In-House or Outsourced Information Technology? 7 Questions Owners and CEOs Should Consider

    Brian Ruschman
    outsourced or inhouse

    There is nothing better than having a great I.T. resource. It is a bonus if they are a long-term employee, handle everything you need, are there when you need them, and stay up-to-date on new technologies that continuously help your company’s productivity.

    For the other 80% of companies, you might consider an out-sourced, managed services I.T. firm. 

    1- Is I.T. Employee Turnover Hurting Your Productivity?I.T. jobs are currently highly available due to a current shortage of experienced, skilled technology experts. Your company’s I.T. employee probably receives a couple of job offers each month.  Is your company seeing turnover or are you “hanging in there” with someone because they show up for work? Turnover in your I.T. department can kill productivity, and cause security gaps and higher costs. Managed Service Providers (MSPs or Outsourced I.T. Firms) will usually have a team of 3-4 people who know your network well and are never on vacation at the same time. Most importantly, you won’t receive a two week notice then must scramble to find someone who may or may not work out. This can be a painful cycle.

    2- Does Your Company’s Information Technology Professional Play Too Much Golf?(True story from a company president). If your I.T. director is arriving at 9:30 A.M., taking a lunch break, and leaving at 3:30 P.M. each day, you might want to take a closer look. Is your I.T. director keeping you in the loop? Are you comfortable and confident that they have the right security and tools in place? Are they proactively monitoring your network and backing up data securely? Have you had some security issues?  I.T. employees have the keys to the company’s digital kingdom. Any employee with leverage is not a good thing. Is it time for an audit from an outside I.T. firm?

    3- Growing Pains? I see I.T. growing pains with small businesses starting around 10-15 users. Your firm has made it this far, only to realize your CFO or other valued employee is spending 20-40% of their time dealing with networking, basic computer, vendor or software issues. Take 30% of their time and multiply it by their billing or productivity…. you get the point.  How productive could your office be if you had an I.T. team?  You would recover that 30% of your “I.T. employee” productivity. Your entire company will improve with the right outsourced I.T. firm.

    4- Is I.T. Holding Back Your Company? Companies need knowledgeable I.T. consulting to help manage their security, budget, productivity and future. Good outsourced I.T. companies have the tools, knowledge and combined experience to help you navigate in our ever-changing digital world. The knowledge of 25 technicians working with multiple, well-respected vendors and solutions will always be better that 1-2 individuals who are too overwhelmed fixing daily issues to stay up to date with trends in I.T. I have personally seen how good outsourced I.T. can help a company explode to the next level in growth and employee satisfaction.

    5- Would In-House I.T. Support My Employees Better Than an MSP?  One could speculate that having an in-house I.T. employee would be more efficient. The reality is that 95% of help desk tickets can be resolved with an outsourced technician over the phone and with remote assistance software. Again, most good MSPs have technicians that have “seen it all” and will solve an issue more quickly. This increases productivity and allows your employees to get back to work faster.

    6- Are You Sleeping Well? How confident are you about your company’s security? Recovering from a network intrusion and/or data breach is painful. Not only are they usually extremely costly from a monetary and productivity perspective, but they negatively affect employee morale, client confidence, and management credibility. A good MSP can greatly reduce the chances of an intrusion and data loss. Besides good prevention, most of the time the MSPs will know of the attacks more quickly, reducing the damage of the intrusion. If something does happen, an MSP can get you back on track earlier than most in-house I.T. personnel due to their knowledge and number of technicians available to attack the issue.

    7- Is the Math Good? By hiring a talented Managed Services Provider, you could save up to 40% on the total cost of an in-house I.T. department. The benefits become clear once you consider overall salary, benefits, ramp up costs, and general overhead of an in-house technician. A good MSP agreement could bundle other software and licensing you may already be paying for into an efficient and effective cost savings partnership.

    Greg Brown GBrown@C-Forward.com ITservicesLexington.com