In-house IT vs Managed IT Services – Which one does your business need?

27 March 2019

There’s no debate on whether you need an IT department or not, but the question that matters is that do you need it in-house, or managed?

Managed IT services have become a great alternative for businesses who don’t want to employ on-site IT engineers. Some businesses simply don’t require it, while some are better off with a remote IT helpdesk.

On the other hand, some businesses need an in-house IT department due to the nature of the business. So, should your workplace shift to managed IT services? Or do you actually need engineers on the site?

Let’s try answering all such doubts by looking at respective pros and cons of Managed vs in-house IT department.

Advantages of Managed IT Services

On-site Resource Saving

  • Floor Space Savings: When you sign-up with a managed IT service provider, most of your IT setup is controlled via a remote location. IT management companies deploy the necessary cloud infrastructure to control everything from their own office and service engineers are available via tele-support. This means you don’t have to allocate floor space or computers to a dedicated IT department in your office, which saves you space for other crucial business processes to be set up.
  • Human Resource Savings: Managed services also free you of the responsibility of hiring IT engineers and spending additional resources on them. You get to interact with IT staff provided by the managing company, and your contractual payment covers that for you.
  • Infrastructural Savings: Many MSPs now provide IaaS as a part of their services, which further reduces the cost of buying your own company servers and managing them. The MSP offers full management control and further optimizes your Infrastructural spends.

Contractual Terms

Managed Service Providers come with contractual terms that help you optimize your IT spends. You don’t have to worry about recruiting employees, manage their payroll, and offer additional office resources to them.

You can simply sign a contract which covers various aspects of your IT workflow in quantifiable terms. MSPs nowadays provide Service Level Agreements which further secure your interests in the deal as you’re covered legally for varying needs.

The best thing about signing a contract is that you don’t have to pay for underutilized resources. Many a time, in-house IT departments end up taking more resources than the value they generate. Therefore, on a contract basis, you only pay for what you actually are going to use. Whether it is human resource, server space or software products.

Wider Scope of Services

An MSP can provide you with a wider service scope than an on-site engineer can. The core processes of an IT department and your business requirements can change with time.

For instance, you could require cloud migration services or a systems integrator at your office for which your IT staff may or may not be equipped to deal with.

In such a scenario, you’ll need someone on an ad-hoc basis or you’ll need to spend extra resources on training existing employees to match-up the skill gap.

Whereas, if you’re working with a multifunctional MSP who have a larger pool of services on offer, you could make use of such services for a much lesser spend. Many MSPs provide advanced security, Azure information protection, and Disaster Recovery as a Service etc as a package deal, which resolves your needs.  

Value Added Services

The role of IT goes beyond managing networks or handling repair tickets, they’re responsible for taking business decisions, such as managing infrastructural spends and optimizing resource utilization.

Again, your in-house IT department may or may not have these capabilities to help you out. Whereas MSPs offer many such value-added services to their clients.

LiveRoute, for instance, is a Gold Microsoft Partner in Dubai, which allows it to offer its clients software distribution benefits and abilities to consult on the IT decisions for enabling optimized spends.

Cons of Managed IT Services

Need for extensive Cloud Infrastructure

Most MSPs provide their services remotely which requires your company’s IT setup to be cloud-ready. This means all your network applications, internal networking and software products should support cloud integration, otherwise, it’d be very difficult for MSPs to render their services.

While the world is shifting to cloud systems for meeting their IT requirements, a number of businesses still rely on legacy systems that are not fully optimized for the cloud just yet. Therefore, if you fall into the same category, it’ll invite additional costs to get you ready for the cloud. Only then the benefits of hiring an MSP can be fully realized.  

Availability Issues

The only major issue that comes up with MSPs is the availability of service. Some business processes can’t work on issue ticketing system for every minor IT problem that arises in their office. They need on-site staff.

Although modern technologies such as live helpdesk, virtual connections and telephony are making MSPs more available than ever, the question still remains. If your business can manage to wait for issues to be resolved, you can adopt the MSP model, otherwise, someone has to be present always on the site.

When to have an in-house IT department?

