We are living in a world where IT staff are an indispensable part of almost every business. From product development to sales, HR functions to email, no matter what sector you’re in, chances are you will work with IT systems at some point. But where there is a need for IT, there will surely follow errors, glitches, and security issues. Something this provider of managed IT services NYC knows very well and advises taking care of properly. Unless you and your staff are trained in all the various aspects of IT management, your company will need to employ IT specialists for their services.
In recent years many companies are moving to outsource their IT work to external companies. In fact, many predict a megatrend in outsourcing could define this decade. It’s no surprise: outsourcing IT can be cheaper than hiring internal staff and provide businesses with more choice and flexibility. Of course, for every potential advantage, there’s a possible disadvantage. Outsourcing IT staff can lead to unexpected costs, less control, and potentially even data breaches. If you’re unsure about whether contracting an external IT department is for you, you can start by talking to IT outsourcing consultants and weighing up the pros and cons of IT outsourcing.
Pro: Saving Costs
Most companies outsource their IT in order to save money. Due to fierce competition in the sector, some external IT providers are able to provide very low rates for their services. If IT management is not a significant part of your business, outsourcing your IT needs can save your company a significant amount of money in the long run.
Con: Unexpected Costs
Outsourcing your IT work can be cheaper at first, but it can quickly lead to unexpected fees. Your business with an external IT company, including all associated costs, is almost always based on a specific contractual agreement. If your demands suddenly change, or you want to break your contract and go with another provider, the firm might land you with an unexpected bill.
Pro: More Choice
If you use in-house staff for your IT, you only have access to the skills and experience they bring to the table. If you wanted someone with expertise in a different area of IT, you would have to hire a new staff member, which, as we’ve mentioned, could be costly. When you outsource your IT, you can choose from a much wider pool of talent for the specific task you need. That makes outsourcing your staff a good choice for one-off projects or solving particular tech problems.
Con: Less Control
On the flip side, companies have less control over contractors than their own employees. Of course, as a client of an IT firm, your goals and desires are important, but they are still their own company that works in their own way. If you want to have complete control over how your IT work is done, it’s better to stick with in-house staff.
If your company has an internal IT department, you are limited to what your company can do and when they can operate. If, for example, a technical error occurs on a Saturday, you might not be able to fix it until the IT technician comes in on Monday morning. An outsourced IT team, on the other hand, can work to any schedule that suits their client. Also, if the demands of your business change, it is much easier to change to a different IT service provider than it is to retrain internal staff.
Con: Communication Difficulties
By outsourcing your IT, you are engaging with an external company, which usually affects your ability to communicate effectively. Your company might work on a different schedule to theirs, use different systems or have different expectations from their employees. All of this is to say external IT workers may not be able to respond to issues as quickly as you would like. If rapid response times are essential for your company, make sure to mention that to your IT outsourcing consultants and to contract clearly with the IT company.
Pro: No Hiring Costs
Bringing staff on board is time-consuming and resource-intensive. New staff means paying more salaries and providing more benefits and training. That’s why lots of smaller companies choose to outsource their IT work rather than hire dedicated IT staff. You can get the job done and avoid the cost of recruitment.
Con: Data Insecurity
The first and easiest way to keep your company’s data secure is to allow access to as few people as possible. By hiring an external firm, you’re breaking the first rule of data security. That doesn’t mean outsourced IT departments are dangerous, in fact any worthwhile IT firm should have strong security processes and policies in place. However, each person who has access to your data increases the risk of a data breach, especially when they are external to your company.
Pro: More Stability for Employees
Working with an external company for your IT needs can reduce pressure on internal staff, giving them more stability in their roles. By contracting companies to fulfil IT tasks, businesses can more freely experiment with new ideas and respond quickly to shifting demands without pushing employees into new concepts or ways of working. Outsourcing your IT can give you more agility in your work whilst allowing your staff to build stable business practices.
Con: Impact on Employee Culture
It’s easy for business owners to get carried away with the financial benefits of outsourcing IT without thinking of the culture impact on their employees. If your employees value loyalty and stability, outsourcing your IT may appear like a challenge to those values. They may get concerned that their roles could be outsourced too, or challenge employees to change how they work.