Many businesses, often those that are experiencing growth, find themselves at a turning point where they must decide whether to hire a full-time IT professional, expand their department, or turn to outside professionals for Managed Services. In our previous blog posts, we’ve discussed the pros and cons of the IT break-fix model. Today, we’re talking through the benefits and disadvantages of keeping your IT in-house vs. outsourcing to an MSP (Managed Service Provider).
Understanding Managed Services and Driving Factors
Managed services refer to the practice of a third-party IT provider managing the IT needs of a company. Managed Service Providers (MSP) provide numerous services, which can range from security to 24/7 monitoring and helpdesk support.
According to a 2015 survey by CompTIA, the Computer Technology Industry Association, nearly two-thirds of organizations are using a managed services provider for at least one IT function. CompTIA lists 10 driving factors for businesses that are looking to adopt managed services:
- Ability to be more proactive about their IT
- Better uptime
- Access to new technologies
- Cost savings vs. in-house IT
- Peace of mind
- Free up in-house staff to focus on strategic efforts
- Cloud solutions
- Solution to a lack of in-house IT
- Handle remote location(s) IT
In-house vs. Outsourced: A touchy subject?
Commonly, a barrier to investing in a relationship with a managed services provider for certain IT support comes down to internal IT staff who may worry about the security of their in-house job. The reality is that few organizations have the in-house bandwidth to perform all of the technology functions available from a managed services provider. In fact, CompTIA’s survey found that only 6 percent of companies eliminated their in-house staff as a result of adopting managed services. More than half of surveyed companies that are now using managed services kept their in-house support in place. Another 15 percent chose managed services because they lacked any internal IT. Rather than hire a full-time employee, outsourcing to a managed services provider is a way to bring high-level expertise into the organization.
In-house benefits to adopting managed services
Your internal team is more likely to reap a variety of benefits that come from a partnership with a managed services partner, such as:
- Time. Rather than eliminating positions, it’s much more likely that your in-house team’s time will be freed up to focus on strategic efforts that can help your business grow and thrive. Day-to-day IT management, such as help desk or keeping devices, networks, and security up to date is so time-consuming, it’s common for in-house IT professionals to have little to no time for developing new projects.
- Access to expertise. Working with an outsourced MSP also gives in-house staff access to new technology, from cloud solutions to telecommuting technologies.
On the surface, outsourcing is rarely a popular subject. In the case of IT, selecting and investing in managed services may only serve to benefit your internal team. In a future blog post, we’ll cover some of the key questions to ask a potential Managed Services Provider as you get closer to making an investment decision for your business.