The argument of in-house IT vs outsourcing IT is one that many growing businesses encounter at one point or another. It can be a daunting and often confusing decision. But don’t put it off too long, because finding the right balance now will pay dividends in the future.
In 2020, IT is an absolutely critical component of every business. It’s the engine that will accelerate your business in today’s digitally-driven world. Without it, you’re little more than a chassis with wheels.
So with that in mind, let’s dig deeper into the two options available and discover which is right for your business.
In-House IT vs Outsourcing IT: Pros & Cons
Deciding between in-house IT or outsourcing IT will never be a clear-cut argument. It depends entirely on the needs of the individual business. And because of this, the best way that we can advise you is by laying all of the cards out on the table.
We will walk you through the pros and cons of both hiring your own in-house IT team and outsourcing your IT needs to an IT services company. With this information we hope that you will be able to go on to make a decision that’s right for your company.
So with that in mind, we will start by talking you through the pros of hiring in-house IT staff.
The Pros of Hiring In-House IT Staff
Trained To Meet The Specific Needs Of The Company
Every company will have its own unique tech stack. They will have certain software and hardware that is instrumental to the way the business is run. And while you will undoubtedly be able to outsource to somebody who knows how to do what you need them to do, it may take some time to find them.
However, an in-house team can be trained to suit your company’s needs. You can mould them to the way that your business operates.
Deeper Understanding Of How Your Business Works
Unlike an IT services company, an in-house IT team actually works inside your business. They will know everything that goes on, on a day-to-day basis.
This is an important factor as it means that they properly understand the role that their work plays in running of the business as a whole.
Accessible When You Need Them
There’s no doubt about it: having your IT team on-site is very convenient. There’s no need to call or submit a ticket. If there’s an issue, or you have a question, just walk across the office and ask them.
This is also doubly-important in the event of an IT-related emergency. Should something go wrong during work hours, your IT team are present and on-hand to get to work on finding a solution.
The Cons of Hiring In-House IT Staff
The Costs Associated With Hiring And Employing
There’s no doubt about it, hiring can be expensive. And even more expensive if you get it wrong. This is something that you need to bear in mind when considering hiring in-house IT staff.
There will be costs such as HR and administration, training, new office equipment and resources, the list goes on. And not only that, but you will also need the office space to accommodate your IT team.
Illnesses and Annual Leave
The difference between an in-house IT team and outsourcing is that your in-house team are only human (as opposed to a dedicated service). And as humans, they’re going to need time off from time to time, whether it be due to illness or because they have other things they need to do.
This can’t be helped. And for the most part it won’t be a problem. That is, of course, until something goes drastically wrong and the one person who will definitely know how to fix it isn’t there to do so.
Overwhelming Amount Of Jobs & Requests
The flip side of how convenient it is having your IT team on site is that they may be almost too conveniently placed. And because of that, every little IT niggle and nag will be directed at them, resulting in a whole lot of jobs to do.
Now, this may not seem too bad, but it could become a problem when urgent requests are getting lost in a sea of forgotten passwords and ‘broken computers’ which are actually just unplugged.
The Pros of Outsourcing IT Staff
Highly Specialised Skills
As a service provider, IT outsourcing companies are able to offer your business very specialised skills. Unlike an employee, who may require training, outsourced IT professionals can hit the ground running when they begin work for your business.
And because of their specialised skills, they’re perfect if you need a one-off project completing. For example, if you’re having a new website built, you will need a developer to do this for you, but you may have little use for them once the project is completed. This is where outsourced IT services come into their own.
Less Overheads For Your Business
As a general rule, outsourced IT service providers will work on your business remotely. This means less office space required, and in turn, less overheads for your business to pay (aside from their fee, of course!)
They will very often have the hardware and software required to carry out your project. However, if they don’t and you have to pay for it, they will often be able to buy it at a better price as a result of them working within the industry.
Reliable & High Quality Service
The difference between using an IT services company, as opposed to hiring in-house IT employees, is that a service provider doesn’t need sick days. They don’t need to book a week off to go on holiday. They will be available all year round.
As well as this, their reputation lies in the quality of service they provide to you. So with that in mind, for the most part, special effort will be taken to ensure your experience is of the highest quality.
The Cons of Outsourcing IT Staff
Expect To Pay More For Their Services
There’s no doubt about it, paying an external company to provide IT services will almost always cost more than if you hired an internal employee to do it for you. Howerver, with this higher fee comes a ‘ready-to-go’ service, that will be efficient and effective from day one.
With this in mind, it may make more sense to hire an in-house employee for longer-term projects. If you have enough time to properly hire and train your own staff, and know that they will be needed every day, then doing that may be better value for money.
Finding The Right Service
IT is diverse and, often, complicated – especially if you don’t work in the IT sector yourself. So, for that reason, one of the issues that you may encounter when looking for an external company to fulfil your IT needs is you may have difficulty finding somebody who does exactly what you need.
You can train in-house staff to work to your requirements. When outsourcing, you will need to find somebody who already does what you’re looking for – which can prove harder than it sounds.
Remote And Distant
Outsourcing your IT requirements will often mean the work is done remotely. This is great in some ways. It means you don’t need any extra office space, for example. However, it also means that they’re not on hand when you need a quick catch up with them.
And, in fact, if you want that quick catch up, you may have to submit a ticket and wait for a call back. Not ideal if it’s something time sensitive.
This issue may be more problematic for some businesses than it is for others. By outsourcing your IT, you may need to allow an external company access to sensitive data.
While the majority of IT service companies will deal with this issue in their Terms of Service Agreement, you may find yourself reluctant to share this data with a 3rd party. If this is the case, in-house may be the way to go.
Which Is Right For My Business?
As you can see, when considering in-house IT vs outsourcing IT, there are lots of elements to consider. From accessibility to security implications, the right decision is based entirely on how your business is run.
As a general rule, if you have an on-going IT need, it may be better to consider hiring an in-house employee. You will be able to train them to fit your exact needs and they will always be on-hand to talk to.
If you have an immediate but short-term IT project, outsourcing may be the way to go. However, with that said, people do use IT services companies on a longer-term basis too.
Another option to consider is using a combination of both, which many companies do to varying degrees of success. Hire in-house for day-to-day essential functions, and outsource to fill the gaps. The options are endless.
Hopefully, the information provided above has given you the information your need to make a decision that’s right for you. And if you need any help discussing your option, we’re always on hand to help.