Will outsourcing our IT department save my company money? Ultimately, that is the primary question weighing on the minds of business executives as they evaluate the option to engage a managed IT services company to run their company’s technology, rather than rely on an in-house IT staff.
But the equation isn’t always straightforward. In order to make a justified conclusion, business leaders must consider several “hidden costs” when comparing internal resources with an outsourced IT model.
What does in-house IT staffing really cost?
There are many costs associated with managing your business’s technology in addition to the simple “salary and benefits” model for your internal IT staff. As a corporate leader, you must factor in costs that are incurred when your support model does not meet the needs and objectives of your businesses end users.
It is critical to evaluate “hidden costs” when calculating the financial impact of IT support services. Consider these concealed expenses when you compare the price of maintaining in-house IT staffing with outsourcing your IT:
1. Loss of Productivity: An inadequate IT staff can cause the company’s primary resource, its end-users, to spend time trying to solve their own computer issues; or worse, it may force them to be unproductive while they wait for their problems to be fixed.
Most small and midsize companies have a single IT staffer. What happens if your internal IT staff member is sick? Or on vacation? How do you provide support to your end users and maintain uptime on your network? A direct result of insufficient IT staffing is lost productivity—and potential lost profits.
2. Continuing Education/Training: The pace at which technology changes can be a direct contributing factor to skills shortage in IT professionals. Your in-house IT resources are consumed trying to keep the “ship” afloat and operating. Ensuring maximum business continuity provides an obstacle to investing in necessary on-going training and certifications for your IT staff.
Ultimately, IT support training costs money, additional money that most companies do not plan or budget for. Technical certifications are necessities to maintain a competitive advantage in the marketplace, but most in-house IT departments do not allocate time or funds for staff development.
3. Insufficient Reporting: Most businesses do not have a way to “track” their in-house IT staff. Without a proper methodology to evaluate end-user issues and network problems, you may be faced with paying to have the same problem resolved over and over again. The results are loss of productivity, increased operational expenses, and, ultimately, an unproductive support model
4. Non-compliance: The use of technology in business is increasing more today than five years ago. With that comes the burden of protecting your business’s proprietary data. Some companies will also be required to keep in compliance with innumerable laws and regulations.
Not being in compliance can incur fines, but the damage to your company’s image and market position may be even costlier. Compliance is an ever-changing area in technology—it’s not a “set it and forget it” platform. Being out of compliance can open up a vast array of security issues that introduces additional threats to a company’s fiscal health.
What factors helped you decide between outsourcing your company’s IT support and using internal staffing?