IT Support – To Outsource or Not?

Starting and managing a business can easily pass as one of the hardest things one could ever do. Be it small or big organisations, owners are many at times faced with the decision whether to outsource or not.

Most commonly outsourced services include IT support, legal services, copywriting services, web design and maintenance, recruitment and so on. Prior to outsourcing any of these services, it is of paramount importance to understand the associated advantages and disadvantages. If not outsourced to the right service provider, outsourcing can bear high risks for any organisation.

Advantages of outsourcing your IT support

  1. Right to use the latest in technology. Software and hardware quickly becomes obsolete in this industry. By outsourcing from experts in the field you are sure of having that up to date software and sound advice too.
  2. Guarantee of high quality staff. Since it is their core field of expertise, IT Support vendors hire skilled people with specific qualifications to get the job done.
  3. Savings on costs. For a fraction of what you were supposed to pay a full time employee for you still get professional services. Savings are also felt when you bulk buy and engage in leasing options for hardware and software and so on.
  4. High quality of staff. Since it’s their core competency, outsourced IT vendors look to hire staff with specific qualifications and certifications. You may not know what to look for if you’re hiring someone to be on staff full-time, so you may hire the wrong person for the job.
  5. Flexibility of services. Internal staff may at times have limited resources availed to them. Outsourcing experts usually have multiple resources.

Disadvantages of outsourcing your IT support

  1. Exposing of classified information. IT services are provided companywide; there is a high risk of exposing confidential data to those who are offering you the services. There is also high risk if you outsource your human recourses, recruitment and payroll services.
  2. Loss of control. Most critics say an outside vendor is usually not as effective a full time employee since they are not under the same management as others. A knowledgeable supervisor is usually required to avoid such scenarios.
  3. Employee morale may decrease. If you lay off employees so that you can outsource your IT services you may lower the employee morale within the organisation as they feel their job security being threatened.
  4. Buried costs. Although most of the time cost-effective, outsourcing may pose risks if you sign contracts across international boundaries.

Whether you choose to outsource or not, one certain thing is you must know how to manage this working relationship to make it successful.

[author ]Tikhome started her company recently, outsourcing her IT support was an issue. She wrote this article to help others know the pros and cons so as to make informed decisions.[/author]

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Written by Guest Contributor