Outsourcing IT Support: In-House vs. External Providers

Almost all business operations now rely on technology. Think of information technology infrastructure as the foundation of your business; it keeps customer data secure. It also ensures information flows smoothly and everyone stays connected. That’s where an IT support team comes in.

What does tech support do? It serves as the lifeline of smooth-running and efficient tech. And that’s why experts project the IT support services market’s revenue to reach USD$1,420 billion this year.

But how do you ensure you have the right IT support specialist in place? Should you build an in-house IT department? Or outsourcing support to a specialized IT service provider is a better idea? Let’s take a closer look at both approaches below. Let’s talk about the advantages and disadvantages of each of them. Read on.

In-house IT support

Let’s start with in-house IT teams. It’s basically having dedicated support providers. That means you’ll directly employ IT professionals. They’ll work alongside other departments to ensure smooth technological operations.

Curious about the advantages of having an in-house IT support provider? Here are some of them:

Aligned with business goals

An in-house team is an integral part of your organization. They understand your specific goals and strategies. It means that they can tailor IT solutions like infrastructure management to your needs.

Seamless collaboration

Another benefit of dedicated IT support is open communication and collaboration. That’s possible because they’re already familiar with other departments and their workflows, which can lead to quicker troubleshooting. Of course, a collaborative working environment makes a business five times more likely to perform better as well.

Data security and compliance

Having in-house IT staff also means direct control over your IT infrastructure. You can set stricter data security measures. It’s also easier to ensure that your team implements and maintains security protocols that comply with industry regulations.

Deep understanding of your needs

Deep understanding of your needs

Aside from aligning solutions with your business goals, an in-house team can also anticipate potential issues better. After all, they’re constantly immersed in your company’s unique IT landscape. Their in-depth knowledge of your needs will allow them to develop proactive solutions for you.

Of course, choosing an in-house IT team over external IT support Seattle providers or the ones serving your locale has disadvantages, too. Check them out below.

Cost considerations

It’s not cheap to build and maintain an in-house IT team. Salaries, benefits, infrastructure costs – these can all strain your budget. It might not be the best fit for a small business.

Limited expertise

A managed IT service provider often has a vast pool of expertise. And that’s something that’s not always available in in-house teams. That’s why there could be issues when facing specialized IT issues. Even rapidly evolving technologies might disrupt your operations.

Scaling challenges

What do you do when you must meet fluctuating workloads? Should you add or remove IT staff? It can be a slow and cumbersome process.

24/7 support limitations

Expecting round-the-clock IT support from an in-house team also often means paying more.

Let’s talk about external providers next.

Outsourced IT support

So, how about working with a third-party service provider? What happens here is that you’ll contract with a specialized external IT support company. They’ll manage your company’s technological needs.

What are the key benefits of this approach? Here are some of them:

Cost savings

There’s no need for salaries and benefits when using remote IT support services. You also don’t have to invest in an IT infrastructure. You just have to pay a predictable amount for the managed IT services you require. That frees up your financial resources significantly so you can focus more on your core business processes.

Expanded expertise

IT professionals with diverse skillsets mostly comprise managed service providers. That means you’ll gain access to a wide range of expertise. Tackling complex IT challenges? No problem!

Scalability and flexibility

Easy and quick adjustment of IT support level is also possible with outsourced technical support. You can scale up or down based on your current business needs anytime.

24/7 support availability

Many outsourced IT services also include 24/7 coverage. They can do network monitoring around the clock. It’s a big help if you operate globally or require uninterrupted IT operations.

Of course, IT support outsourcing also comes with disadvantages, such as:

Data security concerns

Data security becomes a shared responsibility when you outsource. So, it’s important to vet potential IT support outsourcing companies. They should have robust cyber security protocols in place.

Note that there were 2,365 cyber attacks recorded in 2023. So, take data security seriously.

Communication challenges

There can also be communication hurdles when working with an outsourced IT service provider. Reasons could be geographical or time zone differences. Establishing strong communication channels is paramount for any business owner.

Understanding your needs

An in-house team could be more familiar with your specific IT environment than an IT outsourcing company. The same can be said for your workflows. Communicating your needs and expectations is vital.

Note that the quality of the outsourced IT services you’ll get hinges on your chosen provider’s capabilities. What does that mean? It means that you should conduct thorough research and due diligence. Ensure they have a proven track record before hiring them.

Making the decision

An understanding of your company’s unique needs should help you make the right decision. Should you have an in-house team? Or using outsourced IT support solutions is a better fit? Consider your budget and data security requirements. Assess your desired level of control, too. And don’t forget to take a look at your IT infrastructure’s complexity level. Then, weigh each approach’s advantages and disadvantages.

Also, if you haven’t yet, you may consider exploring a hybrid model. It combines in-house staffing and outsourced support in one solution.