Your IT services matter a lot to the successes and failures of your infrastructure. An incompetent or lagging IT department can harm your company’s overall efficiency.
Because of this, many companies have to make the tough decision of whether or not they outsource their IT staff, or keep it on site.
There are benefits and negatives to both approaches.
Outsourcing IT Benefits
Save Money. When you outsource, you eliminate spending on training and the hiring process and health benefits. You don’t need to pay for extra office space, either.
Professional Grade Staff. An outsourced IT department means that your company is infused with a top rate staff almost immediately. You don’t need to train or educate the staff. In fact, they should have numerous ideas on how they can help improve your company from a technical standpoint.
Less Focus On IT Staff. Your outsourced IT staff will make it easier for you to focus on more of the items that matter for your company. An outsourced IT department should thrive independently of your oversight. While you will need to make decisions on a corporate level, you should not be forced to micromanage the IT team.
Keeping IT On-Site Benefits
When I say “on-site,” that’s a bit of an inaccurate term. To clarify, a company could have an internal IT staff that’s working remote. But in the end, an internal IT staff is most likely to mean some presence of IT staff at the company’s main location.
Greater Control. If your IT staff is internal, you have much more control over their daily ongoings than you would if that same staff was outsourced. This allows you, as a company, to eliminate any technical flexibility you might not be comfortable with.
The fact is, an outsourcing company will have their set way of doing things. Changing them will be difficult. You won’t be able to oversee them in a way that gives you any sort of control.
Improved Communication. Your staff being on-site means its easier for you to communicate with them. If you work with an outsourced staff, you probably will have a point of contact, but any big decisions or agendas will need to wait for the outsource company to free up time on their calendar.
Communicating your needs will need to be done via that outsource company’s organization or project management software. You will need to follow a strict protocol. The outsourcing company has to maintain a legitimate sense of organization, otherwise, they can’t service multiple clients.
Could Ruin Company Morale. When your accounting and marketing departments realize your willing to outsource even one other department, they may feel that their days are numbered. While this might motivate some workers to work harder, it can typically mean a loss of morale and lower productivity. Many people will just look for other opportunities on company time.
For the most part, you don’t want to create a company ruled by fear. It’s always good that people realize they are expected to work hard and provide results, but far another for them to feel that a “cheaper option” is always around the corner that could replace their efforts.
There is always the option of having a hybrid setup whereas one or two IT staff members are internal and the rest is outsourced. This can offer you the best of both worlds.
This allows internal members the ability to manage the situation. They can then serve as your expert communications over all things IT related. Its a great approach for companies that don’t want to dive right into full-on outsourcing.
Outsourcing is a great thing that can save a company money, free up company resources for innovation and marketing purposes, and bring in more expertise.
The key is pitching the outsourcing in a way that doesn’t blow company morale. Additionally, you should interview outsourcing companies and get an idea of what the communication will be like. Consider emergency communications as well as simple and typical communications.
Don’t just take the cheapest IT outsourcing option, make sure you get quality, but not more staff than you need. Many companies these days need simple IT infrastructure, an IT outsourcing company might attempt to sell you on services and options that you really don’t need.
In other words, just pay for what you really need.