Outsourcing vs In-house IT

      Outsourcing Vs In-house IT: What’s The Best Way To Manage Your IT

      IT is the lifeblood of most businesses. A strong IT system can give organisations a competitive advantage as well as streamline processes, simplify communication, and add value. Whilst the majority of businesses have systems in place, invariably there is a requirement to review IT service provision from time to time. Typically this occurs when either looking to upgrade existing systems or when reviewing companies to provide outsourced IT support.  So if you’re considering outsourcing vs in-house IT support services, what factors should you consider?

      Outsourcing Vs In-house IT: Should I employ someone to look after IT?

      That really is the first consideration, should we employ an IT manager (or equivalent) or use a specialist third-party provider?

      Generally speaking, for any organisation with less than 35 users, employing a dedicated IT manager is not going to be cost effective. There will be exceptions to this, and many organisations employ an IT person who has other functions.

      This is in some ways great – there are a pair of hands on-site, issues can be resolved quickly, you have a degree of budgetary control, and with the right person you can have a long-term IT strategy.

      There are a number of downsides of employing an IT manager, which include:

      • Cost  A salary of around £30k (plus NI etc) is rather expensive unless the workload warrants it).
      • Knowledge – When you are reliant on one IT manager you can never be sure you are getting the very best advice. Furthermore, will they be able to look after everything or will they still need to use a 3rd party for specific support?
      • Holiday and sick cover – Do you make arrangements or “wing it”?
      • Risk – If they leave, are taken on long-term sick, etc. you may be horribly exposed.
      • Agenda – Will they be interested in certain technologies to make their CV look good, before departing for pastures new?
      • Getting the right person is not easy – good staff are hard to find.

      So, when it comes to outsourcing vs in-house IT, there are some tough decisions.

      If, like the majority of companies with up to 50 users, you decide to outsource your IT requirements, how do you go about choosing the right company?

      Outsourcing vs In-house IT: What questions should I ask?

      1. Staff – how many are there and what are they like?

      It is not necessarily the case of the bigger the better. However, you should find a company you are comfortable with and visit their offices to get a feel for what makes them tick. If you have bigger requirements (i.e. if you have 150 staff), then you should obviously not be using an IT service provider with a couple of engineers. Conversely, if you want a friendly and personal service to look after a dozen users, you should probably not be considering a global IT giant!

      2. Stability – have you looked into their financials?

      Companies do come and go – it is prudent to check that potential service providers are financially sound and, ideally, steadily growing.

      3. Experience

      Has the potential outsourcing partner been established for a good period of time? What is the skills base of the engineers? Are the management team experienced?

      4. Flexibility and fairness

      The success of an outsourced service will be the relationship between the service provider and the client. With a long-term relationship, there may be times when a flexible approach from the service provider is required. Things do change, often for unforeseen reasons, and the ability of a supplier to react favourably and fairly can be vital.

      5. Responsiveness

      Let’s not beat around the bush, when things stop working you don’t want your users sat around twiddling their thumbs for any longer than is necessary. System downtime equals lost revenue + costs. When it comes to outsourcing vs in-house, outsourcing wins hands down.

      6. Value

      It is important not to choose a service provider purely on the basis of cost. Often you get what you pay for!

      When comparing IT support proposals from alternative suppliers, it is imperative to check what you are getting from each and, as much as possible, ensure that the proposals are as similar as possible.

      There is no point comparing a cost for free remote support (limited to 5 minutes per issue, subsequent charges of £300 per hour) to a well-balanced proposal which factors an expected number of support issues into a fair monthly cost.

      7. Testimonials

      Speak to some of their existing clients. If you are discussing IT support, ensure you speak to a number of their IT support clients. If you are considering them for cloud services, ensure you speak to clients using their hosted solutions (just because they are good at one doesn’t automatically mean they are good at everything)!

      8. Proactive

      We have kept this to last but it is incredibly important. The better IT companies tend to be more proactive. Keeping you informed of technological advancements, potential issues with your systems, and generally not being a reactive organisation will stand you in good stead moving forward.

      Outsourcing vs In-house IT: Which is better for security?

      Security is (or should be) one of the primary considerations for an organisation’s IT. So how does it feature in the balance of outsourcing vs In-house IT?

      When considering the security aspects of IT management, both offer distinct advantages. Outsourcing provides access to specialised expertise, advanced security measures, and round-the-clock monitoring. You’ll typically leverage your IT service provider’s infrastructure and knowledge, offering a higher level of security expertise.

      On the other hand, an in-house IT department offers direct control, customisation, and focused management of insider threats and data privacy. It allows organisations to tailor security practices to their specific requirements and ensures compliance with industry regulations.

      Ultimately, the decision should be based on the organisation’s unique security needs, budget, and risk tolerance. However, for most organisations, security is an area where outsourcing shines.


      The decision of whether to use a third party for IT support or IT service provision will come down to a combination of factors, some of which have been discussed.

      Choosing the right IT outsourcing company for your business is a more complex consideration and one which is more important than ever to get right.

      To discuss how Akita can support you with outsourced IT support services, please get in touch:

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