When determining what route you want to go as it comes to IT Support, there are two main options, In House and Outsourced. There are major differences between them and with that, there are also advantages and disadvantages of both. One isn’t necessarily better than the other. Rather, the wants and needs of the business will be the determining factor.
Here are a few things to consider:
Cost: Cost is a pretty major factor and can be a hard one to balance. You want to make sure you are spending enough to protect your business, employees and customers but within a budget that your business can afford. There are so many forms of protection out there that, even a small business could spend millions on it’s IT Support. Would it all be absolutely needed? No, certainly not. A good IT Support team would help balance that budget based off the Business workflow, needs, wants, etc.
A few costs involved would be…
Tools – Remote support tools, antivirus, backup software/subscription, etc
Support Staff – System Administrator(s) and their leadership
Support Availability: This is another factor that would be determined by the business needs. For instance, if the business runs a server that must be up and running 24/7, it will need a team of techs that have the availability to support that. However, if the business runs everything through cloud based services like Office365 for email and documents, they can get support through the vendor. Some of these services are so well established that they have very minimal down time.
A single tech can only work 8 hours a day typically. Or 40 hours a week. So if the users do not have critical devices that need quick resolutions, you may be able to get away with a single tech or possibly a small team. For more critical issues that need to be handled in less than a day, or even hour, you may want to look into outsourcing to a company that can provide a whole team of techs. This will help to eliminate down time for the user/company due to availability of the techs.
Some systems cannot be taken offline during normal business hours. Not all employees are up for working outside those hours without additional pay or benefits. In these cases we normally see teams that have additional employees on overnight / weekend shifts. In some cases businesses will only outsource these tasks and support items. For instance, a business will have it’s internal IT Support for workstations and on site work but outsource the server support so things like updates, patching, and advanced support can be done through the third party.
Support Staff and their Leadership: In most cases businesses are hiring an IT team because they do not have the technical knowledge to maintain the environment themselves. In some cases hiring a System Administrator or two will be ideal. However, this may require them to manage themselves and the business will have to put their trust into these individuals or have the knowledge and expertise to do properly maintain the environment. This works best when there is already an established relationship between the business or business Owner and the System Administrator(s). If not, they will need leadership with IT knowledge to keep them on track. This could add cost and complexity to the business.
Which should I choose??
To answer this, you would want to take a look at the business’s needs and wants as a whole. Also analyze what is already in place. If you have technically savvy employees (or are yourself), then it could be possible to start building an IT Support team from the ground up. If you feel you want absolute control over your IT infrastructure and want every single decision made internally, then a in house team would be ideal.
However, if you are looking to offload some of the work and responsibility from you and your team, the an outsourced company would be ideal. This also becomes a cost savings. There has never been a case where CFLnet’s support services exceed the cost of an internal IT Support team, which would be able to provide the same service level as we can. However, not all IT Support companies are equal in their pricing structure. But in most cases you will get the whole team from the outsourced company for a fraction of hourly/salary the business would be spending otherwise.
Who you choose for your IT Support and why you choose them should not be taken lightly. The team supporting you can have a huge impact on the success or failure of your business.