Should Your Small Business Invest in In-House IT or Outsourced IT Services?
The relationship between small and medium-sized businesses and IT is often a contentious one. You rely on technology to help your business run efficiently, but IT is most likely not one of your core competencies -- and just keeping your systems running is too often a major undertaking, one that distracts you from business-building activities.
Some SMBs rely on an in-house IT staff for technical support, but this is not always all it’s cracked up to be. An in-house IT staff is generally only available for IT support during working hours – but what do you do when they’re sick, on vacation, or busy in a meeting?
In-house staff also add high fixed costs to your payroll, and their experience is limited to what they have learned working for you and their last one or two employers. This gives them a very narrow perspective on overall industry trends and the “ins and outs” of available technologies. And since IT is not your core competency, you may have limited insight into how well the IT staff is performing. For these reasons, many savvy SMBs are choosing to outsource IT maintenance and support to an expert third-party provider.
Outsourcing gives SMBs easy access to high-caliber IT support they would not be able to afford in-house. Business owners who outsource IT support generally enjoy stable systems, lower maintenance costs, more uptime, and less worry. “Business owners who outsource IT support generally enjoy stable systems, lower maintenance costs, more uptime, and less worry.”
Outsourced IT In a very small business, it’s pretty obvious that hiring a full-time IT person, let alone a full staff, is not a viable option. But hiring full time IT resources may not be the ideal choice for larger businesses either. To illustrate this point, let’s take a look at the costs and benefits of hiring one full-time IT staffer compared to contracting with an outsourced IT provider.