Deciding between in-house or outsourced IT support can seem a daunting task. There are many factors to consider, and it’s important to pick the right one for your business. Here at Superfast IT we’ve been in the business of outsourced IT support for over 15 years and have spoken to thousands of both in-house and outsourced IT support companies. We’ve seen the good and bad of each and seen how one can hold an advantage over the other.
In this guide, we’ll look at what each one is and the pros and cons they come with.
What is In-house IT Support?
In-house IT support is where you will have your own IT depart inside your business premises. You will employ the people who work in the team, and you have full control over them. If you have a problem, they’ll be able to come to your work area to fix it.
Pros of In-house IT Support
With your IT department being on your business premises, you know that you’re guaranteed quick support. Many outsourced IT companies will also provide quick support but can sometimes be difficult to contact if phone lines are busy. With an internal IT team, you can simply speak to them in person and get the problem looked at straight away.
Not only are you all but guaranteed quick support but you can also get eyes on view of the problem. While an outsourced IT company can do this via a remote session, it’s never quite the same as being there in person. Being able to see an issue in front of you becomes a big advantage when the problem is with hardware rather than software.
An In-house IT team will only work on your systems. Having just the one system to learn means they can quickly build up a detailed picture of your networks and more. Every IT infrastructure is unique, and an outsourced IT company will have lots of different networks to remember. By having to learn just one system, it should mean your problems get fixed quicker.
With an in-house IT team you can choose who you hire meaning you can make them part of your company culture. Employing people who are in line with your company values will improve productivity, and any HR problems can be resolved onsite quickly.
When you employ somebody in-house, you can tailor the training for them. The training can be to enhance their IT skills or training that the whole company does. Training will not only help the personal growth of employees but your company to grow too.
Cons of In-house IT Support
Cost is the biggest sticking point when it comes to in-house IT support is the cost of hiring the members of staff. A two-person IT team could cost you upwards of £50,000 a year once all costs have been considered. It’s a big investment, and you have to consider if it’s a sustainable model for your business.
Internal IT teams are usually small in numbers meaning if somebody is off on holiday or off sick your levels of support will be severely affected. Of course, you can combat this by not allowing more than one person to be off at the same time but you cannot control people who are off sick.
What happens when your IT department go home for the day, and you have a problem that needs to be fixed. Internal IT teams are great while they’re at the office but no good when they’re not. If your business is open long hours, it can be difficult to be covered all hours with an internal team.
Another problem comes when somebody leaves your company either by choice or from your decision. It means you must replace them quickly to keep your full complement of support staff and quickly train them.
Of course, employing trustworthy people isn’t a con, but you have to be careful and have high levels of trust. People you employ will have full access not only to your networks but your business premises too. There’s potential for this to be a huge security risk, and if the information falls into the wrong hands it could cause everlasting damage
What is Outsourced IT Support?
Outsourced IT support is where your problems get fixed externally. You will call a company who looks after your systems, and they will often fix the problem remotely. You choose which company to work with but not what engineers they hire.
Pros of Outsourced IT Support
Outsourcing IT support will save you thousands of pounds a year compared to insourcing your own. Usually, you will be charged monthly with a clear breakdown of what you’re getting. You don’t have to worry about hiring employees and the subsequent costs that follow.
IT support companies will hire lots of their own staff and have access to more resources than an in-house team. Due to this, your problems should be fixed more efficiently even if they’re unable to come to your premises. Outsourced IT teams will look for proactive over reactive fixes with their vast resources to fix problems before you know they’re there.
Many outsourced IT companies have vast experience inside their organisations. Even here at Superfast IT we have over 80 years of experience between us and have been running as a company for over 15 years. Many in-house IT teams can’t offer this level of experience. There are usually different experts for different problems meaning you always have access to a fix with an outsourced IT team.
Any good outsourced IT support company will be able to offer you 24/7 support. Be 1 pm, or 1 am you will be able to call up if you have a problem with your IT. 24/7 support unless you hire several people, is something in-house IT cannot offer. If you have so-called quirky business hours, this will be a big advantage for you.
Following on from 24/7 support you will often get 24/7 monitoring of your systems giving you less chance of outages. Rather than waiting for you to report an outage, system alerts will alert an outsourced IT company as soon as it happens. How much money would you lose if your network was down for one minute? How about an hour? A day? A week?
Cons of Outsourced IT Support
A risk with an outsourced IT support company is getting tied into a long contract that you’re unable to get out of. Before an agreement, you should always know your contact length and any notice period you need to serve. With an in-house IT team, you can set contract lengths and even set performance targets.
While remote support will be available from an outsourced IT team, they can’t come to your site for every problem. Not being on-site can be a disadvantage especially when it’s a hardware issue as the remote session won’t always be possible to locate the problem.
In-house IT support allows you to go and speak to somebody straight away. Outsourced IT teams will have several clients to deal with at once so sometimes you have to wait. Support tickets are sorted by priority so if a client has a whole system down it will be looked at before a single computer that’s broken.
Putting your systems in the hands of an external company takes a lot of trust. Before going into an agreement, you should look for social proof on their website and speak to current/ex-clients if possible to find out if they’re a trustworthy company. Any good outsourced IT company will be able to show you accreditations and testimonials from their clients.
With an internal team, it’s much easier to control your budgets and spending. Sometimes unexpected costs can arise while working on things such as projects and support tickets. Lots of outsourced IT companies are honest in their pricing, but some may look to add unexpected costs.
Hopefully, this guide has helped highlight some of the pros and cons of both in-house and outsourced IT support. Every business is different, and some will suit an in-house team while others will find it more efficient to outsource. If you’re considering changing IT providers or unsure about what your business needs, feel free to get in touch with us using the form below. We’ll answer any questions you have no matter how big or small.