MANAGED IT SERVICES | 5 MIN READ
If your business is looking to improve your cyber security efforts, there will come a point in the research and decision process where you will need to figure out if you want in-house or managed IT. As a managed IT services provider, we have implemented both full-service solutions and worked with in-house IT departments to take some of the workload off them. This has given us in-depth industry knowledge that we wish to share with the public. In this article, we'll break down the pros and cons of in-house and managed IT so you can determine which is a better fit for your business.
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The Case for Managed IT
While managed IT may seem expensive, it can actually end up being cheaper than hiring in-house. When you hire in-house IT, you have to pay for the salary and benefits of each full-time employee in that department along with a host of additional costs.
In comparison, the salary of just one full-time in-house IT employee can pay for an entire managed IT package, which gives you a whole team of experts at your disposal.
While there are a few different pricing models for managed IT, all of them are cheaper than building an in-house department.
Building your own IT department takes a lot of time and effort. After taking time to allot space for a new department in your office, you have to interview and hire the right people.
Then, you have to work with those new employees to figure out what equipment is needed, and then execute the purchase and setup. This whole process can take months to properly execute. With managed IT, you simply sign with the right provider and then they take over from there.
After a visit to your office to set any new hardware and software up, your MSP is ready to work.
In-house IT personnel can quickly become bogged down with fielding low-level help requests from other employees, which can distract them from their main job of protecting your network.
By outsourcing your IT to a Managed Service Provider (MSP) you lower the risk of having an overwhelmed internal IT department.
The team that an MSP assigns to manage your company's cyber security is usually segmented into tiers, which assures you that any issue, ranging from simple fixes all the way up to severe issues like ransomware attacks, will be appropriately elevated to the right person depending on the severity.
When it comes to cyber security, working with third-party companies is almost unavoidable. While some companies may think that in-house staff can keep everything in-house, in reality they use third-party platforms to manage your network security.
While the thought of letting a third-party company manage the security of your data can sound scary to some companies, in reality, an MSP employs a variety of tactics to keep your data safe.
For instance, by creating a comprehensive Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan, an MSP ensures that in the event of severe network outage, data loss will be kept to a minimal by restoring your network to the most recent backup, and that backups will happen as often as possible.
An MSP never gets complacent with your cyber security. They stay current on evolving trends and update your network accordingly to ensure that cyber threats don't make their way in.
If your business prefers more of a hands-on approach to cyber security then you may not want managed IT. With in-house staff, you can see and have face-to-face interactions with them on a day-to-day basis.
When you work with an MSP, you turn over the management of your network security to a third-party company.
While an MSP will keep you in the loop on major updates and emerging threats, signing a deal with them means putting your trust in them to effectively protect your network.
Companies who prefer to more frequently see updates and have a big hand in the decision-making process may not prefer managed IT. However, keep in mind that some businesses prefer a hands-off approach to cyber security as a means of taking the burden off internal staff.
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The Case for In-House IT
By building your own IT department from the ground up, you can customize it as you see fit.
You can hire employees with the exact qualifications and experience that you prefer. Since you have intimate knowledge of your company and its needs, you know exactly how many employees will be sufficient enough for an IT department.
Additionally, you can customize all the hardware and software that you'll have in your network. This includes everything from email filtering and antivirus to firewalls and servers.
Those that prefer a hands-on approach to cyber security may gravitate towards in-house IT. Since they're right in the office, you can physically visit your IT department any time you want with questions and concerns.
Being able to have an in-person conversation with your IT department instead of a phone call or email can be valuable for getting issues solved quicker and giving you peace of mind.
When you build an in-house IT department, the costs can quickly add up. You have to pay for the salary and benefits of every full-time employee, which becomes sizable if you're trying to build an entire team.
You also have to pay for all equipment that's essential for your team to effectively do their jobs. This means buying expensive workstations. Just one computer with enough processing power for an IT employee to do their job can cost close to $2,000.
For your IT department to effectively manage workflow and protect your network, you'll also need to buy or lease a variety of cyber security and management software.
Security software could include everything from antivirus to email filtering. Management software includes a ticketing system to handle requests for IT support.
Though having your IT department in-house would seem like issues would be solved quicker, sick leave and vacation time poses potential issues for productivity.
For instance, if your department is comprised of a few employees and one or two leave for vacation or sick leave at the same time, then less employees bear the brunt of more work.
Additionally, in-house staff are constantly bogged down by low-level complaints. Other employees can take advantage of the fact that they can walk down the hallway to solve issues, which means that they could visit the department every time they have a problem, no matter how small.
This can take in-house employees away from their main job − monitoring and protecting your network. Additionally, because in-house employees tend to work the normal 9-5 Monday-Friday hours, response times may be slower if an emergency happens outside of normal business hours.
On the other hand, with managed IT, you can sometimes pay for 24/7 service, which ensures that all emergencies, even those that occur outside business hours, are promptly responded to.
Which Is Better?
Depending on your business' needs, either type of IT could be a good fit. If you value more of a hands-on approach to cyber security, consider in-house IT.
On the other hand, if you prefer a cheaper and hands-off approach to cyber security, consider managed IT.
Before making any final decisions, evaluate your business' cyber security needs and wants to figure out which type of IT you better resonate with.
As a Managed Service Provider, we know that not every business will be a good fit for us. We aim to help businesses find a cyber security solution that fits their unique needs because nothing is worse than being stuck in a contract with a solution that isn't right for you.
No matter which form of IT you choose, the fact that you read this article means that your business is taking steps to improve your cyber security!
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Posted by Kevin Kendall
Kevin Kendall is the VP of Services for Standard Office Systems and has built a career of assisting businesses with their office technology needs. He has decades of experience with products and services like copiers, business phone systems, and managed IT services. Mr. Kendall is driven to see others succeed and help them develop to achieve results beyond ordinary expectations.