For many companies, outsourcing IT services can improve their efficiency by allowing them to focus on their core competencies and leaving IT matters to experts.
But outsourcing also comes with some risks. You must trust another company with sensitive information, and you lose some control over business operations.
That’s why in this article, we go over all the benefits and drawbacks to outsourcing IT services—so you can make an informed decision.
Let’s start with the benefits for outsourcing IT management:
Larger talent pool
Hiring the right people is a constant challenge for growing businesses. If your local area lacks the talent you need, it can be difficult to scale.
But by outsourcing your IT needs to a company like Palmtech, you have access to a much larger talent pool. And in our new age of remote work, an IT service agency could be headquartered anywhere across the globe and help you manage your business from afar.
Unless your company is closely related to IT or has a constant need for it, hiring an in-house team can get expensive. You’ll have to go through a slow hiring process, provide training, and offer costly employee benefits.
Contracted IT teams are far more efficient. Not only do you not need to provide them with training, facilities, and benefits, but they already have a team and infrastructure in place to get started on day one.
Plus, if you’re on a budget, you can hire offshore IT companies willing to work for far less than what’s available in the US. Just be aware that their services might be lower quality as well.
Greater expertise and resources
Because IT companies have many clients, you benefit from their expertise earned over years of experience. This is what they do day in and day out.
You also get access to their industry-standard resources and equipment. They help you stay on the cutting edge of modern technology.
Better Data Security
IT companies can help you monitor, protect, and back up sensitive company data. Their cybersecurity infrastructure will help you keep your business information as secure as possible.
You may not know how your company information could be jeopardized. IT experts can help you identify critical weak points in your software and hardware so you can sleep at night.
Scaling your business is much easier when you outsource your IT needs because it doesn’t require the process of hiring your own staff.
Choose an IT service with flexible service plans and communicate your changing needs over time. They can then easily increase their support as needed.
Focus on your core competencies
Outsourcing IT services allows you to take advantage of specialization. Leave your IT management to someone else, so you can focus on what your company does best. Get rid of unnecessary departments and streamline your organization. This way, both parties benefit. It’s a win-win.
Reduce service outage risk
Outages are a serious threat to any business. They stop operations and lead to lost revenue the longer they last.
When you outsource your IT, however, you get access to their backup servers which can quickly restore your operations and data in the event of an outage. That means less revenue loss and more streamlined disaster recovery.
Of course, outsourcing IT services also has some drawbacks:
Lack of control
Whenever you outsource something, you inevitably lose some control. The contractor is not part of your company nor usually on-site. So their workflow may be a little different than yours.
Plus, using a third party means you must trust them with sensitive information. It can be hard to give up that kind of control over your business.
Having good and fast communication with contractors is essential for running a smooth business.
But working with another company sometimes means working across different time zones or with different technologies than you are used to. They might prefer email while you prefer phone calls.
If you don’t have clear expectations for communication, you could quickly grow dissatisfied while jeopardizing the efficiency of your business operations.
Possible security risks
Outsourcing IT also means trusting another company with sensitive business information and access to private company software and hardware. As a result, there’s always some security risks involved.
But IT companies highly value information security by nature of their work. So if you properly research and vet who you hire, the risk of a data breach is minimal.
Cost of switching IT services
Switching to a managed IT service can have high upfront costs. And as more IT vendors get bought out or go under, switching may be necessary.
If you have in-house IT, you can keep the same systems so long as your business stays running, only updating them when necessary.
Lower company morale
Whenever you outsource, you inevitably get rid of internal job roles. This means more layoffs and displacement for company employees, which could damage overall company morale. Those you keep may worry about losing their job in the future.
Longer wait times
Without your own IT team, you must always rely on someone else’s schedule. Though most IT companies are very responsive, they also service several clients at a time. So you run the risk that they won’t be able to get to your issue as quickly as you want them to.
Lack of familiarity
Naturally, anytime you use an outsourced IT service, they’ll be less familiar with your company’s infrastructure and culture. And this could lead to friction and inefficiencies in your company’s operations.
To combat this, you should prepare a smooth onboarding process to train the IT service on your company’s unique customs and expectations.
Well, there you have it! Deciding whether or not to outsource your IT management should be easier now.
Ultimately, the choice is up to you. It will come down to the unique needs and situation of your business. Consider the pros and cons carefully and do what’s right for you.