Business is growing and you know your business is only as good as you can support. Sometimes you’ve got to spend a little to grow a lot. I could be referring to your your company’s marketing, IT or real estate  space. For the purpose of this article, we are discussing your IT department.

Whether you are a bakery, a florist, a staffing agency, bank, manufacturing company or a hospital, you need IT support services. You need storage space, data backups, security, disaster and emergency plans, maintenance and email support. Now comes the question, do you hire an IT person or do you contract a Managed IT Services company? The answer that that question varies greatly per business. So, I can’t answer for you, but I can ask you some questions that might help you come to a conclusion yourself.

Do you know enough about IT to hire an IT person?

Hiring a full time IT person requires understanding what that person will do for your business. And since you can’t do the IT yourself, you are looking for an expert in that area to take your business to the next level technologically. Could you choose between the geeked-out, somewhat qualified interviewee with outdated  experience and no people skills or the self-confident decently-experienced shmoozing interviewee, who has been despised by everyone at her last three jobs? Remember, the person you hire needs to be top of their game, up on latest IT trends and available for crisis.

If you hire a Managed IT Services provider, you get a team of IT professionals and a manager that most likely is up-to-date on the latest IT trends. You don’t have to worry about managing someone that you can’t understand what they do, the IT company does that for you.

And in general, if you hire out your IT services, you won’t have to deal with human resource paperwork, company training, employment taxes, health care, vacation days, sick days, mood swings or office politics.

Does your business model require ‘critical’ IT services?

If your IT services go down, is your business doomed? Do you need 24/7 support? Is your time best spent managing an IT staff or placing a call to your IT company?

Again, every business is different. Having an in-house IT person might facilitate backups and emergency plans for your business and create a cohesive blend between IT and the rest of the staff. You might be able to cross-train your IT person in some other skills too.

When the shit-hits-the-fan, is your IT guy or gal armed with the tools, experience and calmness to get things back in working order? If you’ve got a Managed IT Services provider on retainer, they manage the emergency not you. That firm can quickly implement new technology and chances are, they’ve probably done it before. Handling this once in a lifetime situation in-house might take weeks or months to provide the same level of support.

Have you considered compliance and security?

Do you have an up-to-date firewall? Are you auditing your servers and/or workstations? Do you have PCI security standards?

A managed IT services company can implement best practices with your company. They can assist with disaster planning and make sure that you are protected. Will you in-house staff know to do that?

 

Which Costs More?

The cost of hiring one in-house IT person can run you an estimated $50,000 plus training, benefits, vacation time, hiring and firing expenses as well as on-call/over-time.

The cost of bringing in an IT company should be significantly less. Outsourcing your IT department can allow your company to act or seem ‘bigger’ because you now have access to more advanced technology through your managed IT company.

Remember, you get what you paid for. So get a few quotes, check references and go with who makes you feel comfortable. We hope you’ll give us a chance to interview for the job.