As your business expands and grows, you’ll be presented with endless options of where your money, time, and effort could be invested. Many people will find options such as developing ideas for new services, coming up with exciting advertisements and expanding your current sales teams much more interesting than things such as improving IT networking, finance control, and HR – but these definitely should not be overlooked.
These three areas are what most businesses are built upon – they’re what facilitate the more exhilarating aspects of growth. This is especially true for IT networking and the support that it requires – this could be the one most important part.
When it comes to ensuring your IT network and its systems are kept going and working at maximum capacity, you really have two main options when it comes to investments. One of these is to hire an in-house department, and the other is to outsource, letting a separate specialist company take care of whatever you need. To help you decide which is best for your business, we’ve put together a quick guide going over some of the benefits and drawbacks of each choice.
Is the Best Solution Possible?
As you can imagine, the ultimate way to handle your IT needs would be to have an in-house team, with each member having the most up-to-date knowledge and skills – but this is really going to be a long shot, for any business. A team like this would be extremely expensive to recruit – it’s estimated that acquiring this kind of extensively qualified team could cost a business upwards of $50,000 dollars – and that’s each month.
That’s an astonishingly high price, but it’s worth remembering that that’s the price you’d have to pay for a truly ultimate team – covering all the bases including how qualified and experienced the team is, having them constantly be monitoring and covering all your systems, and also the cost of covering their sick days, holidays, maternity/paternity leave, and so on. Another thing to consider is the hiring of team members who can be onboard if your business grows even larger.
The truth of it is that this kind of dream team is really only achievable if your business is solely based in IT – even sourcing the correct people would be difficult for a business not fully invested in the industry, never mind covering the cost. If that’s not going to be possible then, what’s a more achievable method?
Are MSPs a Good Compromise?
Though it may sound impossible, being able to work with a team with the amount of talent we mentioned previously is in fact still possible – you just have to go about it in a way other than hiring an in-house department. As long as you’re willing to work with another company, the top-notch support you need can be acquired through working with a Managed Service Provider – an MSP.
You don’t need to worry about the security of business’ information, as you’ll need to come to a Service Level Agreement (SLA) that ensures your data is kept secure and your relationship kept rock-solid – though you may need to meet them halfway on certain things. You may need constant access to an IT manager – this is unlikely to be found with an MSP. What you can have access to, though, is an account manager available over the phone. It’s not quite the same, but the amount of money you’ll save (as opposed to using an in-house team) should be enough to make up for it.
MSPs are on the Cutting Edge
One of the best things about outsourcing to an MSP is the sheer amount of cutting-edge know-how they bring to the table. It’s not that in-house teams aren’t experienced or knowledgeable, simply that they’re cut off from the wider networking world once they’re hired by a company. Since they’d only be working for you, they’d have a great understanding of your business network, but may not have much of a grasp on newer networking components.
On the other hand, an MSP is likely working with many other businesses, constantly receiving information and experience from the most modern software and features which your network may not be using. Any individual recruited by an MSP is bound to have a wider level of experience and more qualifications than your average IT team.
This is a benefit for you as access to the most current experience and information will be there for you when you need it. Think of it this way – where a basic in-house IT department would probably need to do a fair amount of research before setting up a new network component, an MSP will probably have done an alike task before. This is brilliant for any business looking to expand its IT network to facilitate more growth, it’s always worth having access to the most up-to-date knowledge of the world of networking.
Creating the Right SLA
While it can benefit a business to hire a large number of IT workers, getting the results you want without any botched jobs first is never guaranteed. This is because when you hire an individual, they’ll be signing an employment contract – but they won’t be signing a service contract. As we wrote earlier, hiring an MSP requires a Service Level Agreement to be made – this guarantees that whatever service you agree upon in the agreement, the MSP must deliver. Whether it’s being available for support 24 hours, 7 days a week, or even keeping downtime down to 0.1% – if they agree to it, they must provide.
This amount of dedicated service simply can’t be guaranteed with an in-house IT department – sure, they may be the most efficient workers in the country, but they aren’t legally bound to putting in 100% effort all the time, whether you think they should be or not. An MSP must provide what you agree upon, hopefully putting you at ease even when you decide your business must make some high-risk decisions.