Should You Hire Internal IT Staff or Outsource to an External Service Provider?
By Matthew Padulchick on Monday, June 16th, 2014
Most small business owners handle all aspects of their businesses, including acting as the IT department. This will work while you’re a small business without employees. When you grow and start hiring staff, however, will it make sense to use your business-building time on IT issues?
Unless you are an IT service provider yourself, chances are your time will be much better spent marketing your products and/or services, establishing relationships with your clients, providing exceptional customer service and generally working to grow your business.
How do you know when it’s time to get IT help? If IT demands are affecting your day and negatively impacting your actual business related activities — it’s definitely time to consider finding an IT resource. If you start adding new employees and computers, it’s probably a good time to look into adding IT help, as well.
Should You Hire Internal IT Staff or Outsource?
Once you decide it’s time to find an IT resource, your next decision will be whether you need to hire staff to fulfill the role, or if outsourcing your IT is a better call. Having dedicated IT staff means they are 100% committed to your business, not splitting their time among numerous clients the way a contracted company might. In-house IT staff will develop a strong understanding of your unique business needs and be in a good position to manage your short and long term IT requirements. With your own IT staff on payroll, you know you’ve always got someone available (unless they’re out sick or on vacation or another kind of leave) should an emergency or urgent situation present itself.
The primary disadvantage of hiring IT staff is that you’ll be paying for their benefits, training and a variety of other costs associated with hiring a new employee. Not to mention, you have to pay their salary regardless of how much IT work you really have — which means you could be over-paying based on workload.
There are a variety of advantages to outsourcing your IT. You can outsource to a flat-rate IT service provider and reduce your monthly and overall costs. Having a virtual IT department lets you focus on running your business rather than the technology that supports it. You aren’t stuck paying employee benefits and other employee costs, and you aren’t responsible for ensuring the IT team is current in their training and certifications.
The Bottom Line
Finding the right information technology solution to suit the needs of a growing business is challenging. When you think strategically about your business’ unique IT requirements you can make sound decisions that further promote its growth and profitability.