Outsourcing IT Support Services – Benefits & Disadvantages
In the current digital age, most businesses rely heavily on technology such as computers, software, networks and data to function efficiently. Information technology (IT) efficiency has become increasingly essential to ensure the smooth operations of a company or business. In some cases, businesses may consider hiring dedicated in-house IT staff to manage necessary IT services. Other companies look to outsource their IT support to Managed Service Providers (MSPs).
Why Most Firms Are Outsourcing Their IT Support Today
Hiring in-house IT experts may seem advantageous to have staff immediately at hand in case of an issue. However, many businesses today are moving toward Managed Services Providers (MSPs). There’s a few major reasons why. One major reason is operating costs. The cost of hiring skilled technicians is not a cheap exercise.
Whilst readily available IT support and skills are often advantageous, in-house IT employees require wages and other benefits, such as pensions and insurance. On the other hand, a company only pays an MSP for the services rendered during an agreed period. This means a company, firm or business can save on payroll and only pay for services required. However, a few factors must be considered for an enterprise to enjoy such a benefit, and several others mentioned below.
Firstly, outsource to an MSP which is within traveling distance to your own offices or business. For instance, if a business is in London, IT support by EC-MSP or similar a company in the same city will be more suitable. This is mainly due to being on the same time zone. Additionally, it allows the ability of an MSP to respond to emergency issues in person, if required. This aspect is important to avoid downtime. Secondly, businesses should look to work with an MSP whose employees are experienced. Be sure to review qualifications and industry certifications of any Managed Service Provider’s technicians and staff.
Advantages of Working With IT Support Providers
By working with an MSP, your company can enjoy several other benefits besides saving on employment costs. Some of these advantages include:
Outsourcing IT support means businesses can focus on factors crucial for success. These may be customer acquisition, increasing revenue, or hiring talent for growth. It is also common for large businesses with dedicated IT teams and CTOs to still outsource certain tasks to MSPs. MSPs often specialize in particular areas, such as server management, data networks, SD-WAN, apps, UCaaS and voice networks and other aspects of modern business infrastructure. This brings Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and knowledge not possible for busy in-house IT teams to obtain, due to time constraints supporting staff for business growth.
The present digital era exposes companies to numerous cyberattacks. Working with the best MSPs guarantees efficient security for your firm’s hardware, network and data. Moreover, you can enjoy additional benefits such as remote monitoring and ‘remote hands’ such as those offered via solutions such as LogMeIn. This helps ensure business data, information and systems are safe 24/7. Continuous monitoring can be advantageous to a company, regardless of size. This helps prevent the risk of cyberattacks and speeds up the response to any downtime.
Access To Improved Technologies
The IT industry is believed to be among the most volatile sectors in the world. Software and hardware change rapidly. Today’s latest solutions are likely be replaced within a short time by more advanced technologies. Without an IT expert in your company, it can be hard to keep up with the latest advancements to help improve work processes. In most cases, in-house IT professionals have duties besides technical support. This means limited time researching and implementing the latest best practises in the industry. However, IT is a common line work for most MSPs. They provide clients the most recent and efficient technological solutions.
Disadvantages of Outsourcing IT Support Services
Despite the several benefits offered by MSPs, there are some disadvantages to them when it comes to IT support services. Some of these include;
Loss of Control
A major factor that discourages companies from considering MSPs is the loss of control of existing IT support service processes. Outsourcing means an external body will be responsible for some functions and management of tasks. Even with provided guidelines on what you need accomplished, an MSP might not manage IT tasks to desired standards.
High Improvement Costs
An MSP may require upgrades to existing software, hardware, routers / switches or even firewalls, if what’s currently used is outdated. Such changes can be expensive one-off costs for your company. Even so, there are often valid reasons for these types of updates (such as security). Long term benefits may be improved company efficiency and output, which can enhance business growth.
Immediate Responses May Be Challenging
A professional working as a full-time employee might offer a faster response to IT issues. On the other hand, an MSP may have contracts with several other companies, meaning all their workers may be engaged occasionally and can’t attend to immediate IT needs. In such cases, there can be low productivity until an issue is resolved. To ensure this doesn’t happen, make sure your MSP provides regular maintenance for all hardware and programs. Overall, outsourcing IT support services can be beneficial.
Additionally, an MSP can improve cybersecurity, and offer access to advanced technologies. Both of these benefits can help boost productivity. Although outsourcing may be a tough decision to make, it can be beneficial in the long run. When choosing an MSP, ensure you pick one which gives you more pros than cons.