How To Choose Between In-house Or Outsourced Computer Support

IT Support

How To Choose Between In-house Or Outsourced Computer Support

As a business owner, you might find it very hard to make the decision whether to go with an in-house computer support team or to outsource all your IT needs. The best thing to do is make a list of the advantages and disadvantages of both and then compare them to see which fits better with your company.

Either way will require investment so you have a lot to think about. However, the below points should help you along with making this decision.

In-house Computer Support

Key benefits

  • Specialist knowledge of your company – Since your computer support team will be employed by your company, they will have the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in your culture and build up a strong knowledge of how the company works and what computer support it actually requires.
  • Speedy response time -Since your computer support team is in-house, it means they will be on site and as such, available immediately should the server crash, internet go down or if someone’s computer suddenly contracts a virus. This means you receive efficient and fast solutions.
  • No hidden costs – Since you will be paying your in-house team a salary, there are no hidden costs or charges in reflection to what they do. You know exactly what you’re getting and can keep track of the team’s performance through annual reviews and make your own hiring and firing decisions.

Key negatives

  • Cost of training – Your team will need continual training in order to stay up to date with the latest technologies and unfortunately this means you’ll have to keep paying out money.
  • Salaried work – You will have to pay your in-house IT team a regular salary, which depending on how much work they do, may not actually be worth it. This is, of course, dependant on your company’s IT needs.
  • Annual leave and out of hours – If you have a small in-house support team, it can be tricky to organize coverage during popular annual leave periods, as well as when someone is unwell and during out-of-traditional working hours..

Outsourced IT Computer Support

Key benefits

  • Cost effective – Outsourced computer support tends to, on average, work out to be quite a lot more cost effective than hiring an in-house team simply because you pay an overall sum instead of individual salaries.
  • Wider level of expertise – Since you will be dealing with a computer support company who works with lots of other businesses, you will have access to a wider level of expertise. They will have built up this expertise over the years through experiencing and solving a wide range of different companies’ IT issues. As such, you’d hope there would be no problem too great for them to handle.
  • Support at all times – You will not have to worry about holiday or sickness cover, as well as out-of-hours support since this will be a condition of your contract with the outsourced contractor and will be automatically provided.

Key negatives

  • Slower response time – Since the outsourced company will not be on site, you will not be able to just pop into the office next door and demand help with a computer issue. You may have to wait 5, 10, 24 or even 48 hours until you can be helped.
  • Lack of specialist knowledge about your company – Even though the company will be highly knowledgeable in IT issues, they will not have the specialist knowledge about your company that an in-house team would do. This may result in conflicts of interest or just disagreements about how certain IT issues are addressed.
  • Hidden costs or additional charges – While you will have a contract with agreed terms, you may find the contract does not cover every single IT issue you may come across. As such, if for instance your server crashes and they have to recover everyone’s work, it may come at an additional cost. It is worth being aware of this and enquiring about any potential hidden costs before ever signing a contact.

James Wittering writes for Quintech. When not writing, he can often be found being the computer support system for everyone around him.

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