IT is such a fundamental part of any business, which is why it needs to be managed effectively. Most SMEs have two choices; they can create an in-house IT department, or hire one technician if the company is small enough, or they can sign up with an outsourced IT provider. There is no perfect solution, it all depends what it best for your business operations.
Business owners need to evaluate their IT needs and requirements before deciding on the most appropriate form of IT support. If you have daily demands then an in-house team may be the best option, but in many cases an IT support provider can deliver the service required. Read on to compare both types of IT support and decide which is best for your business.
In-house IT pros and cons
An in-house team of IT technicians is a great idea if you have complex bespoke computer systems or your staff require regular training. However not all IT managers and support staff have a wide base of knowledge in different areas – for example they may have a specialism. This means you will probably have to hire two or more members of the IT team to cover all bases.
The downsides of hiring IT staff are cost related. You’ll need to pay them a good salary, probably £30,000 and above in London for individuals with the right experience. Then you’ll also need to factor in holiday pay and sick pay, employee benefits and the cost of ongoing training. If you only have one IT specialist you’re leaving the business open to risk when they are not at work. Moreover, the cost of ongoing training also adds up for employers.
If you’re relying on a member of staff who is “good with computers” for IT support, then you’re setting yourself up for failure. When other staff are constantly distracting them with questions about software and systems, they can’t get on with their job. Also, if they aren’t qualified then one wrong move could bring down all systems or result in data loss. It’s not a risk you should be willing to take!
Outsourced IT pros and cons
For SMEs, it’s almost always more cost effective to choose outsourced IT support than an internal support team. There are many different IT support packages to choose from depending on the company’s requirements, including pay as you go support or an anytime support package. Dedicated and experience technicians will be able to help you remotely or visit the office to fix any issues.
Another advantage of choosing an IT provider is the huge bank of knowledge you’ll have access to. Rather than having just one or two staff members to solve problems, there will be dozens of IT professionals working in the company – so there’s bound to be someone with experience in your sector and common issues faced.
The only downside to outsourced IT support is that you don’t have somebody in the office during working hours to call on immediately. However, they are only a phone call away!
Have a chat with us about our IT support options and we’ll help you find your ideal package.