If your business is looking to improve its IT functions, it can be difficult to know which IT solution will best fit your company’s culture and processes. Two common solutions are to outsource IT or to keep IT functions in-house. However, to compare managed IT services and in-house IT solutions, an organization needs to consider more than just each solution’s cost. We’ve talked with hundreds of companies and we always work to ensure we’re going into the partnership with the same goals and expectations (as any IT team should). If an IT solution does not work to facilitate your business’s success, it’s not the right fit for your organization and it’s time to consider another option.
“Nearly every part of your business touches technology. If your IT is not in sync with your business goals, the growth and success of your organization may be inhibited.” Bryan Gregory (President of Aldridge)
How to compare managed IT services and in-house IT security capabilities
IT managed services are not for everyone, and neither is an in-house IT department. That’s why when you compare managed IT services and in-house IT, you have to consider what keeps your business running and drives your success. For companies with fewer than 20 computer users, it may be more fitting and cost-effective to keep IT in-house. However, for any company with 20-250 computer users, an outsourced IT solution may offer the technology tools and consulting such businesses need to enhance productivity and drive the organization toward success. The primary objections we hear from businesses considering IT outsourcing are, “Isn’t it better for my IT guy to be right across the hall?” and “I don’t want to wait for tech support.” While these are valid points, a valuable managed IT service provider will often identify and remedy issues before your business is aware there was a problem in the first place. The provider should employ 24/7/365 network monitoring and remote support to counter IT threats before they affect your business. Such extensive network monitoring can be difficult and expensive to support for a small business’s on-site IT team.
Managed IT services vs. in-house IT Support
In addition, the IT outsourcing provider will likely have a ticket-priority system in place to ensure business-critical IT issues are addressed first. If a company’s network has suffered a ransomware attack or significant data loss, that issue would take priority over a user trying to change their desktop settings or update their version of Microsoft Office. Yes, the single user’s productivity is affected by an older version of the Microsoft program, but only one user and a small portion of the business will be affected. Whereas, the other company’s entire business will be impaired because the organization has fewer available machines to carry out operations. For an IT managed service provider (MSP) to accurately prioritize your company’s issue, the IT provider must understand your business and how your technology impacts each sector of your organization. While an on-site IT person may have more inside access to a company’s culture and processes, a true managed IT service provider will work, even before the on-boarding process, to understand your business and what your users need to propel the company toward its goals. The MSP will also likely have a larger pool of resources and multiple employees available to assist users if another support technician is not available. If your on-site IT person is sick, on vacation, or late to the office, your users’ issue may be left unattended and could potentially escalate into a more serious problem. While your managed IT service provider may not be at your beck and call, the provider will always have someone available to address any issue that could critically affect your company’s operations. Of course, the same solution will not work for every business, so it’s important your organization consider its IT needs both now and in the future to ensure success. A thorough IT environment assessment can help your business understand where and how technology is used within your operations. Managed IT service providers generally require this analysis before engaging with your organization in a managed services relationship.
How to compare managed IT services and in-house IT cost
IT costs vary from business to business, but what you spend on technology ultimately depends on whether your company is simply looking to “get by” with its technology, or if you want to utilize IT to enhance productivity and efficiency. The cost of managed IT services also depends upon your current technology solution and how much IT remodeling will be necessary to create a dependable and secure IT environment for your business. The initial cost to replace equipment, purchase hardware, etc. may seem daunting, but such improvements could save your company from technology disasters such as data loss or a network security breach. These incidents can result in downtime, as well as legal and financial penalties that may outweigh the cost of purchasing the equipment necessary to prevent such issues in the first place. There are also long-term costs a managed IT service provider can help reduce for a business. A full-time IT employee or department with capabilities equal to an IT managed service provider would likely cost a small to medium size business more than outsourcing IT services, and this person’s availability will still be limited by vacation days, sick leave, etc. An IT managed service provider should charge a flat, monthly fee that includes all contracted services. The MSP should also provide your business with an outline of any extra costs necessary to complete upcoming IT projects. Most small to medium-sized businesses with an in-house IT department do not have the resources or manpower to create or implement a proactive IT plan. A break-fix repair IT culture can lead to a series of unexpected IT costs that impact your bottom line and leave your employees frustrated with their technology tools. When trying to compare managed IT services and in-house IT costs, it’s necessary for a business to have a clear understanding of the level of services they need not only to keep the lights on but to help them realize their goals. At Aldridge, we work with companies to make sure they have the tools and resources they need to drive success. Talk to our IT managed services team to find out if we will be a good fit for your business.