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Insourcing vs. Outsourcing your IT

An interview was done with James Elstob of MDM Technologies

Benefits for small companies versus large companies.
“Outsourcing” and “Insourcing” are methods of dividing up work amongst different departments or companies for strategic reasons. Insourcing is typically done solely from within a company’s own operational infrastructure, while outsourcing uses companies that are not affiliated with the company itself to perform a task.

Business Process Management in your IT Departments insourcing vs Outsourcing

There are cost and resource differences between outsourcing and insourcing, all of which influence a company’s management decisions.

Who Outsources and Who Insources?
Insourcing is usually done by companies located in outlying areas (rural areas/small towns) who have remote or in-house support. Outsourcing, on the other hand, is usually done by a company that is not IT-focused and is based in a densely populated area.

What are the Pros and Cons of Insourcing and Outsourcing?

Outsourcing: The Pros

  • Potential money savings: Outsourcing your IT Help Desk or IT Manager saves your business money when it comes to payroll because you won’t incur the expense of an IT professional’s salary or benefits. Also, if everyone’s technology is running smoothly, you won’t be paying your IT person to be idle.
  • You might find a company that specialises in your niche or industry. This can be a major benefit when it comes to troubleshooting, resolving common industry issues and proactively addressing problems.
  • Outsourced IT help commonly delivers faster response times than in-house services because with an in-house arrangement, there is often only one person handling your entire company’s needs. Employees are left waiting for help, and that not only decreases productivity- it can also negatively impact customer service.
  • An outsourced IT Help Desk is available 24/7: An in-house IT professional usually works Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, but what if your employees or a customer need help after hours? That’s when outsourcing with a reliable IT company can really pay off.
  • A company can bring in someone with a very specific skill set to take on a particular task: once this task is accomplished, they may not need those particular skills again, so it makes sense to hire the specialist only for the duration of the project.
  • A company doesn’t need to invest in the equipment or software necessary to do a particular job: the contractor will either provide their own tools or they will include the cost of acquiring the equipment in their fee, which will be less than if the company bought the equipment themselves.

Outsourcing: The Cons
A freelance IT contractor will charge much higher hourly rates than an in-house operative. 

It can be both difficult and time consuming to find someone with the right skills at the right level who is also trustworthy, affordable and available when you need them.

Insourcing: The Pros
A significant advantage of an in-house IT Help Desk is that your on-site professional works with the rest of your staff day in and day out. This allows him/her to develop a comprehensive understanding of your business’ specific IT needs and to identify potential roadblocks. The valuable insight gained by an in-house professional is sometimes difficult to duplicate with outsourced IT.

  • Building up an in-house IT team means that they can be trained in the company’s specific needs, and they will always be available when needed. This can be invaluable when an emergency arises (such as a security breach).
  • In-house employees will also be more invested in making sure the job is done right and will be more likely to go the extra mile and provide exemplary service.
  • With an in-house specialist, costs can be kept under control, and expenses won’t suddenly balloon, as an employee will remain on the same salary, doing whatever work they are required to do.

Insourcing: The Cons
Financial outlay: finding the right people and training them can be a costly and drawn out affair. The training never stops either, as they will need to constantly update their skills and knowledge, gain certificates and so on. Of course, they will also need to be kept on a regular salary with employee benefits. If these employees have in-demand skills at a high level, which they should, then they will need to be paid at a very competitive rate in order to keep them within the company.

What Are the Benefits of Combining Outsourcing and Insourcing?

Your in-house staff can provide basic IT help during the workweek, but if there’s an urgent problem that’s beyond their scope of knowledge, or a crisis occurs after hours, the outsourced IT Help Desk is standing by to solve the problem. If you keep an IT person onboard and outsource your IT Help Desk, your IT professional can redirect his or her focus to other tasks, such as working on streamlining operations, or developing revenue-generating solutions.

How Do You Measure Each Component’s Success?

In any IT system, an As-Is Analysis (Health Check) should be done. This is a risk analysis of the entire system by a SISA qualified/certified auditor. This will highlight the vulnerabilities and risks of the infrastructure stack, which includes maintenance/upgrades that are needed in order to move forward. This creates a roadmap of all the risks that should be fixed. An As-Is Analysis should be done once a year, because once you have a snapshot of the previous year, you can benchmark how well your IT has done or identify new risks to the environment.

Regardless of which solution you choose, you should reassess your IT Help Desk needs regularly to be sure your employees and customers are serviced in a timely and professional manner. Also, make sure that as your company grows, that your IT support grows with it.

Read more about the 4 Ways to Simplify Your IT Infrastructure.

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