IT is essential to the success of modern businesses. So companies need to do it well to keep up with the competition. But one of the toughest aspects of this is figuring out whether you’re better off with an internal IT department or an outsourced one.
We’ve put together this article to help you answer that question. Keep reading to get a complete look at everything you need to know to decide.
Internal IT Departments
An internal IT department is one that operates from within your business. This is beneficial for a few key reasons.
First, you have more control over IT. Whenever you want to make a change to your system or begin using a new app, you can talk directly with your team to begin implementing it right away.
Internal IT departments also have more intimate knowledge of your business. Every company is its own unique thing with various quirks and special processes. An internal team will quickly learn all of these, so you won’t have to worry about them causing problems down the line.
Finally, you’ll also get direct control of your data when you use an internal team. That’s a big deal since more than 60% of companies globally rely on data to improve cost efficiency.
The primary drawback of operating your own internal IT department is high costs. It’s expensive to employ full-time IT workers – especially since the average IT staffing ratio for small businesses is 1 IT employee for every 18 workers.
That means you may need to hire more IT employees than you initially expected if you want to keep up with what the competition is doing.
Another potential drawback is all of the extra responsibilities you assume. When you have an internal IT department, you need to manage it.
That doesn’t just mean managing your IT employees. It also means creating backup systems for data, robust data security practices, and redundancies, just to name a few. This can add up to eating up quite a lot of your time.
An outsourced IT team is an external provider who handles your company’s IT needs as contractors rather than employees. Here are the benefits and drawbacks of this strategy.
The biggest benefit is lower costs. On average, a company will pay less to hire an outsourced IT team instead of maintaining its own. This includes wages and management costs.
Additionally, outsourced IT teams are typically less work for you. These are special units that are designed to take care of everything your company needs from an IT perspective.
If you find a good outsourced team, then the process will be really easy. You can just search for something like “IT services in Corpus Christi,” click on a link and hire a team that can handle everything for you.
Finally, outsourced IT teams are also easier to scale as you grow. You don’t have to worry about always having the right number of people hired for your IT team. You can just tell an external provider that you need more security, new processes, or something else and allow them to get the job done for you.
A potential drawback to this strategy is that you have less control over your IT department. You’ll be able to tell your outsourced team what you want. But you won’t be able to oversee them with the same level of precision that you would an internal team.
The external team you hire may also not customize to meet the unique needs of your business. That means the IT support you get from them could be less effective or efficient than it would be with an internal team.
Finally, with an external IT team, you’re also putting sensitive data into a third party’s hands. That may be more or less important to you based on the nature of your work. But it’s a vulnerability that you should recognize regardless.
The Bottom Line: Is Internal or External IT Better?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The best option for you will depend on your business and its IT needs.
For example, do you have lots of specialized processes and a consistent need for after-hours IT support? If so, an internal team would likely be a better fit. The same would be true if you have lots of sensitive data that you don’t want falling into the wrong hands.
But maybe your business is growing very quickly, and you want to make sure that your IT team grows at the same pace. That would be a better scenario for an external team – especially if you want to save money on IT as well.
The bottom line is that you need to think about this with a clear understanding of your company’s budget and IT goals. Once you understand that, you can use the pros and cons we’ve shown above to figure out which option is best for you.