IT Service or IT Department: Which Is Right for Your Business?

IT Service or IT Department

Outsourcing is a hot topic in the business world today. Your business may already engage in outsourcing in some way.

You might outsource digital marketing or have a virtual assistant. About 37% of businesses outsource some or all of their IT functions.

For many businesses, this makes sense. They don’t want to have an IT department, or they want to free up some of the IT resources.

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Other businesses are on the fence about outsourcing IT. If you’re one of them, how can you make the best decision for your business?

Read on as we help you settle the debate between outsourcing and having an IT department.

Costs of Internal vs. Outsourcing IT

One of the top reasons why companies choose to outsource is because it’s less expensive than keeping an internal-in house team.

It’s not cheap to have an internal IT department. You have to invest in the infrastructure first. Whether you invest in cloud technologies or keep servers in-house, those costs can add up.

If you choose to keep servers in-house, you have to store and maintain them.

Then there are the costs to hire staff members. That includes time to create job postings, time to review resumes and interview candidates.

You also have to make sure you hire the right person the first time. A bad hire can cost as much as 30% of that person’s salary.

IT costs will go up and down each month. Some months require expensive upgrades, while other months are predictable.

How does that compare to outsourcing IT? Most IT service providers charge a flat monthly rate for their services. It means that you have a single predictable cost for IT.

Easy Scalability

It’s quite a leap in your business to hire another IT staff member. You’re likely looking at a six-figure salary, plus benefits. Your business might not have the work to support that new employee.

Outsourcing IT services is much easier to scale. You can add on services as you need or subtract them. It’s a lot better than hiring and firing an employee.

There are several types of IT services. You can hire an IT company to manage one portion of the department, such as security.

You can roll other services on top of your current package. You can even get fully-managed IT services, which takes care of all of your IT needs.

Operational Knowledge of IT Staff

This area is where an internal IT department is better than outsourcing. Your in-house team is aware of the company culture and operations.

They know when to approach people for changes and when to back off. That institutional knowledge is valuable, especially when it comes to migrations and upgrades.

Security Issues

This is one of the main benefits of managed IT services. Every business faces cybersecurity risks almost on a daily basis.

It’s not enough to update antivirus software to keep hackers at bay. You need to know the latest threats, how to detect breaches, and what to do during a cyberattack.

Of course, you need to focus on prevention, too. Prevention isn’t always going to work.

An internal IT team should be able to develop a sound cybersecurity policy. However, if that policy falls to someone who already has a million other things to do, the policy won’t be that strong.

Internal teams can get sloppy at times. Equifax learned that the hard way when the company suffered one of the largest security breaches several years ago.

It turned out the IT staff used unsecured servers to store sensitive information. They also used ‘admin’ for the username and password to the server.

Outsourcing cybersecurity ensures that your business uses the latest security protocols and standards.

Examine Your IT Department Structure

How can you make sure that you make the right decision for your business? Look at your own IT department.

Do you have a stressed-out, overworked team of IT professionals? Is Jack in the accounting department overseeing IT security? Both situations are bad for your business, which makes outsourcing IT an easy call.

For most businesses, the answer isn’t that simple. You would benefit from an IT audit. This is where you review processes, systems, and your IT infrastructure.

The purpose of the audit is to discover where your business is most vulnerable. For example, you might find that your IT staff spends most of their time on help desk issues.

You can free up the IT department’s time by outsourcing help desk support. The staff is freed up to focus on innovative projects to keep your company ahead of the competition.

 The audit might uncover that your infrastructure is so outdated, that it costs thousands of dollars to replace. Your staff doesn’t have the time to work on maintenance and support, either.

In that case, you should consider fully managed services.

In the end, you have to have a purpose behind your decision to outsource or keep an in-house staff. That keeps the next steps focused, no matter what path you choose.

You should also find ways to measure the results of your decision. If you decide to use an internal team to make your IT operations more efficient, find ways to measure operational success.

Hiring managed IT services for cost savings means that you should measure the IT costs before and after outsourcing.

IT Services vs. In-House IT Department

There isn’t a right or wrong decision when it comes to your IT department. There’s only what’s right for your business.

There are a lot of benefits of outsourcing IT services. You need to take a good look at your IT department and determine which path will maximize the resources available.

For more great tips to help you manage the technical side of your online presence, check out the blog today!