IT Support: Outsource or In-House?

Technology has a pervasive presence in every organization. One piece is hardware - including computers, phones, and tablets. A second piece is software for functions such as office productivity, process management, social media engagement, client management and communication, project management, financial management, and much more. In addition, new products and services are introduced regularly. Investment in technology is inevitable for every business. But, once you invest, how do you keep the systems running? That’s where IT support comes into play.

There are a variety of options for addressing IT support needs, even before you consider outsourcing or managing an in-house team. We have found the choice depends on many factors, including the size of your organization and the complexity of your technology landscape. A third and often more valuable proposition is a hybrid approach that allows your organization to combine an in-house IT presence paired with some level of outsourced support.

There are a variety of resources to consult when evaluating the best option for your business, many of which contradict one another. Based on our experience, below are some considerations an organization must make.

In-house vs. Outsourced

 

In-house

Outsourced

Hybrid

Staffing Costs

  • Finding, acquiring and keeping good talent engaged is costly and difficult.
  • A larger staff might be required if your organization needs a variety of expertise.
  • Access to experienced talent that can support your needs.
  • Fixed costs models and “on-demand” or pay as you go pricing models can improve cost savings.
  • Expertise in new emerging technologies is easily available.
  • Augment your existing team with only the expertise required.
  • Reduce your staffing needs by keeping your in-house team for expert/organizational knowledge support and outsource more straightforward/ commodity support needs.

Knowledge and Experience

 

  • You must provide options for regular training and skills development. Not just for new technology, but also to understand how to use your existing technology more efficiently.
  • Tap into a pool of already trained talent that can scale to solve major problems faster.
  • Can take time to become familiar with organizational specifics and customizations.
  • In-house team provides organizational knowledge and facilitation helping outsourced resources become more familiar with your organization and culture.
  • Faster onboarding of the outsourced resources through collaboration with in-house expertise.

Availability

  • Available during business hours
  • May or may not be available for off hours emergency
  • Can include 24/7 availability
  • Usually more efficient triage and shorter wait times to resolve issues.
  • You can create a combination that maximizes your support availability and costs while minimizing downtime.

 

Other Outsourcing Considerations

  • Know what is included: Consider asking about response time, what types of service are available, reports you should expect to receive, and typical hours of operation. Make sure you understand the full scope of what is included before making a commitment.
  • Understand how much involvement/control you have: It is helpful to understand how much control you have over deciding what work is done when as well as how involved you need to be in the tasks being conducted.
  • Keep mission critical functions in-house: It is frequently recommended to keep mission critical functions internal, if your organization has that option, and outsource others.

Weigh the pros and cons of each model and include its planning in the overall strategic direction you take with your organization.  Ninestone can evaluate your business and tailor a support plan that best fits your goals and objectives. We recommend first that a quick assessment be conducted to inventory your current technology needs, process improvement opportunities, resourcing needs, and many more factors, before choosing a solution.

References

http://www.information-age.com/house-vs-outsourced-it-what-makes-most-business-sense-123461194/

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/289844

https://www.business.org/marketing/seo/outsourcing-vs-in-house-it-help-desk-small-business-dilemma-solved/

The Ninestone Team

March 2018