Technology is an integral part to many businesses in the modern world and it would be hard to find a successful business that doesn’t utilize some form of IT every day. It is because of this that a strong IT infrastructure and support system is vital to businesses to ensure their continuity and smooth running of their activities. As a result, many companies end up investing far more money than necessary to employ an entire in-house IT team to support their employees on computers and maintain the business’s infrastructure, as opposed to in-part or entirely outsourcing these services to a managed service provider.
What are the pros and cons of an in-house IT Team?
- Your in-house I.T. engineers are always on-site during core business hours. This is particularly useful in emergencies when it may take slightly longer to reach out to an outsourced team.
- Being on-site far more often, your team will have a more detailed understanding of each computer, individual users and the technology used every day at your business.
- As part of your entire workforce your I.T. team will have a more personal, face to face relationship with your employees and can offer a more hands-on method of support.
- The cost of employing an in-house team is by far the biggest disadvantage. In any business within any industry, spending your I.T. budget as effectively as possible is hugely important and employing an in-house team will eat up a large portion of that budget on salaries alone, before taking into account their availability, holiday and sickness pay. It also means that you will be paying them just to be at work at times they are not actually fixing anything. And finally as the legal employer of the engineer, you are responsible for keeping your team up to date with the ever evolving world of technology with additional training costs.
- The speed of service. You may think that having your support team in the same office or building means that you get a faster outcome, but in many cases, it can be the opposite. At large corporations employing hundreds of people, a small support team can often find themselves overwhelmed with a long backlog of support tasks they need to get through, offering no guarantee of a resolution time.
- The team you employ are likely to have less exposure to differing technologies and options if they are solely concentrated on your own applications and use cases.
- Recruiting your in-house team is a long and expensive process, it’s also a gamble given that you can cover the cost of employing and training staff for them to go elsewhere after a short period of time, leaving you to start the entire process again.
What are the pros and cons of outsourcing IT support?
- As stated previously, the cost comparative is a no brainer when coming to a managed service provider. This doesn’t mean that the service you receive is of a lower quality either! MSPs will have a larger team, all supporting a range of clients using different technologies. On average small-medium sized businesses can expect to pay £22 per user per month for I.T. support, taking away the costs of full-time salaries, hourly rates and training costs of an in-house team which can easily come in at around £6,000 – £8,000 per year for training alone.
- 24/7 availability is a huge advantage with an outsourced team. With so many businesses rarely being a 9-5 operation these days, having support available out of core office hours at no extra cost makes outsourcing a favourable option in keeping your business running smoothly. With outsourced support, you can report whatever problem you’re having with your IT just before leaving the office for the day, and in most cases expect it to be fixed by an overnight engineer before you return to the office the next morning, rather than having to wait in line.
- Speed of service. When you encounter an I.T. problem, you obviously want it fixed as quickly as possible, and your outsourced provider will have the capacity to keep up with a higher volume of support requests.
- Wider knowledgebase. An MSP will typically have a vast team with different specialities, backgrounds and expertise which will provide a much wider skill set than an internal team can.
- Most I.T. related problems you come across will be fixed remotely, you often won’t even need to pick up the phone and physically speak to a support engineer. This can leave some people feeling a bit out of control of the situation and uncertain about what they are doing instead of having a colleague you know and trust giving hands-on support in the office.
Hybrid IT Support
Hybrid IT Support is when a managed service provider as well as an internal IT department support a business. This option is getting more popular among businesses of all sizes, and in all industries as it offers the best of both.
The structure of hybrid IT support allows businesses to benefit from always having staff on-site without needing to employ a large number of engineers. The option of external support means that the on-site staff that usually less experienced can escalate tasks to more experienced and bigger IT teams, as well as having extra support available when in-house staff are away on holiday or off sick.
The combination of support teams typically combines the advantages from the tables above and leaves you with almost zero disadvantages other than a more complex management structure to combine the teams together. This can often be resolved with clear demarcation points and regular meetings between the teams as it’s important to create a team that works together rather than a client/supplier relationship when running a hybrid approach.
Going beyond end-user support
Here at Vinters our managed IT services go beyond just fixing issues with your computer in a remote session, over the phone or via our support portal. We are capable of designing the entire infrastructure from the ground up with full management from there on, taking away any stress and worries on your end. Essentially, you’re leaving it to the experts!
We can work in both of the managed services scenarios covered in this article either as your entire IT team or as an extension of your IT team in a hybrid approach.
We hope that this guide helps you make the best decision for your IT support requirements, to find out more about our managed services offerings and how we can help your business keep going whether you are still in the office, working from home, or on the move, visit our managed services page, or get in touch 01622 524200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Jordan Bradley-Stopps on March 3rd, 2021