Many small businesses rely on one of their own employees who “knows about computers” to deal with periodically occurring IT related tasks, like help with outlook configuration, setting up one or two computers, or troubleshooting software. Some companies however reach a point, when billable productivity of such person is decreasing, or even worse — productivity of the whole team suffers due to problems with technology. If either of those happen: it is time to consider either hiring a full-time IT technician or outsourcing IT tasks to an external IT provider.
Either IT solution has its advantages and drawbacks, but both can in principle fullfill your IT needs.
A full time IT employee , after initial cleanup of the network may not find enough high level work to justify full-time salary paid by the business (+vacation, insurance). Having a day-to-day IT technician however is sometimes beneficial for other employees as they rarely would need to deal with even simple IT issues.
Outsourced IT provider on the other hand, offers access to greater resources both technological as well as personnel. Technicians working for an IT provider have up-to-date training and are exposed to the networks of many clients. This assures that they have a deep understanding of many IT solutions and technologies, and can be an excellent source of advice on IT projects. By working on networks of various sizes they become excellent at troubleshooting skills, which allows them to solve problems faster.
Outsourced IT providers offer either break/fix services or maintenance packages, either costing less than full time employee and provides benefit of IT service continuity that single employee cannot (holidays, sick days). Additionally if a need arises, outsourced IT providers have the ability to assign more than one technician to a given project.
Large companies often choose to keep reduced IT staff, but outsource specific IT task like large project consulting, network expansion/re-built or server maintenance. This hybrid solution provides the resources and expertise they need, while keeping day to day operation smooth.
If you want to learn more about benefits and drawbacks of either on-site IT or outsourced IT check out this article from the Houston Chronicle . You can also visit our blog about the evolution of the business model of IT providers , in which we provided introduction to outsourced IT and managed services.
At the end of the day, it is up to you to decide what makes sense to you!
|In-house IT||Outsourced IT|
|On-site at all times||Quick response time|
|High salaries < full time demand||Simple, flat rate|
|High cost of training||Reliable|
|Additional HR||No HR headache|
|Dedicated person with un-shared attention||Broader range of experience with exposure to many networks and solutions|
|Limited access – maintaining one network||Quick implementation of new technology|
|Dedicated person with un-shared attention||Trained, experienced, certified|
|Compliance and security|
|Break-fix / maintenance or managed services|