"Which way should my company go?"
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.
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.
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, NSK Inc.