Last Updated on May 12th, 2022.

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One Piece IT weighs in on the discussion

“Is it better to have an in-house IT technician or outsource my IT to a third party company?”. This is a complicated question that bears much consideration. Every business is different and may be in stages of their business lifecycle, so we thought the easiest way to help business owners differentiate is to share some of the Pros and Cons of Inhouse and Outsourced IT.

The In-House Solution

Pros:

  1. Available – Staff can monitor performance closely because they are onsite and are waiting to resolve any issues.
  2. Predictable – IT spend is clearly defined, making budgeting easier; A technician that makes x amount of dollars per. year plus benefits and they can be used for projects and/or day to day operations.
  3. Tailored Skillset – In house IT staff can be trained to company specific needs.
  4. Attention to Detail – IT staff will be able to focus their attention on meticulous tasks, like finding root causes to problems and documenting your IT environment.
  5. Familiarity – Staff has a good lay of the land and is familiar with the business, people, and its needs.

Cons:

  1. Stagnant – IT Staff can become too familiar with the environment, causing them to stagnate. They may not be keeping up to date with new technology or solutions that can help streamline business operations.  
  2. Risk of Turnover – It can be costly and time-consuming training and educating in house staff, and these same staff members may leave to another company.
  3. Costly – In House staff can come with unpredictable lost overhead. When systems are running smoothly, there can be periods of time when IT staff are standing by idly. Also, vacations or sickness can lead to periods of vulnerability should anything go down.
  4. Strained – Staff may be pulled in multiple directions within the company, to put out multiple fires, resulting in a reduced response time as staff are competing for time from the single technician.

The Outsourced Solution

Pros:

  1. Cost –  Outsourcing can be less expensive then staffing a whole IT department (or even a single IT professional). Overhead is reduced because the expense of calling in support is paid on an “as needed” basis. Ex) IT staff member makes 80K a year, regardless of the number of hours they spend providing an IT solution. Outsourced IT comes in when there’s a need, and only bills for hours worked. Outsourcing your IT means you save on costs associated with finding and training an In-House IT technician: benefits, vacation days, sick days, bonuses, etc. 
  2. Convenience – Many IT Service providers will have convenient ways for you to access a technician, usually through phone or remote computer access.
  3. Expertise – A proper Managed Service Provider (MSP) has access to a team of IT experts who can assist with specialized projects.
  4. Reliability – Using a company who knows your physical infrastructure, team culture, and business goals, makes an outsourced MSP feel like an extension of your staff, rather than an outside entity. Additionally, if one IT technician is away on vacation, you can count on having another technician familiar with your IT environment and support needs.  
  5. Experience – Managed Service Providers are often experienced with various types of security breaches, as they oversee many types of companies, and are prepared to protect against different types of attacks.

Drawbacks:

  1. Big IT companies usually have a large client base, that can sometimes make Small and Medium sized business owners feel neglected.
  2. Sometimes a big MSP will lock you in to a lengthy contract, and once the contract is signed, the quality of their service starts to decline: New techs are learning on your site, tickets take longer to address, communication with the MSP decision makers starts to fall off, etc.
  3. If you are only using your outsourced IT company to help you when something breaks, they may become unfamiliar with your business and it can take more time to understand and service your operation.
  4. If your MSP is not present locally and is only available using remote support. When connectivity to your site fails, you may feel abandoned and without options.
  5. Big box IT companies can get in the habit of making small fixes or work arounds to resolve issues quickly. Root causes may not be identified and resolved, resulting in the same issues coming back and a never ending cycle of billable hours.

Our recommendation

Take time to consider the short-term and long-term goals of your organization; Plan for how you want technology to be involved in your operation, with a focus on key technology, software, and processes. Estimate the time it takes to maintain this critical technology, as well as how quickly you would need issues addressed. Use an hourly rate to compare the cost of hiring an outsourced MSP vs. the annual salary of an in-house hire. Consider the value and impact of each option and go with what makes the most sense for your business goals and budget.

When considering hiring an IT person, vs. outsourcing, we recommend really getting to know the potential candidates.

After reviewing the pros and cons, we have narrowed the focus to be on the following 5 items:

  1. What is their commitment to my business?
    1. Do their values match my own?
    1. Are they looking to replace my team or become an extension of my staff?
  2. What services will they provide me?
    1. Backups, monitoring, support, procurement, documentation, future planning, etc.
  3. What is the pay structure?
    1. Hourly rate vs. monthly flat rate
  4. How do they keep my business operational?
    1. Are they actively planning ways to prevent outages? Or are they reacting to problems that come up?
    1. Are they providing solutions that fit my current needs and budget? Or, are they overselling me on hardware and software solutions?
  5. How do they contribute to the future of my business?
    1. Are they order takers, providing solutions for things I ask for? Or are they planning for the future needs of my business?

At One Piece IT, our vision is to be the go-to resource for small and medium businesses.  We pride ourselves in being an empathy first Managed Service Provider, and are dedicated to providing the highest level of care and attention to each of our clients. We would love to meet with you for a quick consultation on what type of IT support would best fit your business needs.

Feel free to contact us at [email protected] or call us at 403-775-1761 to book your free consultation.

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