In today’s world, businesses have an array of I.T. requirements. Security, network and server management, cloud services, backup and disaster recovery, telecom… the list goes on and on.
Clearly, I.T. specialists are necessary if your business is to perform optimally.
Outsourced, or in-house or hybrid I.T. support? Deciding which one is ideal for your business can be quite challenging. Each of these options brings with it a set of advantages and disadvantages. Before committing to any of the options, it’s prudent to have the right information.
Here’s a brief look at each of the options.
Since they work exclusively on your systems, day-in, and day-out, an in-house I.T. support team builds up a specialized and in-depth knowledge of your company’s particular I.T. needs and setup.
The drawback of having an in-house I.T. person or team is mainly in terms of financial outlay. Searching for the right candidates and training them is a drawn out and costly affair. What’s more, their training never stops. They’ll continuously need to update their knowledge and skills in order to keep up with changing technologies and applications.
One more consideration to make is that hiring a single employee might not be enough. Depending on the needs and size of your business, it may take an I.T. team to manage the sophisticated nature of your entire I.T. system.
Building a great in-house I.T. team demands an initial outlay of money, along with a clear understanding of the skills those employees will need to have over the long term to make sure your technology puts your business in a position to succeed.
Outsourcing your I.T. needs means that your company enjoys the benefits of 24/7 support. Whether it’s night, day, weekend, or even during the holidays, you can rest assured that you won’t experience downtime.
One of the perks of outsourcing is the fact that your company does not need to shop for, compare, and try to purchase software and equipment on your own.
Your I.T. managed service provider will recommend the best hardware and software to fit your needs and help supply you with everything you need—most likely at a lower price than if you purchased everything yourself.
Outsourcing your I.T. means working with professionals with knowledge and experience you can count on to help your business succeed.
For example, if you outsource your security software/system as a managed service, your company can benefit from technical security knowledge, with brings the peace of mind of knowing that all issues related to deployment, management, and monitoring of your applications is handled by an experienced, reputable, and qualified third party.
The downside of outsourcing is that if you already have an in-house I.T. person or staff, you may not want to let them go in order to switch over to managed services.
Some companies opt for a hybrid approach for their I.T. needs. Hybrid I.T. support is a mixture of outsourced and in-house. For instance, you can choose to outsource your security and server support while your in-house team handles other areas such as workstation setup and help desk inquiries.
A company that chooses a hybrid solution retains one or two internal I.T. professionals to handle smaller functions and support your business during the workday. The company then uses an I.T. service provider for any other service or need that the internal staff isn’t qualified or doesn’t have the resources to handle.
How to Know if a Hybrid I.T. Staffing Solution Is Right for You
When it comes to I.T., not many small companies boast the luxury of having every need taken care of in-house. The reality is, it’s necessary to carefully prioritize your needs to know which areas you should to invest limited resources.
With countless areas competing for attention, management normally has to grapple with difficult decisions.
With resources at a stretch and the technology landscape constantly in flux, business leaders need to explore all options that allow their company to meet I.T. goals within the available budget and means.
One way to know if a hybrid I.T. solution is right for you is if you’re looking for flexible deployment options. To some companies, concern for the sensitivity of data demands that certain systems be accessed and controlled only by a full employee with certain clearances and permissions.
Meanwhile, outsourcing other functions may save money and relieve internal employees from day-to-day duties that keep them from higher priority work.
Or if your company deems that maintaining servers and backup solutions in-house is impractical while you’ve got an employee who’s a genius at everyday troubleshooting, then a hybrid model is the best way to go.
With this strategy, your MSP will supply server space and manage backup and any other needs you like, while your internal team manages employee devices and hardware.
With a hybrid model, organizations are able to securely outsource many operations to a team of experts in a way that minimizes upfront capital expenses.
Another reason to consider a hybrid I.T. solution is if you need to avoid downtime during the deployment of new technology solutions. Major changes to your I.T. infrastructure, hardware, or software can disrupt your business if your I.T. personnel are not familiar with the new systems.
Working with an expert eliminates much of the costs and set-up time associated with deployments. The MSP takes responsibility for rollout, training, and installation for all relevant employees, which results in faster, less disruptive implementation time.
Finally, if you have concerns about the effectiveness of your cybersecurity, a hybrid solution may be right for you. Skilled I.T. security technicians are a scarce resource, even for companies with large budgets.
Partnering with an MSP with proven expertise in cybersecurity solutions can keep your business safe while saving you the expense and trouble of recruiting an in-house security expert.
A hybrid I.T. plan can accelerate the return on investments, reduce overhead, improve security, and allow you to take advantage of a much wider range of technical skills than you could get by trying to build your own internal staff. The types of services available, coupled with an increased favorable protection-to-cost ratio makes this model an attractive proposition
Questions to Help You Choose the Right I.T. Staffing Solution for Your Business
How to Implement a Hybrid I.T Solution Once You Know It’s the Right Fit
A reputable I.T. provider helps to evaluate your needs and situation and then presents recommended services and solutions to you. They will seek to advise you based on your needs, not on a desire to sell you a specific service.
This may go without saying, but you should seek out an MSP with experience working in hybrid I.T. situations. Not every I.T. provider will be comfortable working out plans and processes to share the responsibilities of your various I.T. needs.
A skilled MSP will work with your in-house staff in areas that your team either isn’t qualified to handle or which your company lacks the capacity to handle without help.
In terms of implementation, it’s important that the separation of responsibilities be completely clear from the outset. The chain of responsibility should be well structured to show who is responsible for what to avoid any confusion, conflicts, or lack of oversight.
Once there’s a clear structure, coordination between your internal I.T. staff and the MSP will be ongoing. The two teams will meet frequently to ensure that all bases are covered, and everything is harmonious.
The MSP will most likely assign a client relationship manager (CRM) to be the main point of contact between your company and the I.T. firm.
Companies that may have used an in-house I.T. staff are increasingly moving towards hybrid I.T. solutions due to their ability to decrease I.T. complexity, increase their agility, and ultimately create positive business outcomes.
Each successful company has a strong foundation of finely tuned systems and best practices. In modern business environments, I.T. is an extremely important aspect of business operations. Without the right I.T. staffing and systems in place, a company runs the risk of slow response times, costly emergencies, pivots in workflow, and so much more.
It can be difficult for smaller businesses to know the best approach for their I.T. needs. It takes a keen analysis of your current situation and where you intend to be in the future to know which I.T. staffing is the best.
Using an MSP calls for careful consideration, and the “right” answer usually varies by organization. If your company has available resources and bandwidth or an already extensive infrastructure in place but still needs additional I.T. expertise to help you make the most of technology solutions, hybrid managed services may be the best option to move your business forward.
JMARK has been helping businesses of all sizes with both entirely outsourced and hybrid I.T. services for more than thirty years. We have a deep bench of tech and business experts dedicated to helping our clients use technology to save money, reduce risk, and increase profits. Contact us today to explore the solutions we offer and find out how we can augment your I.T. team and help you grow. Call 844-44-JMARK or email [email protected].