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One of the oldest dilemmas in the IT world is whether in-house IT is better than outsourced IT support or vice versa. Traditionally, many business owners believe that there are only two alternatives—managing everything internally or outsourcing everything. The truth, however, is that you can use co-managed IT services to get the best of both worlds.
We’re living in the information age, where technology is an integral component of almost every business process. Any slight glitch in your IT system can significantly set you behind your competitors. Today, every organization needs to ensure that its networks are up and running 24/7. That’s why reliable IT management is crucial for modern-day businesses.
Both in-house IT management and outsourced IT support have their fair shares of advantages and limitations:
If you already have an internal IT team, you know how expensive it can be. In most organizations, especially those with in-house IT staff, IT is the most costly department. And reasonably so—you have to maintain salaried personnel, invest in the latest technologies, get the latest software updates, and continually upgrade your software in response to emerging threats. Glassdoor estimates that an IT leader takes home approximately $122,099 and an IT specialist $51,838 annually. That’s without adding other benefits like holiday allowances, overtime, and insurance covers. By any standard, this can be a heavy financial burden on your business.
The trade-off is that you get an IT team that is fully dedicated to managing your networks. They take time to learn your systems to the detail and give your IT environment unwavering attention. Most business owners and leaders who opt for in-house IT may enjoy this advantage. Besides, because the IT department is part of your day-to-day activities, it understands your processes and identifies with your company’s goals. Therefore, they can customize IT solutions to fit your unique IT support needs.
If you cannot afford to manage an in-house IT department, the alternative is outsourcing. Outsourcing enables your business to access a vast pool of deep benches of IT personnel at a fraction of the amount you’d have used to manage everything internally. The outsourced IT support team handles everything, from acquiring the latest technologies to hiring, training, and paying the IT specialists. All the hard work shifts to the service provider at a service bill per user or number of stations. Besides the financial benefit, this also creates more time for you to focus on other core business tasks.
While outsourcing grants you access to top-tier industry specialists, you may forgo the exclusivity benefit that comes with maintaining an in-house team. You may not directly involve the outsourced service provider in your daily operations. They also may fail to understand your business objectives as an internal department would. That may compromise the quality of support that you get.
Also, it’s pretty common for outsourced IT management service providers to have a one-size-fits-all approach. They typically design tiered service levels and fit every new client into their pre-designed offerings. They may not address your unique IT support needs because they haven’t customized these services for your organization.
So, which is better—in-house or outsourced IT management? As you’ve seen, there isn’t an across-the-board answer to this question. Fortunately, you no longer have to sacrifice one for the other.
As the name suggests, co-management is an agreement that you make with an external IT management service provider to work together with your existing internal IT department. The outsourced team, therefore, works as an external extension of your in-house staff. Co-management is like having an internal IT department and outsourcing at the same time. The in-house team brings on board their in-depth understanding of your processes and the service provider their vast expertise.
Co-management comes with several benefits among them:
Whether you’re going for in-house, outsourced, or co-managed IT support, ensure that it meets your business needs and gives you the best value for your bucks. Outsourcing is cheaper and grants you access to top-tier experts, in-house management comes with more personalized support, and co-management gives you the best of both worlds.
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