The Surprising Pros and Cons of Outsourced IT Support
If you are looking to outsource your IT support, read through this list of pros and cons first to see if an outsourced team is the right fit for you.
Keyword(s): Outsourced It Support
IT outsourcing is at a 5-year high as almost 34% of businesses outsource at least part of their network. The primary reason for this growth is that it helps businesses save time and money on IT management.
Outsourced IT support services handle all your IT or information technology needs. This includes infrastructure and software development, customer support, data storage, and more.
Read on to learn the pros and cons of outsourcing IT support and decide if it is the right choice for the size and type of business you run.
Benefits of Outsourced IT Support
There are two primary options for IT management. You can have an in-house team inside your business or outsource it to another organization.
The primary outsourced IT support benefits to keep in mind include team expertise, reduced costs and training, access to technology, improved use of resources, better security, scalability, competitiveness, and technical support.
Outsourced IT support teams are large groups of professionals who deal with a wide range of network issues every day. They have either seen the problem you are dealing with before or can figure out how to fix it.
Technology tends to have a mind of its own, and specific parts or network components that you are not familiar with may suddenly stop working. In this case, an outsourced IT service can send a specialist to fix the problem.
When you have various IT issues at the same time, a large team with a range of specializations can be a lifesaver. Outsourced IT support teams can provide multiple specialists to help you at the same session.
Not every business can find or afford to hire a qualified IT team, but they all need one as global reliance on technology increases. A guaranteed level of expertise is one of the most important benefits outsourced IT support services provide.
An in-house IT department may be necessary for any business that uses technology on a regular basis. It can become a major expense thanks to buildings to house employees, payroll costs, and more.
Outsourced IT support companies charge a single rate for every service they provide. No matter what type of specialist is needed. This covers the cost of:
- Employee benefits and insurance
- Office space rental
In the simplest terms, outsourcing makes another organization responsible for all the costs related to building and maintaining your IT department. This saves your business a great deal of money.
1 in every 5 Americans has faced a ransomware attack, costing $7.5 billion in remediation. The prevalence and cost of cyberattacks make cybersecurity a hot-button issue for any organization.
Hiring outsourced IT support services is one of the best things you can do for the security of your business and its data. It gives you a team that will monitor your network for threats and stops them in their tracks. Outsourced IT should provide a dedicated team of security specialists to monitor your network and protect your data
Every component of your business needs to be able to grow with you, and this includes your IT department. Scalability refers to how easy it is to change the business process as it grows.
Outsourced IT support is highly scalable because most companies already have enough staff and resources on hand to handle businesses of any size.
As your business grows, you may need to hire more professionals or invest in more equipment. This is much easier and more affordable when you outsource your IT department than trying to manage it in-house.
Outsourced IT firms should be able to increase and decrease resources and cost as your business and demand changes.
All other outsourced IT support benefits work together to help make your business stand out amongst its peers. If your competitors are not already using an outsourced IT service, you should try to beat them to the punch.
Your customers will appreciate the improved efficiency and quality of service you will be able to provide once you have a team of professionals helping you maintain your network. They will want to come back to get the same level of service.
Quality Technical Support
Outsourced IT support services offer several types of technical support to keep your organization up and running. They include reactive, proactive, and remote.
Reactive support means fixing technical issues after they happen. Traditional technical support services only provide this type. They interrupt your workday to fix a glitch while doing nothing to prevent the problem from happening again.
Proactive support refers to monitoring technology and networks to look for problems that may occur. It prevents issues from happening in the first place, saving you time and money while also improving performance.
Remote support involves an IT team communicating with you and solving your technical issues through a secure software portal. This is safer, faster, and more affordable than having professionals come to your place of business.
IT support teams should provide the best support possible, and outsourcing helps ensure this happens. They also provide various types to prevent and fix all potential technical issues.
