In-house or outsourced? That’s the question facing a lot of SMEs. Not just in IT, but across a multitude of areas.
For larger companies, it makes sense to have in-house IT support, while smaller firms with less resources are frequently looking to outsource their needs. For those businesses in the middle though, the answer is often somewhere in between.
We recently looked at in-house vs. outsourced IT support, but the question is whether your own tech solutions need to be so black and white. Could adding a third-party IT ‘bolt-on’ provide the ideal balance?
A cost-effective way to expand your current resource
As your SME grows, your IT department will inevitably need to grow too. It may be that you’ve recently identified the need for additional support but are reluctant to commit the extra time and money required to recruit, train and pay for a new member of staff.
Third-party IT companies work hard to find and retain the brightest and best in their field, and in turn service users have access to such experts without the hefty price-tag. In short, an outsourced IT partner can provide a convenient and affordable way to bolster your existing IT resource.
Free up internal resources
There’s no denying that your internal IT specialist will find themselves called upon for all manner of day-to-day tech queries from their colleagues. Whether it’s fixing printer paper jams or looking into a faulty WiFi connection, if your own employees find themselves caught up in the minutiae of office IT, they can sometimes struggle to make time for their actual job.
Although it’s helpful for businesses to create consistency and a go-to IT support ‘face’ for their staff, by providing that person with a support network of their own, the breadth of your overall resource will flourish. Adding external IT support to your current solution means you have a multitude of experts – with a larger knowledge base – at your disposal.
This wealth of expertise can provide SMEs with specialised skillsets in numerous fields, rather than having a jack-of-all-trades left to manage all things IT.
Worry-free holiday and sickness leave
If you have a relatively small internal support team to begin with, it can be a real headache to organise cover around planned leave, never mind unexpected time off. Third-party IT support – in whatever guise you choose – has the added benefit of providing a safety net 24/7, no matter how big or small the issue.
As a contingency plan, SMEs are increasingly turning to preventative maintenance serviceswhich are designed to support existing IT departments. Working in the background, Q2Q’s proactive monitoring solution, for example, ensures system issues are identified and resolved, before they can cause problems. This approach creates a second or third line of support, resulting in a robust uptime strategy that keeps SMEs running, come rain or shine.
Many hands make light work
One or two in-house support staff often means longer response times when it comes to problem-solving. If it’s not a quick fix, SMEs can soon find their employees – or entire business – out of action. If your workforce finds their IT support M.I.A, it can lead to frustration and disengagement.
While your own employees can remain on the front line to reassure colleagues that the problem is in-hand, remote support ensures you’re getting ‘all hands to the pump’ in terms of problem-solving. Often meaning you’re back up-and-running much quicker.
The best of both worlds
It goes without saying that no one knows your company better than the people who live and breathe it day-to-day. In-house IT teams have a deeper understanding of your network, systems and setup. In addition, they know how to deal with common problems quickly and are well-versed when it comes to the intricacies of company politics.
At the same time, an outsourced solution can bring a vast array of knowledge and expertise – ensuring a far more varied and specialised skillset when it comes to tackling more complex tasks, without the hassle of recruitment.
The solution? By adding third-party support to your existing team, you’ll be getting the best of both worlds without doubling the cost.
If you’re looking to explore managed IT support, give us a call on 01524 581690 to chat through your needs.