August 17, 2023
Is it better to outsource or have an in-house IT team? The debate is ongoing because, depending on the role or roles you’re looking to outsource, the pros and cons are usually a fairly even split.
But when it comes to IT needs, I feel like I can settle the argument pretty quickly. With many other roles, it’s easier to find the skills you need and maintain an in-house team without constantly losing your top talent to the highest bidder. For the foreseeable future, that’s just not possible with IT.
How Outsourcing Reduces Your IT Workload Burden
Talent recruitment and retention has been a challenge for many businesses in recent years, but the IT job market presents special challenges. The biggest one — that demand exceeds supply — won’t be resolved any time soon. Here are some statistics that paint a grim picture, depending on which side of the table you’re on:
- There will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs globally throughout 2023 — enough to fill 50 NFL stadiums
- The cybersecurity unemployment rate for the most experienced positions is at 0% and will likely remain so for years
- 13% of cyber leaders believe they are already lacking the personnel and skills for critical roles
The result is predictable. Chronically understaffed departments lead to high workloads, stress, and burnout — which, in turn, leads to more turnover, and, ultimately, more recruitment and onboarding costs.
It’s a vicious cycle. And I haven’t even thrown escalating cybersecurity threats into the mix yet.
What Services Can You Outsource to a Managed Services Provider?
Even if you love having an in-house team, chances are, there are important tasks that just aren’t getting the attention they deserve. Perhaps you’re putting off an important IT project, like a cloud migration, or your IT department is slow to apply key patches and updates.
Outsourcing some of your IT tasks can reduce the burden on your in-house team, offering them more job satisfaction and far less stress, and therefore, solving some of the biggest problems that cause IT talent to leave.
Here are a few IT services that you can easily outsource:
- Helpdesk support
- Networking and infrastructure
- Disaster recovery
- Software and licensing
- Desktop management for hybrid and remote work
- One-off IT projects
Top 5 Benefits of Working With an MSP in 2023
An excellent managed services provider (MSP) will have additional benefits, beyond just balancing your IT team’s workload and helping you break out of the turnover cycle.
1. Eliminate Skill Gaps
Remember that statistic I included earlier about skill gaps? Even if you technically have a fully staffed IT team — which is a big if — they might not have the necessary skills to keep up with, say, cybersecurity.
2. Get Insider Knowledge
Unlike an internal IT team, a national IT provider will know what solutions have worked well for organizations like yours. Instead of reinventing the wheel, you’ll get to skip over the research phase for new tools, systems, vendors, and components.
3. Access Special Pricing and Support
This may sound counterintuitive, but working with a national provider to offload some or all of your IT needs is associated with significant cost savings.
According to one CompTIA study:
- 46% of managed IT service users have cut their annual IT costs by 25% or more
- 50% of managed IT service users have cut their annual IT costs between 1%–24%
One of the reasons IT providers are able to save their clients so much money is that software developers offer volume discounts. In this case, it’s cheaper to purchase software licenses through a middleman. In fact, most software developers prefer that you do so because it relieves them of the burden of having to provide support.
Instead, IT providers have invested a significant amount of time and resources in their staff so that they can provide as good (or better) support. Look for a provider with strategic partnerships and certifications for the tools your staff are using.
4. Scale Up or Down as Needed
Economists seldom all agree, but most current predictions anticipate a recession. The biggest question isn’t if; it’s when. IT talent is increasingly expensive, and if your business needs to downsize, outsourcing some of your IT tasks can help you gain flexibility and resilience, so you’ll be in a better position to ride out a tough market.
Pro Tip: Look for a provider that prices by user, so that your IT services remain the same, but costs decrease automatically if you downsize.
5. Reduce Disruptions and Business Risks
When IT teams are chronically overwhelmed, it’s very hard to get out of an endless break/fix IT cycle and into a more proactive approach. The result is frequent disruptions and downtime. Even for smaller businesses, downtime can cost between $137–$427 per minute. And should one of those disruptions be caused by a cybersecurity incident, it gets worse. An average attack on a small business now costs $2.2M.
Getting the Most ROI From Managed IT, Managed Print, and Managed Voice
All of these services can bring significant value that’s tough to beat. You get to focus on what you do best and have a provider offer you the support and savings that are hard to find anywhere else.
But keep this in mind: regardless of which service or services you’re considering, one thing you never want is the blame game.
If your printer isn’t working, the last thing you need to hear from a managed print services (MPS) provider is that they can’t help you if the underlying problem is actually your network. Same for managed voice.
Whatever service brings you the most value, you’ll get even more from a provider that offers all of them. Then, no matter what is “at fault,” your print provider will always be able to help you print, your IT provider will be able to help you with your tools, and your communication/collaboration provider will make sure your cameras and speakers are always ready for showtime. After all, today’s technology is designed to work together, and an excellent provider should understand how to keep it that way.
If you’re curious about which services would help your IT department most? Have them take this short, interactive quiz below!