Time Sensitive Workflows

If you’ve some hardcore time-sensitive workflows where information processing or service delivery in real time, it’s actually wise to hire an on-site IT team.

For instances, customer support centers, BPOs, and telecom companies, all require instant IT support. Their business processes are critically time dependent, and remote services can’t match up to the level of availability they demand.

On-Premise Systems are a Priority

A number of companies have self-hosted servers for managing all their business data and communication taking place at the workplace. This is done to optimize computing needs and keep data private at all times.

If this is the case for you, hiring an MSP may not prove as beneficial for you. This is because you will require professionals to manage the on-site servers, and interconnection. In the absence of a public cloud, you’re too dependent upon your company servers to function correctly round the clock.

Therefore, in-house employees prove to be the best in such a scenario.

Major Tech Operational Model  

If you’re a tech firm, your operational model might be so technical that you can’t have remote engineers work with you. Although the case varies from company to company, mostly where there is a major tech resource consumption, external IT departments can’t fit in.

How to gear up for MSP partnerships?

Seems like managed IT services would be the better fit for you but don’t know how to get the most out of it? Most business find themselves in the same situation.

In reality, business need a hybrid solution where they can minimize their IT costs by subscribing to managed IT but also have an in-house level of availability at all times.

This can be done by making some alterations in the workflow, which will help you manage your IT productivity and IT spends optimized as per your exact requirements. Here are a few ways to do so.

Get Consultation

The first and foremost step is to measure your IT needs accurately. Things go out of proportion when people from accounts or HR try to gauge IT expenses themselves.

This step should be left to the professionals and you should get consultation on your IT infrastructure needs from an established IT solutions company. They would be able to guide you on cost-effective ways of managing IT expenditures, helping you align needs with budgets.

Technology roadmapping and infrastructural guidance is pivotal in taking control of your IT requirements.  

Go for Managed Services

The most popular way of not having an IT department and still manage your IT needs, is Information Technology Outsourcing.

With the latest advancements in communication, remote services and cloud computing, you can get IT services from any part of the world. India is one of the most popular destinations for outsourcing IT.

The foremost benefit of outsourcing is the reduction of costs. You get freedom from hiring IT professionals, purchasing dedicated servers, setting up dedicated support or buying proprietary software.

You can sign a contract with an offshore company who will manage your servers, provide technical assistance and help you accelerate business, at profitable work hour rates. In 2017, the global IT outsourcing industry generated more than $88 billion in revenue.

Choose Cloud Computing

Setting up an affordable infrastructure for your computing needs is one of the critical aspects of cloud computing. It will not only help you lower your IT costs, it will also increase business efficiency.

Managing the cloud in most cases can be done in-house with minimal employee training and if your cloud needs are bigger, you can outsource that too.

Cloud systems are:

  • Scalable  
  • Accessible from Anywhere (via the internet)
  • Offered through cost-effective Pricing Models
  • Readily Customizable to Business Specific Requirements

There are a number of cloud solutions that proficiently tackle business IT requirements such as;

Software as a Service – Use popular business software on a subscription based model provided through a cloud solution. A number of productivity suites such as Microsoft Office 365, AWS are available via the SaaS model.

Infrastructure as a Service – Make use of virtual servers for storing, backing-up and managing business data from a service provider. You don’t need to buy machines for running cloud applications or implementing business-critical solutions.

Cloud Applications and Tools – Rather than buying various software for business workflow needs, you can subscribe to them at a monthly premium, which makes costs management easier.

A horde of business cloud applications such as CRMs, File Managers, CMSs, OSs, Accounting Software, Email Services, Marketing Software etc are now available on the cloud.       

Reduce Costs with Custom Applications

Another way to tackle the lack of task force in your company is to go for custom application solutions. These solutions are tailored to deal with the costly business challenges you deal at your workplace.

For instance, you’re a printing company that constantly receives printing requests via email, and then shares the printable content across its various printers in a closed loop network. Managing requests and sharing information with various PCs and printers is a costly affair and will require a number of employees to run the process.

Conclusion

Even with tight budgets and financial crunches, you can afford to get your workplace IT needs met accurately with outsourcing and cloud solutions. You get the power of scaling the services to your need and increase business efficiency as you go.