Are you thinking of outsourcing part, or all, of your IT department? Let us examine some of the benefits and disadvantages of insourcing vs outsourcing your IT services.
Insourcing simply means employing your own resources. Outsourcing is contracting outside of your own company. IT services cover a range of different tasks and roles in a modern business. Your decision on whether to outsource IT services is likely to depend on which tasks or solutions you need to undertake. Your IT requirements likely consist of regular, ongoing support and maintenance work or bespoke projects.
IT Support or Maintenance
In a start-up company, IT support, or even the entire IT team, may well be Tim, in the corner. Tim is a technology genius (or Geek!) but he can always sort out any IT issues ranging from faulty software to the printer not working!
As your company grows, so do the demands on your IT support team. The modern, connected business may have employees using various devices (workstations, laptops, tablets, ‘phones) from any location. You may have a blend of Cloud and in-house systems. Your software, and hardware (including all of those devices) and your IT network all require maintenance and support.
The sheer range of skill-set and knowledge needed to provide your IT support suggests that you will require more resources than your startup ever did. The IT Analysts and developers who maintain your software may not have the skills and knowledge to fix your hardware. Hardware support experts, with a knowledge of specialist software and a decent screwdriver, certainly won’t be the IT wizards needed to set up and administer modern IT networks.
Other considerations are security and access. IT security includes the creating and monitoring of firewalls and SSL Certification needed to ensure website security. Access control involves the allocation of IDs and passwords and the granting of permissions for each IT system and software application.
Your employees go home each evening and weekends. They may still need to log on to your network. Network monitoring, for potential faults or security threats, must be constant. You will want support teams to provide you with cover all day, every day.
Deciding to insource your IT support tasks will require a team of experts with considerable experience and IT knowledge.
Opting to outsource means selecting a professional company with all of the necessary skills and an experienced, well-qualified team.
Companies often opt for a combination of outsourcing, plus in-house IT support. The skills and resources needed to provide a professional secure IT support service are best served by a specialist IT company. Outsourcing can be cost-effective but many businesses will still need Tim, in the corner, for when the printer stops working!
IT projects can vary from a move of your entire system to the cloud or an upgrade or expansion of your IT assets. You may have an IT strategic plan, or internal requirements for new, or updated IT software.
If your company already has an IT team it may be beneficial to use them to resource your project work. Your Project Manager would see this as a project risk. An existing member of your IT department probably has regular tasks to complete. Your project manager is foreseeing slippages to his carefully crafted project schedule and spiralling costs when planned resources aren’t available for project work.
Outsourcing may be the best decision for project work. You should only consider a professional IT company with relevant experience and a proven track record. They may not be familiar with your existing software or infrastructure so would need to build in some effort for familiarisation.
An advantage of outsourcing your project work is you would bring in an entire team of experts only when needed. You won’t have to employ a team that may be under-utilised between projects. The team will be dedicated to the project, removing the risk of project staff being redirected to other work.
An advantage of insourcing is control. You are responsible for directing your IT team. Employing your own team means they understand your business and the company culture and they could be used for IT support as well as project work. You risk over-working your staff and reducing morale when you give them too many roles and tasks. If your staff resign, you face the expense of hiring and retraining, plus the risk of system downtime.
Outsourcing IT services is often cost-effective, with simple monthly payments. For ongoing IT support or maintenance, a professional team, from a reliable company will have the knowledge, skills and experience you need. They should have an Australia-based call centre available 24/7. They should identify a single point of contact for escalation of issues.
Projects are perfect for outsourcing. Projects are planned in advance so you are able to arrange for a project team to be available as you need them. A reliable outsourcing company will ensure they have resources with the skills needed to deliver and they will have cover for illness and holidays.
Starboard IT ticks all these boxes! Well respected, reliable and with experienced, well-trained IT experts. Our technical teams and project managers will help you with strategy and planning and then deliver your projects for you. We carry out migrations to Office 365, and can move your infrastructure to the cloud, preparing you for agile, mobile working. It makes perfect sense for us to provide IT support for the project we have delivered, too. We are experts, with processes in place to update, monitor and maintain your IT infrastructure, structure and networks.