As small businesses grow larger, IT needs become more complex and assistance becomes needed just with day-to-day operations. Usually, there are two approaches – either hire an internal employee for the job or outsource it to a team of professionals. But which model is right for your business? And which solution is most cost effective, yet beneficial for company employees? In this blog we will explore the differences between hiring internally vs. utilizing an IT provider.
One of the first things to think about when evaluating potential IT solutions is the cost. As we all know, IT doesn’t come cheap and it usually costs thousands of dollars per month for an outsourced IT solution. Hiring internally seems cheaper, right? Not necessarily. Most IT lead positions are paid between $75,000 - $110,000/year based on experience. But you also need to factor in all the other costs associated with an internal employee. In addition to the yearly salary, there is also the cost of healthcare, HSA, 401k and any other expenses the company incurs for the employee. Your cost for paying an internal employee will probably fluctuate from month to month because of this. However, when using a managed IT service provider, you can count on the same fee month after month. This cost is easier for businesses to keep track of and overall helps for better budgeting.
In addition to compensation, there are additional technology costs to consider. Equipment doesn’t last forever; licenses expire and at some point, it will need to be replaced when it comes to end of life. Usually there are also monthly costs associated standard business software, licenses, ect. When it’s time to purchase these things, obviously you want to get the best price. Most managed IT service providers have partnerships with the software providers and resellers and are eligible for price discounts through these partnership programs. Without partnerships in place, you can expect to be paying full price for most IT related costs.
In addition to cost, there are also other factors that play into the cost of an employee. Most employers provide at least 2 weeks’ vacation per year, in addition to sick leave and paid holidays. If you have only one IT employee who handles all the employee’s needs, who will cover IT needs for at least 3 weeks out of the year? With how heavily employee’s rely on technology, it is not realistic to say ‘the IT issues can wait until the IT lead returns ’. Most likely you would need to hire someone to temporarily fill in. It’s also important to keep in mind that there will be days where the IT lead is unable to come to work with very little or no notice. Usually, the employee can provide an hour or two of notice, but beyond that it would be difficult to arrange a backup IT resource on such short notice.
You will hear many IT providers say “we don’t take vacations and we work holidays” which is absolutely true. Managed Service providers utilize a team of engineers, so if someone is out, they can easily swap another employee to temporarily help. Additionally, these providers also have an employee on call rotation for all major holidays so if an issue arises on a holiday a user will be helped quickly, rather than having to wait until the next business day. The goal is to make sure clients don’t feel any gaps in IT support – holiday or not.
It seems most engineers have a particular specialty when it comes to their work. But it’s rare to find an employee that has a strong knowledge base on everything IT related. When you hear that someone is a ‘cloud expert’ or ‘applications guru’ they probably are not considered an expert on all other technologies. And if they are, they will come at a pretty penny. When you work with a managed service provider you have a team of experts working on your needs. Managed Service providers staff accordingly so they have employees with knowledge of all different types of technologies on staff. These companies also tailor their hiring to make sure they are bringing on employees who know specific software and ERP systems their clients are using, so the client feels a holistic approach for the provider.
Compliance & Security
Is your firewall up to date? Is your organization adhering to current PCI security standards? Are you currently HIPAA compliant? At the end of the day, an internal IT resource has a whole lot to keep track of – and that’s just the core focus of their responsibilities. What happens if that person forgets to renew the SSL certificate and your website crashes? There are a million different scenarios, but the point is that it’s going to be much easier for a team of professionals to keep track of this information rather than one person. Managed IT Service providers create portals for each client that contains all relevant IT information and provides reminders when action needs to be taken ensuring nothing ever gets “forgotten’.
We all know the phrase ‘strength in numbers’, but this rings particularly true for IT services. When rolling out software or implementing a new solution it’s always going to get done quicker if it is handled by a team rather than an individual. Trying to do this all in-house have higher research, development and implementation time which all lead to increased costs. There’s also the chance that the IT lead could become overwhelmed by a project and does not have the knowledge base to correctly complete it. It could get costly – and quite confusing – to bring an IT resource to help mid-project. Managed IT services providers can utilize their team of they get stuck on something to help them quickly resolve the issue and complete the project on time.
Often times a company that has internal IT resources will seek out local IT partners to work with on new technology implementation or project. This is specifically to ensure that internal IT resources keep focused on their tasks at hand and don’t get distracted by project-related issues. This is also to ensure the project will be completed in a timely manner which in turn keeps costs in line. Once companies see first hand how smooth it is to work with an IT partner, they see the benefit and often times end up working together down the road.
Many companies decide to hire internally so that the IT lead is always on premises and available to help with an employee’s issue. When working with a managed service provider, the experience is quite different and most all issues are handled remotely with little onsite presence from the provider. Managed service providers try to stay away from including on-site visits in contracts to avoid tying up engineers when most work can be done remote. The drastic shifts we see have seen this year from office to home office have forced all IT to be done remotely whether that’s by an in-house employee or by a provider. The familiar comfort of having an IT resource on site to tend to any issue users may experience simply isn’t happening anymore. And if remote IT services are working well, why change it? Recent studies have shown that employees who work from home are shown to be more productive, more loyal to their employer and overall happier as working from home provides them with a good work/life balance. Perhaps these managed service providers have been onto something all along?
As we have seen the workplace change so much in such a short time, now more than ever business leaders are looking at new options for their businesses they may have never previously considered. If you have thought about utilizing an IT partner for your needs, now is the time to evaluate that option. If increasing efficiency and decreasing cost are business goals for you, its time to start taking a deeper look at working with an IT provider.
Mindcentric is a Managed Service Provider that specializes in cloud computing and IT management. Many of our clients outsource their entire IT operation to our team as we have craft customized solutions that incorporate cyber security, applications, compliance and more. Most of these clients run enterprise solutions and must comply with their specific regulations. We bridge the gap between the Compliance Officer, The Development Team, and their IT leadership (CISO, CTO etc) to deliver a complete managed offering that checks all their boxes.
With team members across the United states and Clients across the globe, we provide 24x7x365 coverage for our critical clients. We run the majority of our operations from Data Center infrastructure that is housed in Tier-4+ Data Centers. With this, we take care of a lot of the physical security and then enforce specific policy in how the end users connect, allowing you to focus on other issued at hand.