Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Outsourced IT vs. In-House IT

At some point during the growth of your business, you may start to wonder if a different system would work in your favor. Right now is a time during which you may especially feel the need to budget more carefully. There are different areas in which you can cut costs in your business, and you might be considering your IT department as an appropriate department in which to do so. Many firms are downsizing their IT staff and looking to outsource to save money. Before you decide on one definite solution, let’s outline the differences.

Outsourced IT:
When you outsource, you hire IT experts from an outside firm that typically tend to several different businesses. Depending on the IT firm, your relationship with your outsourced IT people can be very personal or impersonal. It is important to many businesses that they keep a close relationship with their outsourced IT specialists. This may mean that a single person or even two people are assigned to service your company so that there is a consistent knowledge of your IT history and problems. This is something you should probably consider as most important when evaluating your options. This way, during each new visit you don’t have to recap every IT problem you have had and what the status was during your last IT visit with a different person. Also, you get the convenience of having one person who has a broad spectrum of knowledge about all areas of IT.

In-House IT:
Many businesses have several IT professionals in-house. For example, one person may be used for IT management, the other for systems engineering, and another for general support. The problem many businesses run into with this is each person might not be fully utilized for the amount they are paid in salary. You may actually use only a portion of each person’s skills, and only when something goes wrong. Also, some businesses that have a single IT person in-house may not get that broad spectrum of knowledge because it is hard to come by someone who is trained in all areas. On the other hand, you may be content with having IT people at the desk next to you as opposed to picking up the phone or logging into an online helpdesk.

Outsourced IT/In-House Combination: Some businesses prefer having both an IT professional staffed in-house and an outside IT team. This gives some businesses the comfort of having someone constantly on-site while having outside experts who are highly-skilled in many areas a phone call away.

Written by Melissa Cocks

3 comments:

  1. We already have an in-house IT specialist here, but we still hire specialists from outside companies. It's just like what you've said. It's good to have someone good in the stuff that needs to be fixed, and at the same time, having someone better only a ring away. We have a website where the customers can order stuff from us online. Our in-house IT takes care of the basic maintenance, while the outsourced IT specialist takes care of the technical part. Having a well-maintained website boosts any business' contractor marketing strategy a boost. That's why in my opinion, it's good to have someone in-house who can fix stuff, and someone who you can call over the phone to fix your stuff.

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  2. Internet service providers with offshore staff are making the offshore-inhouse debate less relevant when fulfilling public contracts.

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  3. In my experience outsoursing only leads to a stale system which falls behind the times, then out of support, then costs a fortune which the outsource company is only too pleased to charge you. There is no imagination or inovation because that is more readily seen as a waste of money (paying a company to experiment for us.... not going to happen).
    With in-house you can keep all your systems up to date put some effort into a little imagination and inovation and keep your outsourse costs low.
    So I'm definately in the bit of both space.

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