Improved Use of Resources
Unless you own an IT business, managing IT is not how you want to spend your time nor is your field of expertise. Having another organization mange both people and IT strategy for you allows you to focus on the products and services your business provides.
Every dollar and second of time you would spend on creating an in-house IT team could be used to grow your business instead. If you manage your newly freed-up resources properly, you can grow beyond your wildest dreams.
Access to Technology
Outsourced IT support teams are usually trained in and have access to the latest and greatest tech. You can trust they will be using the best possible products to perform their tasks. Because they deploy technology across multiple clients, you can be confident the technology they recommend is tested and reliable, saving you time and money by not being the guinea pig.
Outsourced IT companies occasionally let their clients rent and/or purchase their technology at low prices. You could get the best tech sooner than your competitors and at a more affordable rate.
You can also get advice from qualified professionals on what tech to use. Ask them what type of computer is best, what programs to use for a certain task, how to leverage the cloud, how do I protect remote worker devices, and more. They will be happy to answer you.
As previously mentioned, outsourced IT support teams are already full of qualified professionals who are familiar with the technology they use.
You will not have to waste time or money training them. In fact, these professionals can in a sense “train” you in how to use your tech as effectively as possible.
Cons of Outsourced IT Support
Despite the benefits, not every business uses outsourced IT services. It is not the right fit for every size or type.
There are some disadvantages to keep in mind. They include less control, longer response times, reduced information security, and the potential for hidden costs.
The major benefit of having an in-house IT team is that you get to manage every single aspect of it. You see everything they do and can change anything you do not like or fire anyone who breaks the rules. (Easier said than done in most cases though.)
Outsourced IT support services may not provide the same level of control. You should make sure you do not enter long term contracts. (No term, month to month is optimal.) Meet and collaborate routinely to review their work and get their guidance.
IT Now not available
One of the many reasons business keep IT in house is they say they want immediate support. Pick up the phone, walk to their desk, ask them a question at the water cooler are all examples of IT Now. However, this is very expensive, does not scale affordably and leads to inconsistent and unaccountable support.
Users will have to adapt to changes in culture and response times. Keep in mind, outsourced IT firm’s systems, processes and procedures are mature, and should provide the consistency and communication to bring users a level of service that improves their ability to do their job.
Reduced Information Security
Handing off your IT department to another company also means giving them any sensitive data you manage. This could include passwords or client information.
Be sure that you trust an organization before you hire them. A good outsourced IT firm should:
- provide open access to your data and historical ticket history.
- provide routine communication with a strategic member of their team responsible for your account.
- be willing to understand and learn your business.
- add value not typically provided from in-house IT like annual budgets, security risk and network assessments and roadmaps.
Outsourced IT services can help a business save money, but there are extra fees to watch out for. Companies based in countries outside of the US are usually the culprits, but any unscrupulous business could add to your bill.
Examples of these extra fees include double-billing, phone consultations, and services not related to IT management. If you notice these charges, it may be best to choose another company.
Avoiding These Issues
There are plenty of options to choose from when deciding which outsourced IT support company to hire, but they are not all created equal. They differ greatly in the quality and level of service they provide.
Research is one of the best methods to ensure you get the best provider. Look for reviews, testimonials, and other indicators of quality.
Do not be too shy to ask the company about their services directly, either. Questions to ask your outsourced IT support service before hiring them include:
- What are your monthly rates?
- Do you charge any extra fees?
- What are the qualifications of your staff?
- How will you protect my confidential information?
- Do you provide a dedicated virtual CIO for my account?
- What other services can you provide outside of IT support?
Carefully choose the best possible outsourced IT support provider and you will experience all the benefits with as few as possible of the disadvantages.
Where Can I Find IT Support Services?
Outsourced IT support services take the burden of managing technology off your shoulders. They save you money and provide a team of experts to manage all your IT needs.
The various options may make choosing a provider overwhelming, but you will feel secure once you know you have found one you can trust. Check out our IT services and contact us today for more information.