In-House Vs. Outsourced IT Support: Which Is Better For Your Business?

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The joys of being an entrepreneur include such fun things as your laptop refusing to turn on just before an important investor pitch or while running a new ad campaign. And if you lug the laptop all the way to the big box store where you purchased it, it’s guaranteed to start working magically while the complaints clerk smirks at your ineptitude.

Consider the impact that such events have on your day. IT outages are expensive, especially for entrepreneurs. That’s why it’s crucial to make a few decisions about IT support when you start out.

Here are some safety rules that will help protect you while you start looking for a flexible IT assistance solution for the future.

Immediate safety measures that you should take

Cybercriminals never miss a day. They’re constantly probing popular software to find new ways to attack people. Install an antivirus or an advanced VPN solution that offers extended threat protection. It will help to keep phishing attacks, ransomware, and viruses at bay.

Immediate safety measures that you should take

If you want to browse the internet securely without compromising on speed, you can also consider installing Chrome VPN. Remember not to open files or click on links in emails without running antivirus or a VPN link check against poisoned content.

Making a decision about future IT support solutions

The term “IT” covers a very wide field of tech-related areas. It’s not possible for one or two people to know everything about the challenges your company may face in the future. A solo entrepreneur or small company will definitely need help maintaining laptops, networks, and other equipment. But, as your business grows, you’ll need a broader range of services.

What are the pros and cons of putting together your own in-house IT team?

The pros of an in-house IT team

  • Custom teams: You can specify the qualifications and skill set of the tech professionals you want to build a team for your unique needs.
  • Familiarity: In-house teams get to know their systems well. They can spot problems before they escalate and save time and money in the long run. They can also help tweak your tech solutions to align with your business objectives.
  • Hardware fixes: In-house teams can physically inspect the hardware for quick fixes.
  • Equipment management: They can manage equipment, warranties, and software and rotate aging devices and equipment.

The cons of an in-house IT team

  • High costs: Apart from salaries, benefits, and continuous training, they’ll also need office space, hardware, and software licenses.
  • Availability: They work regular business hours. Team members in other time zones or people who work at odd hours might lack support. And small IT teams can struggle to take annual leave.
  • Expertise: It can take months to replace IT staff. New hires need time to settle in. Small teams may also have limited skill sets or a lack of expertise. If something goes wrong, they’ll need expert help from outside.
  • Maintenance: It’s a high-pressure environment. Small teams may become overwhelmed with daily maintenance tasks and fall behind on advancements in the fast-paced technology environment.
  • Staff turnover: IT staff have a high turnover. Do you know enough about IT to judge an applicant’s IT skills? Who will train new staff?

The pros and cons of choosing a service provider for an outsourced IT team the pros of an outsourced IT team

The pros and cons of choosing a service provider for an outsourced IT team the pros of an outsourced IT team
  • Cost savings: You save on salaries, office space, hardware, and software license fees. And a fixed monthly service makes budgeting easier.
  • A broader range of knowledge and expertise: You have access to the expertise when needed but only pay for the level of service and experience you use on each occasion. For example, you don’t have to pay for a cybersecurity expert if all you need is a technician to fix your email issues.
  • 24/7 coverage: Check if your service level agreements (SLA) include expanded service.
  • Contract flexibility: You can sign short- or long-term contracts and scale them up or down as your needs change.
  • Specialist services on call: Some outsourced IT teams specialize in cybersecurity for small businesses and can assist in case of cyberattacks.

The cons of an outsourced IT team

  • Waiting times: Outsourced teams have multiple clients and can make you wait longer than anticipated. Don’t get stuck in a relationship where you don’t get the expected service levels.
  • Reduced access: You can’t just “pick up the phone to IT” to get someone to walk you through the steps of setting up a big presentation. The IT provider may regard that type of service as training or some other type of project that falls outside the SLA. You might have to pay extra.
  • Data security: Technicians encounter company secrets, customer data, or financial and other confidential information. Choose only those service providers that you can trust.

The main ingredient of a good It team is trust

Trust is critical. You’re giving a complete stranger—albeit a contracted professional—access to your business secrets, personal information, and client data. If you directly employ someone, vet his employment and criminal history. If you appoint a managed IT support company, check that they have good recommendations and positive customer reviews.

The main ingredient of a good It team is trust

Don’t base your decision solely on price to opt for the cheapest option. A smaller tech support company, where the owner has a personal relationship with their team, could be a better choice than a large company. Large companies might have lower prices but have less involvement in ensuring the honesty of their employees.

Choose wisely but keep your options open

Large enterprises have the resources to build and maintain an internal team. However, small and mid-sized companies could be better off partnering with a managed IT services company for technology support. But keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to finding the best IT support for a business.

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