Is Your IT Budget Shrinking?
It wasn’t all that long ago that if you had an IT department, its main function was to keep your PCs and network running smoothly. Now an IT department could also be tasked with handling website design and maintenance, online marketing, e-commerce, and social media engagement, to name a few, all the while also ensuring network security.
Without a doubt, IT needs vary greatly from company to company. There are a few commonalities, though, the biggest being the costs you incur for those services. If you’ve been asked to trim your in-house IT budget, it might be time to consider having a portion, if not all, of your IT needs handled by contracted services. In this post, we’ll look at the pros and cons of in-house versus outsourced IT. We’ll look at the in-house option first.
Pros – If you have a dedicated, full-time IT department, you’re familiar with the benefits. You have known costs, like salaries and benefits, that make overall budgeting a little easier. Your staff knows your business and is really committed to making your company successful. Having someone onsite to troubleshoot problems is a big reason many companies elect to have an IT department on their payroll. As we’ll see when we look at outsourcing, that perceived security blanket does have a few holes in it.
Cons – You can’t discount the convenience factor of having onsite IT staff. But those staff members will have sick and vacation days that you’ll need to cover. Also, you’ll have to continue investing in their training to keep their skills up to date. That training will have a double whammy effect – training takes your techs out of circulation, plus you’ll need to pay their salaries while they’re training.
Pros – These include the flip side of the in-house model’s cons. You avoid the high costs of benefits and time off. Rather than relying on staff with a wide base of knowledge, you can contract for the specific services you need. In this model, you’ll generally be getting the best available talent. They’ll come to the job with the skills you need, and all that training was paid for by someone else’s budget. Getting back to that faulty safety blanket mentioned earlier, do you have staff on call 24/7? If you don’t, then consider that almost all managed IT services offer round-the-clock support. You can also help save your current staff’s sanity by contracting out only certain tasks. There’s nothing that says you can’t mix-and-match in-house and outsourcing, which when done correctly, can free up your internal resources.
Cons – Probably the biggest downside with contracted IT support is the lack of personal investment in your organization. Because they’re unfamiliar with your organization’s business goals and even culture, you may find you’re spending more time than you’d like on bringing them up to speed. If the IT work is to be done off-site, communication can break down, causing frustration on both sides.
So, which approach is best for you – in-house or outsourced? Only you know the answer. As part of your research, be sure to talk to HIG. We have IT experts who can help you meet your business goals by providing services that range from network configuration, migrating to cloud-based services, and more.
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