“Should we outsource our IT functions or handle them in-house?”
It’s a question many companies face as they grow and expand. This article is going to look at arguments for both and explore the reasons why outsourcing your IT to a Managed Service Provider (MSP) can be a game-changer for small businesses like yours.
Let’s first talk about the different types of ways small businesses handle their IT in-house.
- Full-time IT Department – An employee(s) who is responsible for all IT needs within the company.
For small businesses, this can be a costly way to manage your IT, especially with the modern technology available. The cost of just one full time IT support engineer could be $60,000+ per year depending on their experience. Often, your IT support engineer will not have all the skills and experience required to fully manage all of your IT, networking and security needs which means you may have to either hire a second employee that specializes in a different area or outsource.
- Pay As You Go IT – When an IT issue arises, only then does the company contact someone to fix it
While on the surface this might seem like a good option, pay-as-you-go IT services can pose serious problems for small businesses.
This kind of service is purely reactive in nature – with the emphasis on fixing rather than preventing problems. As businesses will often pay for the time spent to troubleshoot and fix issues, the pay-as-you-go service does not have an incentive to resolve problems in a timely manner and a huge incident such as a ransomware attack or major hardware failure can end up causing huge unforeseen expenses.
- Tech Savvy Employee – Someone within the organization whose main job is not in IT but is more technical than other staff members. This can often be the owner themselves. This person tries to take on IT issues whenever they arise.
This option could seem like a great way to manage IT on a budget however there are many pitfalls to this IT solution. The tech-savvy employee will constantly have to be prioritizing their own job with the IT needs of the company and this could cause unnecessary downtime for other employees waiting for their issues to be resolved. Furthermore, when there is something to fix beyond the capabilities of the tech-savvy employee, a pay-as-you-go service will need to be called upon to fix any issue that has arisen, which, as discussed above, can be costly.
For years, these were the predominant way many businesses would handle their IT needs however, over time, the needs of small businesses, the technology, and the IT industry itself have all changed.
Now, let’s list the ways how a Managed IT Service Provider is better for your business than all the in-house IT solutions above:
- Lower IT Costs – MSPs offer a variety of service options including access to all levels of expertise with a substantially lower monthly cost. The pro-active nature of Managed IT Solutions means that your IT needs are pre-empted and the solutions you will need are already in place. It is like having a fully staffed, 24/7 in-house IT team at a fraction of the cost.
- Compete With The Big Guys – Small companies find it hard to compete with the in-house support services larger companies maintain. An MSP gives you access to “big business” technologies, processes, and expertise at a “small business” price.
- Focus On What Matters – You need to focus on your business. For small businesses especially each employee is necessary and the more time that can be spent focusing on their role, the more likely the business is to succeed. Give the growth of your business the attention it deserves by out-sourcing your IT to an MSP. This can be particularly beneficial to non-tech industries like healthcare, law, and finance, where managing IT services in-house might involve a steeper learning curve for staff members.
- Audit Compliance – The ever-changing landscape of audits like HIPAA, PCI, FICA, DCAA, can be a huge headache for small businesses and almost impossible for an in-house team or tech-savvy employee to keep up with. An MSP can, and probably already has done all this audit leg work already and so can ensure you meet these audit challenges and keep you fully compliant.
- Security – The single biggest threat in today’s business world is a cyber-attack. Sleep easier knowing that an MSP is actively monitoring for and mitigating these threats 24/7. With a company like Infonetworks that charges a flat monthly fee, you can also trust that if the worst was to happen you have a team of professionals working to resolve your issue for no hidden, extra cost.
- Leverage The Hive Mind – MSPs see related problems all the time. Direct experience matters and the combined knowledge of an MSP IT team sharing information about current IT threats across all their clients far outweighs the experience, and value, of one in-house IT employee who works on isolated IT issues within a single company.
- One Stop Shop – MSPs like InfoNetworks have professionals ready to implement, troubleshoot and fix IT solutions and problems of every kind. Regardless of if you are having a software, hardware, networking, communications or security issue, there is an expert available to your business that you can rely on to get you back and running, often fixing issues before you may have noticed any problem occurring.
- Peace of mind – An MSP offers you peace of mind and for a single flat monthly fee, you can know that your businesses IT is set up and being looked after by highly trained professionals for a pre-agreed fee that won’t change due to unforeseen circumstances.
Of course, the MSP you choose is a critical part of delivering on the benefits listed above. That’s why INFONETWORKS offers a free 30 min IT assessment call, so you can make sure that we are the best MSP choice for your needs.