With technology becoming more and more an essential part of any company, business owners are being forced to allocate more of their budget to maintaining their information systems. As a result, many businesses are exploring hiring Managed IT service providers, as opposed to keeping an in-house IT specialist on staff.
Like with anything, there are pros and cons either way you go. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between the two, as well as how to decide which option is right for your business.
Managed IT Service Providers
One of the biggest advantages that comes with outsourcing your IT services is that you get the expertise of an entire team, rather than just one individual. No matter how talented your IT person is, chances are situations will arise that require skills outside of his or her knowledge base.
With an IT team at your disposal, you’ll have a wide range of technicians with different specialties. It’s like the difference that exists between having a fully-stocked toolbox and a single multi-tool.
Beyond that, another perk to outsourcing is the response times, giving you round-the-clock coverage. If your email goes down at 2:30 in the morning, you can have someone from your service provider on the phone in minutes. Good luck waking up your IT guy.
Many smaller businesses also prefer outsourcing because their needs aren’t constant. They might be slammed a certain time of the year, but have little need for IT help the rest of the time. In that case, it’s preferable to pay for an as-needed provider than to pay a salary for a technician that might be underutilized most of the time.
On the other hand, selecting the right outside provider is important. Going with a small provider with only a few employees means you have to compete for their time and attention with their other clients. Whereas a larger provider will be at your beck and call to resolve issues at any time of the day with the right skill set. With a small provider you might have to take a number and hope they’re not busy when you call. That’s why it is recommended that you rely on a service provider that is willing and able to meet your business’s specific needs and who staffs accordingly.
An in-house technician can solve the majority of technical issues that you’re likely to encounter in your business. While not as diversified as an IT service provider, an in-house technician can still be a key addition to your team.
The primary advantage you get from in-house support is total familiarity with your business applications and your needs. Depending on the outside vendor that you use, they may have to get support from your application manufacture, your in-house tech knows exactly where your problem areas are. That’s why it is really important that you pick a managed IT service provider that can provide you with the individualized service that you need for your business.
However, keeping a full-time technician can be overkill for companies with limited IT needs, and you may struggle to find enough work to keep him or her busy. Also, if you have a multitude of specialized technical needs, you might be better off going with a larger staff that has people that are well-versed in each different expertise.
As for the cost, this can vary based on your technician’s expertise and workload. For smaller companies, you might scarcely be able to afford the drain of a full-time salary for an underutilized worker, making a Managed services provider option more desirable.
By picking the right managed IT service provider, you’ll be able to save money in the short and long term while ensuring that all of your technical issues are not only resolved, but also prevented from occurring.
Choosing What’s Right for You
Ultimately, the “right” option for you is going to depend on your specific company and needs. As yourself what your tech needs truly are, and see if they justify having full-time help.
Of course, if you can afford it and your needs justify it, you can always choose a hybrid option, keeping a fulltime tech while supporting him with an outside vendor.
Nowadays having your technology fail you is the one thing you truly can’t afford. That is why it is absolutely critical that you rely on a high quality managed IT service provider like CNS Services to ensure optimal uptime while proactively addressing any potential tech issues that could impact your business.