Maintaining an IT department can cost a lot of money. From the software and computer equipment to the personnel that are hired, there’s no way around the fact that good help costs money. That said, there are ways to keep costs manageable, and outsourcing to an IT services company is one of them.
The decision to outsource or to keep in-house IT staff will be reliant on a couple of factors, and a company’s preferences, needs, and costs of operation will all play a role in determining the route chosen: if outsourcing is significantly cheaper (which it often is), it might make sense to outsource; if a company prefers to have support on-site, keeping an in-house staff may be the best decision. Many smart companies use a combination of the two resources to great effect.
For startup companies or those who are considering a change to their IT department, the question is “what are the advantages of outsourcing?”
An IT services company can provide robust IT management and support, often for less than it would cost to build that same support in-house. But how can that be? Most people think of external contractors as ideal primarily for short-term projects or temporary positions, whereas a company’s IT needs are long-term and only likely to scale up. So how can paying an IT services company possibly cost less than simply investing in your own IT Department?
There are several reasons. For starters, the cost of in-house IT resources can be high. Not only are you looking at hiring professionals whose skills are in high demand and then paying them benefits, you’re also eyeing servers, network equipment, and security measures that can get expensive to purchase and maintain in-house.
But that’s not all. IT needs aren’t static and, in fact, the IT landscape—including both the equipment and the knowledge that a given business needs—is among the most rapidly changing of any industry. That doesn’t just mean that the equipment you buy today may be obsolete in 18 months; it means that in 18 months you may have completely different needs in terms of employee skillsets, as well.
IT services companies take a lot of this off your plate. When you contract with these companies, they take on the responsibility of keeping their equipment current and their staff training up-to-date. What you get is a functioning IT department with the latest technology, plus more options for technological growth and versatility at your fingertips – and at a lower cost.
When setting up your new department, you could opt to have one of these companies handle every aspect of your IT. Alternatively, by keeping a limited IT staff and then using outsourced services, you could achieve the best of both worlds – having the normal, everyday troubleshooting and routine maintenance handled by the outsourced experts with the best technology on the market at their fingertips, while those on-hand can focus on strategic business priorities. Both of these are reliable and viable options, so asses your needs and see which would work best for your company.