Should You Outsource Your IT or Keep Things In-House? Pros and Cons of an Internal IT Team

A blackboard has PROS and CONS written on it in white chalk, with a hand pointing to CONS and another hand giving a thumbs up next to PROS.During the past six months or so, the pandemic has necessitated significant changes in numerous aspects of our lives, from how we work and attend school to the ways we shop and socialize. The crisis has also had a huge economic impact, causing a recession in the U.S. and putting immense financial pressure on individuals and businesses. The majority (75.2 percent) of the organizations included in the U.S. Census Bureau’s Small Business Pulse Survey for Sept. 20-26 reported that the pandemic has had a moderate or large negative effect on them.

As a result, it makes sense that many companies are re-evaluating their approach to IT to determine if there’s a more cost-effective way to get the support and services they need. One of the biggest IT decisions you’ll make as a business leader is whether to maintain an in-house tech support team or outsource your IT to a third-party service provider.

If you’re contemplating whether it’s better to obtain IT support from an internal team or rely on external assistance from a managed service provider (MSP), you’ll want to consider the various pros and cons of in-house IT before making a final decision.

Internal IT Advantages

There are a few main reasons why businesses might decide to rely on an in-house IT support staff instead of outsourcing.

1. Proximity. Historically, many companies have liked having an IT team working in the same location as the rest of their staff because it’s quick and easy to go and talk to them when an issue comes up. However, this benefit no longer exists for businesses that have transitioned their staff members to working from home.

Additionally, with the advanced remote access tools available today, many MSPs can fix IT problems even faster than support staff in the same building can. For instance, at Stratosphere Networks, our remote monitoring and management tools allow us to access a machine that needs attention in just 30 seconds.

2. Security. Outsourcing IT support involves giving a third party like an MSP access to your network and data, which some business leaders are reluctant to do because of potential IT security risks. How hazardous outsourcing turns out to be depends entirely on the service provider, though. For instance, Stratosphere has high-level security analysts on staff that ensure our clients’ data and IT environments stay as safe as possible, and we’re also HIPAA compliant.

3. Expected familiarity. Many think in-house IT support will offer in-depth knowledge of your company’s IT infrastructure and business needs. However, that isn’t a guarantee. The Stratosphere team has encountered many instances where internal techs didn’t have the knowledge or skills required to be familiar and comfortable with the infrastructure. 

Additionally, an MSP can have extensive knowledge of your IT environment if they have a staff of highly skilled techs and engineers, in addition to commitment to providing exceptional customer service.  

In-House IT Drawbacks

Just as there are benefits to keeping your IT support in-house, there are also some potential downsides you shouldn’t overlook.

1. Limited skillset. Many companies – particularly smaller ones with limited resources – can only afford to hire a few IT support staff members. Some only have one IT professional. Those internal techs are bound to have some gaps in their knowledge that limit their ability to provide comprehensive support, compared to an external service provider that maintains a larger staff with a wide range of certifications and varying experience levels.

2. Lack of availability. In the same vein as the limited skillset drawback, your internal tech team can only work so many hours. If an IT catastrophe occurs while your staff is off the clock, on vacation or otherwise unavailable, your business could end up facing extended downtime.

3. Personnel-related costs. In the end, maintaining an in-house IT department can end up costing your company quite a bit when you add up the expenses associated with hiring and recruiting, salaries, and sick and vacation days.

Ultimately, given the current state of the economy and how complex IT has become these days – with the need to keep up with digital transformation efforts and combat constantly evolving cybersecurity threats in addition to addressing daily support tasks – it makes more sense than ever to turn to an MSP for assistance. Internal IT engineers aren’t CIOs or tech strategists. Subsequently, relying on them alone won’t provide you with the IT strategy and next-gen solutions needed to stay competitive and protect your business from rapidly evolving cybersecurity threats. If you have a limited internal staff of just one or two IT engineers, you’ll have to pay for third-party consulting services to fill in the gaps and keep your security risk level low.

At the end of the day, it’s better to work with an MSP like Stratosphere Networks that can provide you with not only IT support but also strategic IT consulting, virtual CIO services, and comprehensive cybersecurity strategy, among other services and solutions.

We can serve as your entire IT team to make your life less stressful and give you more time to focus on other aspects of running your business. Alternately, if you already have an in-house support team that you’d like to retain but supplement, we also offer co-managed IT services.

If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you contain costs, streamline operations and overall achieve your business objectives, just give us a call at 877-599-3999 or email sales@stratospherenetworks.com.

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