When it comes to securing IT solutions for your business, you have two basic options: you can either hire an in-house IT staff or you can outsource your IT needs. If you already have an in-house staff and you’re starting to regret it, it may be time to choose the other option.
It’s a tough decision. If you run a small or medium sized business you probably have a personal relationship with your IT Staff. You know them and they know you. The last thing you want is to put them out of the job. But you’re running a business and you have to do what’s best for everyone in the organization and sometimes that involves getting a few people off the bus.
In order to determine if you would be better off letting go of your IT staff, watch for these tell-tale signs:
They take a long time to fix problems. First, they might take a long time to even respond to IT issues. If you are a dentist, for example, and your insurance billing department is having trouble with their computers and your IT guy doesn’t arrive on the scene for an hour, this is a problem. If the insurance department can’t bill, you don’t get paid. Next, if they are taking several hours to fix issues, this indicates a lack of expertise and knowledge of your network. Sure, he may finally get the problem fixed but by that time you’ve paid him a lot of money and you have more tech issues lined up for him to fix. Your business can’t afford this amount of downtime.
They aren’t very knowledgeable and often have to call in outside help. This is a problem that is hard to detect during the hiring process. When you interview them, they had all of the right certifications and training and they seemed quite personable. However, if you don’t have a wide breadth of tech knowledge yourself, it’s hard to know if someone else does. The best way to gain knowledge and competence in the IT world is to get experience and if your IT guys don’t have a lot of experience, it might be time to let them go. If they are always having to bring in outside IT companies to help them fix issues that are over their heads, why not just hire that IT company instead?
They are costing you a lot of money. Keeping a staff is much more expensive than outsourcing tasks. There’s no doubt about it. With a staff member, you have to pay their salary, benefits, health coverage, and vacation time. You will have to create an office for them. While working, they will use resources like paper towels, electricity, and water. That may seem trivial but it adds up over time. And when they are out of the office and you have a tech issue, you will have to call another company in to fix it. That will cost you double.
Your business can’t get work done efficiently because of constant tech issues. Technology should be an advantage to a company, not a setback. If your in-house IT staff is costing the rest of your employees valuable time because they can’t fix tech issues quickly, your bottom line will hurt. An IT staff should be full of creative ideas that either directly drive sales, streamline current processes, or save money. Your employees should always be able to do their jobs in the most efficient way possible and if your in-house IT guy is preventing that due to incompetence or even negligence, you’ve got to let him go.
You have a lot of tech problems after hours and your IT staff isn’t available to fix them. One of the biggest downsides to having an in-house staff is that your network isn’t going to be monitored 24/7. It will only be monitored when the IT staff is in the office. This means that viruses or criminal hackers could easily take advantage of those after hours to breach your network and steal information. It also means that if a problem occurs when the tech is on vacation, you might not get it fixed until he comes back. Or you will have to pay to bring in outside help.
So what happens after you dissolve the IT staff? Of course, you will still need someone to support your network and make sure everything runs smoothly. The solution is to hire a managed service provider (MSP). An MSP provides IT solutions at a fraction of the cost of in-house IT support. Outsourcing your tech needs to an MSP means that you will have the experience and knowledge of many techs supporting your network. You will get 24/7 network monitoring and remote support. This means that a technician will be able to fix many of your technology issues without ever stepping foot in your office. This will greatly decrease downtime and increase efficiency. They will often fix a problem before you even know it exists. A managed service provider charges a flat monthly rate and for this you have many decades of experience standing behind you.
If you are on the fence about getting rid of your in-house IT staff and switching to a managed service agreement, we recommend getting a network assessment. At catmandu, we offer free network assessments that can reveal a number of things about the quality of your current IT solutions. To get a free assessment, fill out the form to the right.