Due to the fact that most businesses are currently migrating into the digital environment, outsourcing your IT services has never been easier. Still, seeing how this option brings both advantages and downsides, it is not so easy to make a clean cut and say that doing so is either good or bad. With this in mind, here are several most notable pros and cons that might help you decide.
1. Pro: Focusing on Core Responsibilities
The first major advantage of outsourcing IT is that it allows you to fully dedicate yourself to the primary task of your business. In other words, instead of having to hire someone to deal with the IT, you can just outsource this duty to another company and focus on hiring more people for your sales or production teams. This, however, is something you can easily put on paper. For instance, if you had to hire a four-member IT team, you can do an estimation of how much revenue would hiring four additional salespeople bring and then compare it to the cost of outsourcing.
2. Con: Security Risk
The first major problem of outsourcing is the fact that you are giving someone else an insight on the most delicate information of your business. Sure, you can look for the most reputable company you can possibly find, but this still doesn’t mean that every individual in their employ will be as trustworthy. On the other hand, the same goes for any in-house team that you create as well. With this in mind, it seems as if this is more of an issue of control than trust. By making your own policy, handpicking and personally training your team, you can make sure that your cyber-security system is ironclad. Nonetheless, this is something that a professional IT services provider might do with much greater efficiency.
3. Pro: Greater Level of Expertise
One of the biggest advantages of outsourcing is the fact that you don’t have to worry about your team not having enough experience to meet the issues ahead of it. Even if you hire the right people for the job, provide them with adequate gear and put them in touch with the most skilled mentors, it might still take some time for them to get accustomed to the industry.
4. Con: More Expensive in the Long Run
This particular issue is quite ambiguous, in other words, it’s not a straightforward con as you might have guessed from the headline. You see, outsourcing is short-term cheaper, but long-term more expensive. In other words, the sooner you make your in-house team, the sooner it will pay off. Unfortunately, for some of the smallest companies out there, starting an in-house team isn’t even an option. For instance, A) your office might be too crowded as it is, B) you can’t afford to add new people to your payroll or C) you can’t afford to pay for all the top-notch hardware pieces or to get licenses for the necessary premium software.
5. Pro: Greater Scalability
Finally, outsourcing gives your company an easier scalability in case of potential growth or downsizing of your company. You see, the services you get usually depend on the size of your operations and the contract you make with the company you are outsourcing your IT services to. In other words, if your business starts rapidly expanding, you can simply renegotiate your contract or switch for someone who can meet your new expectations. Handling this in-house would require more resources, more time and involve more paperwork. All in all, outsourcing gives you a much greater flexibility.
In the end, it is clear that the issue of how beneficial it is for you to outsource depends on various factors. First of all, it depends on your initial funding – companies on a tight budget are better off outsourcing for the time being. Second, it depends on the size and ambition of your company – those who are starting with a huge team might want to establish in-house IT teams right away. Finally, it depends on the talent you have on your retainer – even a single employee with previous experience in this field might be enough to make an in-house team worth your while. Overall, it falls to you to see which of these factors relate to your current situation the most.