Many businesses choose to outsource various aspects of their business to third-party specialist companies that are able to provide a one-off or ongoing service at a fraction of the cost of having an in-house employee to handle everything. Common tasks to outsource include marketing, website development, graphic design, recruitment, customer support, and even the entire IT infrastructure.
Advantages of Outsourcing IT Support
- A local IT support company can meet with you on a regular basis and keep you up to date with recent advancements and competition, as well as collect any faulty equipment or hardware for quick repair or replacement.
- You have someone to turn to or hold accountable for any IT issues.
- Having “pay as you go” support can be more cost-efficient for smaller companies that do not require constant maintenance of their IT systems. Instead, you can have a company that is familiar with your systems but only actively carries out tasks when needed.
- You may be blessed with a particularly tech-savvy individual in your employ, but outsourcing your support gives you access to specialist IT professionals, rather than relying on an employee’s limited expertise whose role isn’t in that specific field.
- Your company is able to focus on the products or services that you provide, strengthening your core process and reducing unnecessary management time, rather than being impeded by the technicalities of things like maintaining your equipment or software.
- Reduces operational costs where the service vendor can provide their own equipment, resources or specialist software, without you having to pay for these technologies yourself.
Disadvantages of Outsourcing IT Support
- When shopping around for IT support solutions, it can be tempting to go with a cheap company based in another country. Though they may be able to help you with remote assistance, an IT support company in London isn’t going to be able to provide you with deskside assistance if your company is based in Lisbon. There is a very real disadvantage to choosing an overseas IT company, that may result in you paying out even more for additional onsite support when a single local company can handle everything for you.
- Third-party service providers have no pure loyalty to your company beyond wanting to provide a good service to uphold their own company’s reputation. This doesn’t mean that they will cut corners or swindle you in any way, but their time and focus will be divided among their clients, customers or accounts that they are responsible for.
- As with anything that you may outsource to an external organisation, there is always a risk of exposing confidential company data. Even when you use cloud-based applications, such as Google Drive, you are entrusting your confidential data to Google. Though the likelihood of any negative outcome may be unlikely, data security is still something that you need to be aware of. The irony, of course, is that you may be outsourcing your cybersecurity to a third-party, when they themselves may be the weak link in the chain.
- Due to the service vendor’s own time commitments, there may be a delay in handling any issues that require immediate attention when compared to an in-house employee.
- You are essentially surrendering some of your control to a different business, and have to place an amount of trust to outsiders.
Whichever direction you choose to take your IT strategy, it is imperative that you find a solution that works for your particular business. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to IT, and you may find that an internal department suits your business better. Smaller businesses, however, may prefer the flexibility of a monthly fixed fee or, alternatively, a “pay as you go” pricing model.
For these businesses with tighter budgets, such as startup tech companies, outsourcing your IT support will probably be the best way to go as you reap all the benefits of ongoing IT support and advanced strategy, without the hassle of managing it yourself.