Information Technology

Is Outsourcing IT a Positive Step for Your Startup?  

Is Outsourcing IT a Positive Step for Your Startup

These days, the vast majority of businesses rely on IT to function properly. This is even true for businesses that aren’t based in IT itself. Most businesses will have at least a selection of teams working with computers on things such as admin or sales. With such a heavy reliance on IT, it’s crucial to have some sort of support system in place, which is where IT teams come in.

If you’re thinking of acquiring some sort of IT team, you’re essentially at a crossroads. Down one route is an in-house team of your own hiring, and down the other is a Managed Service Provider – an MSP.

The idea of outsourcing IT to another business may make some people uncomfortable – surely you’d be better off hiring your own team, ensuring yourself that whoever you hire will be a great fit for your company? The issue is, if you’re not an IT expert, you can never be sure of what skills someone may need to have to fully support your business.

In order to help you make an informed decision, we’ve put together this article in which we’ll compare MSPs to in-house IT teams. Read on for a deeper look into your options! 

Managed Service Providers explained

 An in-house IT team is a fairly simple concept to understand, but it’s less common to be familiar with MSPs. MSPs are essentially ready-made IT teams, working outside of your offices. Commonly they’ll offer support for both simple and complicated tasks, such as designing and implementing changes to infrastructure – not an easy feat. If you were interested in adopting an SD WAN based infrastructure, but were unsure of what that might entail, an MSP could help you out. 

Are MSPs expensive?

 Working out the exact cost of an MSP isn’t straightforward – just expect it to be a lot lower than hiring your own in-house department. The issue comes from the simple fact that every business is different. Your size, your users, the type of data you deal with – these are all things that make your business one-of-a-kind.

The best thing to do is to communicate with a prospective MSP, and discuss what you need, and what they can do for you. You’ll work with them to create an SLA – a service level agreement. This document will explain your contract, outlining exactly what the MSP will be bringing, and what you’ll be paying them to receive it. To create a successful SLA, you must know precisely what you’re looking for when it comes to IT in relation to your business.

It’s common for an MSP to also make suggestions relating to your plans for future growth, which can be especially helpful if your business is not solely based in IT – they can bring expert knowledge that can push your business in the right direction. 

Should you work with an MSP?

 The decision to outsource isn’t one that should be made lightly, and as such, we can’t necessarily give you a definitive answer – that’s something only you and your experienced colleagues can decide on.

What we can do, however, is give you a quick rundown of the most widely accepted advantages to working with an MSP. 

They handle the training

 Paying for training is just one of the things you have to put up with when hiring an in-house IT department. Even if you do some general training of your own, as technology advances and updates, the need for workers to be certified and accredited comes with even more costs. An MSP completely removes this cost, as they handle it themselves. An MSPs IT team is always kept up-to-date with the most modern technology. 

Costs tend to be fixed

 Even though with an in-house team you have the fixed cost of wages, extra costs are bound to pop up. This can be for a whole number of reasons, for example providing sick pay and paying whoever covers for the sick employee, or paying for a consultant if new knowledge needs covering. If you work with an MSP, and don’t ask for anything not outlined in your SLA, what you’re paying tends to remain consistent. 

Avoid recruitment fees

 This one’s fairly self-explanatory. Shockingly, it is estimated that it can cost almost £20,000 to hire an IT department of two. The costs of lost time, interviews, recruitment consultancy, and so on, really add up. Hiring an MSP is simple. You can expect as little as a couple of phone calls and a meeting – that’s definitely going to save you some money! 

Stay at the forefront of your industry

 MSPs are usually utilising only the most modern practices and tech – they have to be, since they’re always working with a large number of different companies, in various areas of the business world. It’s likely that whatever your business needs, they’ve provided support for companies with a number of similarities, giving them plenty of time to hone their skills. This means an MSP will always be at their sharpest when you choose to work with them. 

Should you go in-house?

 It’s clear to see, there are numerous fantastic benefits to working with an MSP. However, it’s important to remember that the option of an in-house team may still be the best choice for you.

Many companies feel as though an external business would simply not fit very well into the established working environment – this may mean it’s a better idea to hire specific individuals as part of an in-house team. There are numerous other reasons, such as wanting a higher amount of data security than what an MSP is offering, or simply wanting to hire someone who can work in your office, experiencing your developing IT needs first hand. 

The right step for your business

 As we mentioned earlier, deciding between an MSP and an in-house team is not an easy choice. To come to a solid conclusion, you need to ensure you understand exactly what your IT needs are, as well how the varying types of IT support might be able to help you out.

At the end of the day, whoever you choose needs to be able to keep your business online when it matters most. Breaches in data and downtime can have severe negative effects on a business if not avoided, so as long as your choice keeps them from happening, you’re on the right track.

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