacks, but more because there are issues that they believe will be resolved through outsourcing; some examples include:
- Insufficient IT staff
- IT Support experts handling minor problems
- Repeated security issues causing extended downtimes
- Decreasing company efficiency
- Training new staff is time-consuming and expensive
After IT has been outsourced and the initial issues have been resolved, companies realize the advantages inherent in using external service providers while negating the potential risks.
What Are the Pros of Outsourced IT Support?
The list of advantages that come with outsourcing IT is extensive, but some of the foremost include:
Lowering Operating Costs
Outsourcing IT support can significantly lower operating costs, especially compared to the costs incurred using an in-house IT team. In the UK, an IT manager earns more than £40,000 per year, and this wage doesn’t even include bonuses, vehicles, and pension contributions. And if a company is considering switching to an in-house IT team, besides an IT manager, they will need an IT staff.
Currently, recruitment costs are around £3,000 per new worker, according to Glassdoor, and the cost of recruiting a seasoned IT professional is going to be much higher – and those are just recruiting costs. In the end, even if your company’s IT team only consists of a few workers, the combination of their wages, benefits, and training will exceed £100,000 per year.
So, what is the average annual cost for businesses that outsource IT support? £4,000. That’s a difference of £96,000!
Of course, this figure will vary depending on the needs of the individual business, but it goes a long way in showing how much lower operating costs could be by outsourcing IT.
Expertise and Access to Advanced Technologies
IT service providers employ some of the most knowledgeable staff in the industry. This is because they only focus on IT-oriented issues, and they often specialize in a single facet of IT, such as:
- Cloud Storage
- Data cabling
- IT consultancy
- Sharepoint migration
- Business continuity
Scaling High-Quality Staff
Onboarding IT staff is time-consuming, expensive, and ridden with challenges. By outsourcing IT, you can avoid the pitfalls of the onboarding process. More importantly, outsourcing allows companies to scale instantly by informing the IT service provider that additional staff is needed.
In recent years, cybercrime has become a significant problem for businesses and consumers alike. Cybercriminals are known for targeting IT databases with the hopes of stealing vital information. To counter this, most IT service providers have a dedicated team of cybersecurity experts to prevent criminals from infiltrating the IT infrastructure.
Better Productivity and Improved Focus
By outsourcing IT services, companies can focus on dedicating their resources to areas that will help further business growth. This reallocation of resources will increase efficiency and promote a better work environment for staff.
What Are the Cons of Outsourced IT Support?
The disadvantages of outsourced IT support are limited, and in most cases, the drawbacks can be negated if given the proper attention, and they include:
Complex IT Functions Are Not Easily Outsourced
Hardware and software integration and network architecture implementation are highly involved processes, and some companies maintain that they should not be entrusted to external service providers. Furthermore, duties, such as audits and project management, may prove difficult for outsourcing because they require in-depth knowledge of a business for proper handling.
Lack of Coordination and Internal Familiarity
A recurring issue with outsourcing IT is a lack of communication between the business owner or staff and the service provider. Communication is crucial so that the service provider can become familiar with the internal functions of a company. However, it’s not always the outsourced provider who is to blame for lacking communication; instead, it’s the contractor. On the other hand, if both parties work together by communicating and subsequently addressing concerns, the partnership will be successful.
Impact on Company Culture
Positivity in the workplace promotes efficiency and productivity. Unfortunately, when a company uses a third-party vendor, it can lead to concern and negativity among the internal staff, who may feel that their job is in jeopardy or fail to understand why the work is being outsourced in the first place. But, as we’ve mentioned, communication is essential, and by addressing the concerns of the staff, business owners can dispel misunderstandings.
What Is the Cost of Switch From In-House to Outsourced IT Support?
There are no costs when switching to outsourced IT support, and there are only savings. The transition is straightforward and hassle-free. No capital expenditures, only operating expenses.
In Conclusion: Benefits of Outsourcing IT Outweigh the Risks
If your company is looking to lower operating costs and labour costs, increase cybersecurity, and improve efficiency and productivity, you’ll want to consider outsourcing IT support. And while there are some minor disadvantages to outsourcing IT services, by properly communicating, they can be negated. Making the switch from in-house IT support to outsourced support can be a bit daunting, but, in the end, you’ll realize that it is virtually hassle-free and well worth the effort.