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Should You Manage Your IT In-House? Pros & Cons

managed IT Services

Are you trying to decide if you should manage your own IT in-house or outsource it? Well, you are in the right place. As a managed service provider, many companies come to us trying to determine if they should keep their IT in-house or outsource to a third party, like us.

Of course, we wish every business would be the right fit for outsourced managed IT services, but that's not the case. Every business is unique. For this reason, whether or not you should manage your own IT depends on your business model, goals, company size, industry, and so much more. There are so many benefits to keeping your IT in-house, but for the wrong company, they may be much better off with a different IT model. 

We feel it is essential to inform people of the pros and cons of managing your own IT  to avoid a partnership that is not the right fit. A transparent approach allows us to maintain long-term successful relationships with our clients, rather than having an unhappy client that feels they made the wrong decision. 

Today we will go through some of the pros and cons of managing your own IT in-house. As a managed service provider, we provide outsourced solutions. So if you manage your IT in-house, you will likely not work with us unless your business has a hybrid model. 

After reading this article, you’ll be able to l make an informed decision on whether managing your own IT is the best decision for you. 

3 Pros of managing your own IT   

Some of the biggest pros of managing your own IT are you will have a quick response time from IT staff when issues arise, your IT staff will have an intimate understanding of your environment, and lastly, all IT will be handled in-house giving your business full control over decisions made regarding your IT infrastructure.  Let's dive into these pros a little deeper: 

Quick Response Time: 

When you handle your IT in-house, your response time is immediate. There will be someone directly in the office that can immediately address an issue right when it comes up. In the IT world, it is often compared to having spare tires. 

You have a hot spare, a warm spare, or a cold spare. Having your own IT in-house is like having a hot spare right on deck where the tire can be quickly replaced, and the car can get right back on the road. There won't be much if any, delay in response time with in-house IT because they are so accessible. 

The response time is an essential element to your IT. The longer a problem gets fixed, the more damage could be done. Downtime can add in new risks by taking longer to get something resolved can also decrease an individual or the company’s productivity. Many negative effects can come from an unproductive work environment. 

Intimate Understanding of Your Environment

With an in-house technician, they are managing your business's IT and your IT only. This means that they are very intimate with the setup of your IT infrastructure, software, applications, etc. When your IT is in-house, your technician will know where things are without consulting a list.

Some businesses may have applications that are developed explicitly for their business. In this case, having your own IT staff who has worked in the environment long enough will understand these applications and support them. 

More Control Over IT decisions 

When you keep your IT in-house, this means that all control over any decisions will be made in-house. You can dictate what type of equipment you choose to use, the lifespan of your equipment, and the implementation of applications solutions. 

Not only do you have more control over the way tools and processes you implement into your IT environment, but you also have better control over when your IT staff is available to support you. When you outsource IT, you often have to look at their support hours to ensure if something happens, they can help.

When you have your own IT staff, you control their hours. Therefore, if you are a business out of New York but mainly do business in European times, it would be vital that you have IT staff available in that unique time frame. With in-house IT staff, you have much more control over this. 

4 Cons of managing your own IT 

Some of the biggest cons of managing your own IT are that your team may be limited in expertise on specialized aspects of IT, you will need to rely on vendors that supplied the product to resolve issues, it can be costly to onboard and retain IT staff, and lastly, all control of IT will be in your businesses hands.  Let's dive into these cons a little deeper: 

Hard to Be an Expert in Everything

IT can be challenging for one IT technician to be an expert on everything. They may know a little about everything, but it's challenging to have a deep understanding of something if it is not your sole focus. If multiple issues occur simultaneously, having to stretch themselves between two problems can cause it to take much longer to find a solution. 

When it comes to IT it is important to have a team whose members each have a specialized role. This would mean hiring an entire team of engineers focused on security and another team that would be focused on network infrastructure and servers. For many companies can be very expensive to maintain.

An example would be that say you were having issues with your plumbing at your house and also one of your cabinets was broken. It is unlikely the plumber would be able to fix the cabinet. You would need to hire someone that specializes in cabinets and also someone that specializes in plumbing to ensure the best quality and quickest solution. 

Reliance on Vendor Support

You will typically rely on vendor support when you have your IT in-house. For instance, if a piece of your equipment is having an issue, it will be your IT staff's job to reach out to the manufacturer and work with them to solve the problem. Typically these are much larger companies and it can be much more difficult to get instant support when you run into an issue.

Costly to Hire and Retain IT Staff

With in-house IT staff, it is your job to hire people you think will support, service, and understand your environment. You also have to ensure that you provide your IT staff with what they need to retain employees. Losing members of your in-house IT staff can be a huge hassle. There is a lot of downtime between seeking out a new technician, getting them trained, and ensuring they fit your business's cultural fit. 

There are also many hidden costs when you hire an in-house IT team. There are costs such as salary, benefits, insurance, vacation time, overtime, and training. Not to mention any costs associated with anyone on your team taking sick leave or quitting. This can leave you empty-handed in a time of urgency. 

Too Much Control 

For some businesses, managing IT in-house is too much control. Making all IT decisions is a lot of pressure, and if done correctly, it requires a great deal of experience and time. Having so much control can also be bad if the IT process is not refined and designated roles.

 For many businesses, there is just not enough bandwidth for them to manage their business and their IT. Having too much control over IT can be overwhelming and cause elements of your IT infrastructure to be overlooked which could pose a risk in the future. 

Not interested in managing IT in-house? What are your other options? 

Many of the pros and cons of managing your own IT can be dictated by many other factors directly related to your business. These factors include the size of your business, industry, and budget for IT. Once you have answered these questions, this can help you to determine some of the specific pros and cons of your unique business environment.  

If you are interested in a different option, you're in the right place rather than just managing your IT in-house. As a managed service provider, we work with many clients who felt their IT would be more successful if they outsourced it to a third party. 

This option can pose many pros and cons, so it is essential to understand both to decide which is best for your business. To learn more about the difference between in-house IT and outsourcing your IT, check out this article: In-House IT vs. Managed IT Services; which is suitable for you?