In-house vs managed IT services – what’s best for your business?

With technology an integral part of our lives, it’s no surprise that businesses are heavily reliant on IT systems to run their operations smoothly and efficiently. However, the task of managing and maintaining these systems can be challenging and time-consuming. The choice is entirely based the needs of the company and the decision on how to protect and manage IT services can be tough to navigate. As our friends at Cloudcover have highlighted in their own discussion on this topic, there are number of solutions. Do you hire a team, an individual, rely on your most IT savvy team member? Or instead, do you opt for an external supplier? Whether you decide to keep things in-house or go with a managed service provider, there are pros and cons to consider. 

At first glance, you might think having an in-house team sounds like a great solution. Having a team on-site certainly has its advantages and there are other bonuses too: in-house teams provide familiarity, availability and the longer they stay with the company, you get a bank of historical knowledge, loyalty and care given to the company. In addition, an in-house team can provide a greater sense of control over your IT infrastructure and the ability to customise as required by the business.

However, in-house teams come with the same, if not greater, risks associated with employees – they can leave, and your company can lose irreplaceable knowledge. Staff leaving can impact the rest of the team as well – time and budget may impact recruitment and as a result lead to the remaining staff having to pick up the slack. In turn can affect their job satisfaction and lead them to seek opportunities elsewhere. Companies with in-house IT teams can often struggle to scale up as their business grows or take advantage of the latest technologies and best practices as their long-standing team may be limited in their knowledge of what is happening in the wider IT industry.

So, are managed service providers the perfect alternative? It’s important to realise that they too have their own challenges and rewards. The challenge mostly lies in deciding which company you outsource to – a local company with a small but able team on your doorstep or the UK-wide provider who do a great sales pitch but may not be able to get to you in person in a crisis? That said, if you choose wisely the reward is consistent support from skilled and accountable professionals.

There are additional benefits too: account management and escalation points that wouldn’t exist in-house, procurement and project management expertise and a depth of technological experience far greater than many in-house teams. Most importantly, you get scalable and reliable IT presence providing peace of mind and allowing business owners the time to focus on business-critical tasks.

Cost is certainly an over-riding factor in the decision to outsource but again it can be dependent on which supplier you choose. In addition, you should weigh up the true cost of an in-house team: salaries, benefits, tax and insurance as well as the recruitment and training expenses mentioned above. Many managed service providers have found that their target market is the small to medium-sized businesses and therefore offer solutions that strike the ideal balance between cost, risk and reward.

Whilst in-house IT services have some benefits that outsourcing can’t replace such as historical business knowledge or company loyalty, managed IT service providers certainly offer far greater reward in the long-term. They can help companies save time and money whilst ensuring their IT infrastructure is managed and maintained by a team of experts who have access to the latest technology and can offer 24/7 support. It’s a reliable and cost-effective solution for businesses of all sizes so if you are looking to streamline your IT support and improve business operations, managed IT services may be the right choice for you.

More news