When it’s time to set up an IT infrastructure, all the options boil down to two categories: In-house or outsourced (i.e., managed) IT services. You have to choose one, the other, or some hybrid of the two, and this decision must be made initially. With that in mind, we would like to present you with some pros and cons to the use of managed IT services. It will be for you to decide whether the pros outweigh the cons.
Pro #1: You Will Probably Save Money
When you go with managed IT support, your IT expenses will be consolidated into a single monthly fee. Not only does this make for a much more predictable expense, but it also saves you money. The cost of hiring in-house IT techs can be pretty high, especially if you want top-level people. Even if those top-level people are available, you may not be able to afford their services.
To give you an idea, the average salary for a network administrator in the United States is $61,029 per year. That is an average rate, so the better ones will be more expensive than that. This number also does not include things like training, benefits, etc. That $61,029 is just the salary, bonuses, and profit-sharing. That comes to $5,085.75 per month for just one employee.
Con #1: Slightly Less Control
When you outsource your IT infrastructure in any way, you will probably lose a little bit of control. That doesn’t mean you can no longer control the important things, but you cannot micromanage a task that is being handled by an outside company. Of course, this usually isn’t a problem provided that clear and complete instructions are given to the outside company. However, some of those with very specific IT needs might find it to be a problem.
Pro #2: Greater Level And Range Of Expertise
In order to be efficient, an in-house IT team tends to be small. While this is great from a labor-efficiency standpoint, it does leave you with a smaller pool of knowledge. On the other hand, a managed IT service provider offers a much larger pool of employees. Also, it is worth their while to hire the best people in the business. In the end, what you get is a greater level and range of expertise than that of most in-house teams.
Turnover should also be taken into account. If you assemble an IT team that possesses all the skills that you need, that will be fine until one of them quits, gets fired, or goes to another company. Keeping a well-rounded IT team that has all the skills required could end up being more bother than it’s worth. Managed IT companies tend to have less turnover, as they can afford the best.
Con #2: Lack Of Physical Presence
Although many IT support providers are very good at what they do, there is a limit to what one can do remotely. It is a good idea to always keep someone on-site so that they can respond quickly in the event of a large problem. It also gives you someone that you can turn to for solutions with no delay. You may not need a ton of people on-site, but it pays to have a few good ones.
Pro #3: Savings On IT Infrastructure Costs
IT costs do not just include labor for skilled individuals. Those costs also include hardware, software, and any services associated with them. Because information technology is notorious for becoming obsolete quickly, upgrade costs can become a consistent burden.
However, when you go with a managed IT support plan, you don’t need as much hardware and software. Hardware upgrades will often be covered by your monthly fee, at least to a certain degree. Software costs and network access costs are generally included in the monthly fee. By the time it’s all said and done, the lack of server costs alone can save you a lot.
Con #3: Disconnection
Here is an important thing to remember about the nature of IT support: It is different for everyone. An IT support plan has to be tailored for the way in which that particular organization operates. You cannot simply use the same methods for everyone, although you can apply certain principles across the board. In some cases, outsourced IT can suffer from a certain disconnection that hinders their ability to serve their customers. There has to be very good communication between your company and theirs, or else problems with miscommunication will inevitably result. This problem, obviously, can be remedied with good communication.
So, let’s recap these pros and cons so that you can consider them carefully. Here are the three biggest advantages that come from the use of a managed IT service provider:
- Generally cheaper in terms of per-month costs
- Offers a bigger pool of experts and a wider range of knowledge
- Huge savings on IT infrastructure/hardware costs
Here are the three biggest disadvantages:
- Slight loss of control
- Lack of physical presence
- Potential communication issues
Quite honestly, we think that the pros outweigh the cons. All three of these cons have easy solutions! When good communication is utilized, and when there is good coordination between outsourced personnel and on-site personnel, these problems become virtually nonexistent.
If you would like to know more about managed IT support services, or any other IT-related matter, you can call PCH Technologies at (856) 754-7500.