Many small businesses outsource workers. Usually, it’s for duties that aren’t needed all the time, so hiring freelancers makes financial sense. Not everyone can afford in-house IT support, even tech industry startups.
Having IT support is definitely a business necessity. But, should you hire IT specialists that will be fulltime employees, or should you outsource those services? Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons to outsorcing IT support.
Here are the pros:
Having highly trained professionals in-house
The value of an employee is measured by their abilities and dedication. If you hire one IT professional, your company relies on the abilities of that one employee to cover all tech issues. Also, an IT professional is experienced and trained in that segment of work, but might not be able to cover other types of office duties.
If you decide to outsource, you could hire an entire IT team that’s available whenever your company needs them. Such a team could also be available for workshops and could educate your full-time employees about IT solutions. The most important this is to have highly skilled professionals working for you.
Tech updates are quickly implemented
Technology is very progressive and keeps changing all the time. Your company will need software updates and security checks. But, because software updates come up periodically, your company won’t be the only one in need of software upgrades. Other companies will need them too, at about the same time.
Contractors usually have many clients. This means they can perform updates for more than one client over a short period of time. IT professionals who freelance for various clients know how to work fast, and can implement tech upgrades on tight deadlines, thus saving you money.
Flexible working hours
Flexibility is more important to smaller companies and startups, while large companies benefit more from availability. A large office with many employees is more likely to hire in-house experts, because there’s a greater demand for their services. System backups, data security, disaster recovery solutions – big companies need these issues covered at all time.
Smaller companies, on the other hand, prefer flexibility over availability. This is why they would benefit more from outsourced IT workers in comparison to having someone in-house. Freelancers can get called up when their services are needed. Of course, you need realiable freelancers are instantly available when needed, or can work on a seasonal schedule and perform periodical maintenance and system upgrades.
Paying for services only when they are needed
Each full-time employee is a big investment, and this is especially important to startups that have to balance funds and investor donations. There are a lot of expenses. As an emplyoer, you need to cover the cost of in-house training, employment taxes, retirement plans, health insurance and much more. What about contracted workers?
Outsorcing can definitely reduce costs in this segment. Contractors may have a higher hourly rate than full-time employees, but can be more affordable in the long run, because their services aren’t needed all the time. There is no fixed overhead cost. They charge by the hour, you pay by the hour. When do they work? When you need IT problems solved.
Those are the pros. Now, let’s take a look at the cons to outsourcing:
Mission out on tech innovations
If you work in tech, having an IT team is definitely a smart choice. If you provide services that depend on technological innovations, both your company employees as well as your clients will need IT support that is available at any time.
Additionally, hiring full-time IT workers will lower business risks. Your IT crew will be an integral part of your office, which means they will know your methods and work-flow. They will have more insight into the inner workings of your company culture.
Most importantly, with an in-house IT team, innovations will be available to you at all times. Your company will know in advance when updates are available, which means your office will always be prepared for any type of tech upgrade.
Lack of cyber security
Client confidentiality is crucial. Cyber security has to be covered. Your IT department will have access to highly valuable client data that has to be protected and kept private. If your IT experts are working for you full-time, they will have a deeper knowledge of your client base and the relationships those clients have with your company. They will have a better grasp on the importance of private data.
Freelancers could be less reliable. Outsourced IT professionals might not know what data has to be protected. There’s the risk of compromising and exposing valuable data. Wouldn’t it be more reliable to hire someone full-time? Having your IT crew close by will create a safe office with loyal clients.
Not enough control over your own company
Less control means more risk. It’s better to have insight into every segment of how your company is conducting its business. When you outsource IT professionals, you might not be getting those professionals that actually signed your work agreement. They might outsource those services themselves, to someone cheaper, and make a profit while saving time. Or, they might give smaller tasks to interns who just aren’t ready for actual work.
You’ll also have less control over deadlines, as contractors handle multiple clients at the same time. Can you afford to wait? Projects might take longer time to be completed, leaving you with unsatisfied clients and bigger expenses. This is where outsourcing could lead to long-term damage to your company.
Finally, it’s up to you to decide
As you can see, deciding between IT freelancers or full-time employees might be the toughest choice your company has to make. A lot of factors have to be considered, and what’s more financially affordable might not even be the best choice. Cyber security is also incredibly important.
Whether you decide to outsource or hire IT professionals full-time, be very careful when selecting who do you want to work for you. Your IT workers have to be both reliable and available exactly when you need them. What you are creating is a long-term business relationship, so always have your major company goals in sight.