Outsourced IT Support in London
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4 signs that you need to outsource your IT
Should you outsource IT or Hire?
Making the decision to hire or outsource is a complicated one which has large ramifications for the business. The right decision today is unlikely to be the right decision forever – as your business grows and evolves, your requirements change.
To deliver an IT service to a big or small organisations the following components are vital.
No single person can competently perform all of the above functions therefore businesses either hire multiple people to deliver the service or outsource, often finding an MSP (managed service provider) who can deliver the components they are unable to deliver themselves.
When a company reaches 500+ users it is common for them to look at building an internal IT department because the volume, complexity and bespoke nature of the work warrants full-time IT staff. However, even larger organisations struggle finding all the necessary skills so will often outsource specific service components or projects.
In other words, for the majority of businesses the decision tends to be around what should they outsource as opposed to when?
Taking a look at a typical range of clients of varying sizes:
Table 1 Typical successful models for different sizes of business
Key differences between internal IT teams and outsourced IT support:
IT Outsourcing Recruitment Pitfalls
Some smaller businesses attempt to find an individual that can perform multiple functions internally – be that an IT manager, desktop support engineer, infrastructure specialist, or a security expert.
The first challenge occurs within the recruitment process. Smaller businesses often lacks the necessary in-house IT skills to assess the strengths of the IT candidates. This makes it more likely the successful candidate will have insufficient knowledge and experience.
Note: The old adage “you don’t know what you don’t know” is very true for junior engineers who are far more likely to believe that their skill set covers a much larger proportion of a technology or service. To an unskilled interviewer this often leads to engineers being hired who believe they have the perquisite knowledge when in fact there are important omissions. This normally manifests itself with the engineer push for the business technology to align with their skill set irrespective to its strategic relevance.
The second challenge for smaller businesses is related to the on-going maintenance of the systems. Due to lack of IT training and appropriate internal IT management processes, systems are rarely setup or managed using best-practise principals (change management, capacity planning, and risk assessments, to name a few), leading to instability and security risks and the net result being issues increase and there is pressure to recruit more IT staff. The end result is often bigger than necessary internal IT functions and that the IT systems need to be re-built.
How much does it cost to outsource IT support?
One area that often concerns businesses with outsourcing is that the outsourcer asks for expensive investments to be made into technology and the business lacks the necessary skills or experience to validate this request.
The solution is to have a robust strategy roadmap – this is where the IT provider manages a 12/24-month IT roadmap presenting the various activities that are necessary to maintain IT. Ideally this should be costed so businesses can review their overall IT spend and objectives pushing back on costs or delaying activities so the plan aligns to their budget.
Taking a closer look at the typical costs for an in-house IT department for a 50-user organisation.
**depends on service-levels, advisory services and proactivity
Are there any hidden costs?
Another concern with outsourcing is the “hidden extras”. Although the initial price may be attractive businesses may worry whether they will be held to ransom for additional costs?
The main source of additional charges are projects. For instance, upgrading all your desktops would normally represent an additional cost (however, this activity also reduces a business’s risks).
A 50-user organisation is likely to spend around £10,000 pa on project activity. However, if a business is going through a lot of change (international expansion, moving location, growing quickly) there will always be additional costs associated with this change.
How much will your IT support cost? Try our 30 seconds cost calculator.