Author: Kevin Vinitsky (Iron Oak Defense)
Among the early decisions businesses must make is who will handle the management of the company’s information technology (IT) function. The choice between building out an internal department, outsourcing the work to a managed service provider, or taking a hybrid approach is an important one that will affect not only day-to-day operations but also your businesses scalability in the future.
Organizational structure, size, geographic locations, and the complexity of your IT systems are all key factors to consider. Here are some of the pros and cons of each approach:
- In-house IT is beneficial to a company because it has professionals that are very familiar with your business dedicated to maintaining and supporting its systems 24/7. These are employees, however, who are entitled to vacation time, paid holidays, and sick time. You’ll also need to establish internal policies and procedures and factor in the cost of continuing education and training.
- Managed Service Providers with a broad skill base can provide a variety of services, including email, cyber security, and customer relationship management. They may already be handling these functions for other clients and bring that experience to your workplace. During the COVID-19 pandemic, MSPs have been instrumental in setting up work-from-home solutions but their focus is not on your business at all times.
- A hybrid approach may make sense in some situations, outsourcing functions like server management and the help desk while keeping technical leadership and software development in house.
The bottom line is that if complex IT systems are critical to your business, the investment in in-house IT is essential to resolving issues quickly. If your company’s IT needs are more standard, then the ease and efficiency of managed service providers may make the most sense. Whichever you choose, or if you combine the best features of both, there needs to be confidence that your business network will be up and running when it is needed most, which is always.